After bad weather claimed their previously scheduled game earlier in the week, Coppell Boys Varsity Lacrosse headed east of the Metroplex to take on Rockwall. When the two teams met in the preseason, it was a tight game that was tied in the final minutes and ended with Rockwall up by a single goal, and this time the outcome was all too familiar for the Cowboys, as once again Rockwall was able to get away with the victory by a single goal.
The game was tightly contested throughout, with no team ever having more than a two-goal advantage, and the teams pulled even on the score board five different times throughout the game. From an offensive perspective, it was a matter of quality versus quantity in the shooting department, and on this night, quality won out over quantity. Coppell once again was able to win the time of possession battle as Senior FOGO Reece Reynolds won over 70% of his draws on the night, coming away with 4 ground ball wins. Coppell was able to convert that possession advantage into 42 total shots attempted on the night, compared to just 23 shots taken by Rockwall. But the difference in the game was Rockwall posting a 35% shooting percentage, double the 17.5% shooting percentage by Coppell, which was just good enough for Rockwall to come away with the 8-7 win.
The Coppell defense knew it would be a difficult night trying to hold down a very experienced Rockwall team that includes 11 Seniors and a couple of talented Junior attackmen in Hunter Roberts and John Burton. Roberts and Burton provided the bulk of the offense for Rockwall on the night, tallying a combined 5 goals and 3 assists. The Coppell defensive unit of Canon Peters (4 GB, 3 forced turnovers), Colton Delk (2 GB, 3 forced turnovers), Remi Reynolds (4 GBs), and Reid Robbins (4 GB, 1 forced turnover) was active and involved all night, helping give Coppell a huge 35 to 20 edge in groundballs won in the game.
On the offensive end, the Cowboys had several possessions where they moved the ball cleanly and quickly, finding open shooters and quality shots, with the team posting assists on 6 of their 7 goals. But a combination of too many off-cage shots and too many stops by the Rockwall goaltender resulted in Coppell coming up one goal short. Top offensive contributors in the game were Senior Walker Cain (1 goal, 4 assists), Sophomore Gavin Osteen (2 goals, 1 assist), and Senior Ethan Bivens (1 goal, 1 assist).
In the first game of the night, Coppell JV squared off against Rockwall JV, and the game was as equally close and balanced as the varsity match. Coppell jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first quarter. Freshman Jack McAdams (1 goal, 2 assists) first found Sophomore Jacob Dashner for a goal, then connected with Sophomore Aiden Strickland to finish the quarter with a 2-0 lead. But Rockwall possessed well in the 2nd quarter and ended up tying the game 2-2 before halftime.
The Coppell attack unit was back at it again in the second half, this time with Dashner scoring an unassisted goal, followed by Strickland returning the favor to assist on McAdams’ goal, which tied the game up at 4-4 with 8 minutes remaining. The Cowboy defense stepped up in the 2nd half, with the Junior trio of Ryan Hunter (3 GB, 1 forced turnover), Davis Dodd (1 GB, 3 forced turnovers), and Ryan O’Toole (1 GB, 3 turnovers) all coming up with big plays to stop Rockwall scoring attempts. Goalie Sam Taylor had 4 saves, including a key stop midway through the 4thquarter on a hands-free shot. But it was Sophomore midfielder Bain Carter who delivered the deciding goal with just 1-minute remaining in the game as he dodged to open space and fired a shot to give Coppell the exciting 5-4 win.
Both Coppell teams will now prepare for their home-opening game of the season against Plano West on Wednesday, 2/27 at Lesley Field in Coppell. The JV Game starts at 6 PM and Varsity will start at 7:30 PM, so please come support our teams for their first home game of the year.
Photo credits to Kurt Liese and Mark Barron