Bellevue spent their spring break in the desert, taking on three of the best High School teams in Las Vegas. Here's a recap of those games.
Bellevue got their spring break game action underway with a Tuesday night tilt against the Centennial Bulldogs. It was a chilly night as the winds gusted at Viper Lacrosse Park, but the Wolverines came out hot, posting goal after goal against an overmatched Bulldog team. The offense was clicking, and the Dawgs had no answer as one after the other, Wolverine players took turns finding the net. By halftime, Bellevue had built a 13-1 lead, and the outcome was all but decided.
The coaches stressed the need to continue focusing on the fundamentals, and implored the boys to use the game to continue improving. The rotation was deep as the entire team saw ample playing time. By the end of the game, 11 different players had scored en route to a 17–4 win.
Joe Bethke led the team with 4 goals, Matt Marino had 2 assists, and Jackson Fredman and Chase Overton had their first goals of the year. All three goalies played in this one, including Jack Harmeyer, who saw his first action of the season coming off of a broken finger.
Game two of the Vegas series presented a step up in competition for Bellevue, as they took on Faith Lutheran. The Crusaders were an athletic, well-coached bunch that featured former Division I stars John Greeley (Johns Hopkins) and Max Schmidt (Maryland) on their coaching staff.
Bellevue fell behind early, but evened the score quickly when Paul Johnson intercepted a clearing pass and fed Chris Callison on the doorstep for the equalizer. Bellevue would have several more chances, but couldn’t find the net and Q1 ended tied at 1-1.
Bellevue started the 2nd quarter with a one minute non-releasable penalty for an illegal stick, but they managed to kill the penalty (thanks in large part to a fantastic save from Cole Bouwman), and moments later Cameron McMahon made a spectacular catch and finish in front of the cage to put Bellevue up 2-1. The lead wouldn’t last long, as the Crusaders would even the game again on a side arm shot from 15 yards straight away with 2 minutes to go in the half. Jack Albrecht then provided some highlight reel material when he snatched the GB off the faceoff and scampered into the offensive end. He then dodged a defender with a move that would make most attackmen proud, and blew one past the goalie to regain the lead. The half ended with Bellevue up 3-2.
Faith wasted no time tying the game in the second half. After some great goaltending from both Bouwman and Cabe Edelhertz (who briefly spelled Bouwman when he went out with an equipment issue), the Crusaders finally tallied a man-up goal to make it 3-3. From that point on, though, it was all Bellevue.
On the ensuing faceoff, Andrew Choe energized the Wolverines by winning the draw and converting it into a fastbreak goal to recapture the lead for Bellevue. Justin Angelel followed suit on the next faceoff, scooping up the ground ball, swimming a defender and drilling a fastbreak goal of his own to put Bellevue up 5-3. Once again, Bellevue would win the faceoff, and this time Choe would draw a push penalty. Angelel took advantage of the man-up situation with an outside shot that pushed the lead to 6-3, and then following a goal from Augie Fratt, Angelel completed the hat trick with a roll-back goal midway through the fourth to make it 8-4 Bellevue.
Matt Marino would add one more for good measure and the Wolverines would go on to win 9-4. Bellevue played aggressively, especially in the second half, winning the ground ball battle 24-16, and forcing 7 turnovers on clears by the Crusaders.
The final game of the 3 game set would be the most challenging for the Wolverines. Palo Verde, a traditional power in the Vegas area, is coached by Gary Campo, who hails from Long Island and brings the kind of fire and lacrosse IQ you would expect from an Islander.
Bellevue dominated possession in the first quarter and out-shot the Panthers 9-3, but the Wolverines had trouble finding the cage. When they did, the Panther goalie was up to the task. On the other end of the field, the Bellevue defense was strong, forcing several turnovers and giving the offense more and more chances; however, they had one breakdown that led to a Panther goal from the crease, and despite the lopsided time of possession, the first quarter ended with Palo Verde in the lead 1-0.
The second quarter was a little more evenly played, but the Wolverines shooting woes continued. The game was played on a grass field, one that was a bit chewed up in places. Bellevue struggled to adjust to the conditions, shooting low bounce shots that died in the softer natural turf. Credit the Palo Verde defense as well, as they were well coordinated and forced Bellevue into quite a few low angle shots that their goalie had little difficulty corralling.
The Panthers got things rolling to start the 3rd quarter with two quick goals that gave them a comfortable 4-0 lead. When they added a 5th goal midway through the quarter, it was starting to look as though the Wolverines were running out of gas in their 3rd game in three nights. Just when things were looking pretty bleak, Joe Bethke found Cameron McMahon on the wing for a top shelf laser and the Wolverines were finally on the board. Still, the Panthers had a commanding 5-1 lead as the 3rd quarter ended, and a 4th quarter comeback seemed like a pretty tall order.
Much like the night before, however, Andrew Choe got the Wolverines rolling. He took the faceoff to open the 4th quarter, barreled down the middle of the field and finished the charge to make it 5-2. The goal sparked the Wolverine sideline, and on the next possession Augie Fratt found the net to make it 5-3. You could feel the momentum building, and Matt Marino kept it going with a dodge and a righty rip to close within a goal, and when Justin Angelel dodged to his left and pinned one inside the back pipe, we had a new ballgame with the score tied at 5-5.
The final few minutes of regulation were tense, as both teams played with great urgency. When Palo Verde came away from a midfield ground ball scrum with the possession and turned it into a fast break goal, it looked as though the Wolverines comeback might fall short. Bellevue hung tough, though. A slash was called on the scoring play, but Jack Albrecht won the crucial man down faceoff, and Bellevue killed the penalty, giving themselves a final chance to force OT. When the Panther goalie made yet another save with under a minute to go, it appeared as they Bellevue’s hopes were finally dashed, but a relentless ride by Joe Bethke forced a turnover on the clear, and Bellevue had one more chance.
On their final possession in regulation, Bellevue worked the ball around, aggressively probing the defense to find an opening, but the Panthers kept them at bay. Finally, with time winding down, Fratt found an opening down the alley and buried an outside shot with 15 seconds to go that gave the Wolverines new life. For the second time this year, the Wolverines would go into Overtime.
In the extra period, Bellevue won the crucial faceoff to gain possession. They worked the ball around once, and just as it was against Skyline, Fratt drew a short stick matchup and took advantage delivering the game winner in the first possession of OT. A thrilling, gutsy effort from the Wolverines and a great way to finish a very productive trip to the desert.
Cole Bouwman and Cabe Edelhertz alternated halves in this one, each doing some great work between the pipes. Edelhertz fought off a couple of point blank shots late in regulation that would have undoubtedly ended things in favor of the Panthers. Freshmen Chase Overton and Joe Albrecht saw significant time, playing both offense and defense, and made solid contributions to the win. Bellevue won 11 of 17 faceoffs, and gathered in 23 ground balls to Palo Verde’s 18, both of which were key to the win.
With several freshmen and sophomores in the lineup and just a handful of seniors, there's no question that Bellevue is one of the youngest teams in the state. And with that youthful talent comes excitement and optimism, as well as some growing pains. And so it was Friday afternoon as the Wolverines hosted the Lincoln Cardinals out of Oregon.
Bellevue played a solid first half on both ends of the field. They worked methodically on offense, managing several lengthy offensive possessions, but couldn't convert many those possessions into goals, as they struggled to find the net, shooting a mere 17% for the game.
Still, the defense was stout and Bellevue controlled the ball and the half, building a 3-0 lead with goals from Joe Bethke, Augie Fratt, and midfielder Michael Mendillo, who scored his first of the year on a nice dodge to the middle of the field for a lefty rip. Meanwhile, junior goalie Cole Bouwman stood tall in the cage, making several nice saves to keep the Cardinals off the board.
Bellevue extended their lead to 4-0 in the 3rd quarter when Fratt scored his second goal of the day, but then - much like earlier in the week against Skyline - the Wolverines let their opponent work their way back into the game. Lincoln scored twice to make it 4-2, and then Joe Bethke added one for Bellevue to regain a 3 goal lead. Lincoln was undaunted, and they continued to apply pressure on the Bellevue defense. The Wolverines struggled to maintain possession, turning it over on clears and in their settled offense. That gave Lincoln the opportunities they needed and they capitalized, adding two more goals pull within one late in the game at 5-4. Bellevue would ultimately gain possession and kill the last few minutes of the game to preserve the win, but once again, a game that looked to be in hand came down to the wire.
Andrew Choe had a solid day winning 9 of 12 faceoffs, and once again Jack Albrecht led the team in ground balls with 6. Bouwman ended the day with 7 saves.
(BELLEVUE, WA) - Bellevue got a visit from Skyline Tuesday night for an important early season conference matchup. Skyline came in undefeated and full of confidence, looking to knock off the defending state champs who were licking their wounds from two tough losses over the weekend. A steady rain blanketed the field as the game got underway, but that didn't seem to dampen the spirits of either team, as both squads appeared amped up and ready to go.
Bellevue struck first, as Justin Angelel split a double team and drilled a shot from the middle of the field to open the scoring. Despite some sloppy play and difficulty maintaining possession, the Wolverines would generate enough opportunities on offense to add two more goals and jump to an early 3-0 lead.
Bellevue's defense was solid early on. Junior Michael Medzegian was assigned the match up with the Spartans attackman Charlie Kurtenbach (2nd Team All Conference in 2014) and held him in check, while Cabe Edelhertz locked things down in the net. Skyline's only goals in the first half would come on a turnover by Bellevue in their own end that created a one-one with Edelhertz, and a miscommunication following a faceoff violation that left a Spartan completely unguarded. The unmarked midfielder drew the defense and feed the crease for an easy 2nd goal, but outside of that, the defense was stout. On the offensive end, Bellevue continued to create opportunities, and freshman midfielder Matt Marino scored back-to-back goals to give the Wolverines a 5-2 lead at halftime.
Skyline wasted no time getting back into the game in the second half. They won the first two faceoffs, and delivered goals from both possessions, drawing to within one goal at 5-4 with 8:23 to go in the 3rd quarter. That's when the Wolverines went on a run. Attackman Joe Bethke jump started the Bellevue offense when he dodged from X and threw in an underhanded shot from just above GLE. Angelel added a fastbreak goal a couple minutes later, and when Paul Johnson fed Cameron McMahon on the doorstep for a goal with 12 seconds to go in the quarter, the Wolverines had retaken control of the game.
After Augie Fratt dodged down the alley and sent one past the Spartan goalie to start the 3rd quarter, Bellevue had taken a 9-4 lead and things looked to be on cruise control for the Wolverines . . . but that's when things started to get interesting. At the 8:32 mark, Skyline scored to make it 9-5 Bellevue. Skyline would then win the next 3 faceoffs, paying each possession off with a score to get within a goal at 9-8. Bellevue finally slowed the Spartan charge with a faceoff win, but a turnover gave it right back to the Spartans, who would eventually score to even the game at 9-9 with just over 2 minutes to go. Once again the Spartans would win the draw and take possession, this time with a chance to take the lead for the first time all night; however, a gritty effort by the Wolverine defense held the Spartans at bay for the final 2 minutes, and we were headed to overtime.
The Wolverines had played a lot of defense in the last quarter of the game, and they had to be a bit weary heading into the extra frame. They badly needed a possession to start the overtime, and that's exactly what Matt Marino gave them. Although he lost the clamp, Marino fought and battled and gave his wingman Jack Albrecht a chance. Albrecht scooped up the ground ball (one of his 8 on the night) and trotted into the box before Coach Baumann called timeout. Both teams plotted strategies for the ensuing play. Coming out of the timeout, Marino set a pick for Fratt who dodged to his left. The slide came fast and aggressive, but Fratt rolled back to the middle face dodged the next defender and finished on the doorstep with a shot the goalie had no chance to save. Game over, and a big sigh of relief from the Bellevue faithful who had watched the comfortable lead evaporate so quickly. It was an outstanding effort from the Spartans who kept fighting even when they were down big, and an equally strong effort from the Wolverines who fought off the disappointment of the collapse in regulation to recapture the win in overtime.
Bellevue goes to 4-2 and 2-0 in league play, and will welcome in Lincoln H.S. (OR) on Friday. The game will be played at Chinook Middle School at 4:30pm.