Bellevue traveled to Woodinville Tuesday night for a matchup against the upstart Falcons. From the opening faceoff, the Wolverines knew they were in for a battle. Both teams played with energy early, and with each hotly contested ground ball, it was obvious the Falcons weren't about to back down from the defending state champs.
Early possessions were a little sloppy as errant passes led to turnovers for both teams in the early going. Bellevue would get on the board first, though, as Paul Johnson gathered in a loose ball behind the cage and sprinting toward the front of the crease, delivered a backhanded shot that slid past the goalie to make it 1-0 Bellevue. A few possessions later, the Falcons answered to tie the game at 1-1.
After several minutes of back and forth action that featured physical play from both teams, Justin Angelel gathered in a feed at the top of the box and rifled one into the top left corner to put Bellevue back on top. He would add a second goal in similar fashion midway through the second quarter to extend the Wolverine lead to 3-1.
In the meantime, the Wolverine defense suffocated the Falcon offense. Woodinville wanted to play a patient, ball control brand of offense, but the Wolverine defense hounded the Falcons all over the field, forcing turnovers and difficult shots. Bellevue's long pole defenders - Chase Overton, Grif Hawblitzel, Michael Moran and Jack Heed - played terrific on ball defense all night long, holding the Falcons to their lowest point total of the year.
The star of the night, though, was junior FOGO Brennan Moloney who won 11 out of 14 face offs, gobbling up 8 ground balls in the process. Shady, as he's called by his teammates, was masterful from start to finish, giving Bellevue a decided advantage in possessions with his performance at the X.
As the first half wound down, Bellevue would take a 4-1 lead on a late goal from senior Carson Lombardi who stroked a lefty shot from the wing to give Bellevue a comfortable half time cushion; however, the Falcons came roaring back in the 3rd quarter. After the teams traded goals early in the quarter, Woodinville found a cutter in the crease for a goal to cut the lead to two. And with time winding down in the quarter, a Falcon defender took the ball coast to coast and slid between two defenders deep in the Bellevue end and spiked a shot into the net just before the buzzer, making it a one goal game at the end of the third.
As the teams trotted back onto the field for the fourth quarter, the Woodinville crowd was fired up, sensing they might be on the cusp of an upset. A couple of minutes into the quarter, their optimism took a significant blow when Joe Albrecht got underneath the defense and worked his way to the front of the crease where he slipped one past the goalie with ease. It was Albrecht's second and it gave Bellevue a two goal lead. Later in the quarter, Lombardi scored again on a virtual carbon copy of the lefty sidearm shot he had executed earlier in the game. That proved to be the nail in the coffin as the Wolverines held on to gain a hard fought victory, 7-5.
The Wolverines are back in action on Thursday against the Eastlake Wolves as they attempt to run their record to 4-0 against Kingco 4A opponents. Game starts at 8:00pm at BHS stadium, so come on out and watch the Wolverines tomorrow night!
The second game of the young 2017 season pitted Bellevue against Issaquah on a rainy Friday night at IHS. The Wolverines and Eagles have staged some great battles over the past few years, including a state championship game, an overtime thriller, and a game interrupted by lightning that featured a furious Bellevue comeback that fell just short. This, however, was not one of those games. This game was decided shortly after the Wolverines filed off the bus, as Bellevue jumped all over the Eagles early and didn't take their foot off the gas until the second half, well after the game had been decided.
Bellevue opened the scoring quickly with a lefty dodge from Matt Marino. Augie Fratt followed that with an outside shot, and then came a couple of goals from the attack as Paul Johnson and Justin Backer each found the net to make it 4-0 Bellevue after Q1. The onslaught continued in the second quarter, as Carson Lombardi slid underneath the defense for a goal, and Johnson got his second with a nifty move and an underhand finish. Then Cameron McMahon found himself all alone on the left wing and rifled one into the upper righthand corner. By midway through the third quarter, the Wolverines found themselves up 7-0, with goals coming from six different players.
Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Bellevue had the Eagles on lock down. The defense harrassed the Eagle ball carriers all night long, forcing numerous turnovers and limiting opportunities for the Issaquah offense. When they did give up shots, The Wolverine goalies were up to the task, as Cabe Edelhertz, Mac Mowatt and Ethan Schiller combined to limit the Eagles to two goals on the night.
On offense, Bellevue was crisp, moving the ball well and generating good opportunities from every possession. Marino was the offensive star of the night, unleashing his full arsenal on the Eagles en route to a 5 goal, 2 assist performance. Freshman Grey Sunderland delivered a standout performance at the face off X, winning 6 of 9 tries and scooping up 4 ground balls in the process.
It was a crisply played game for the Wolverines on a soggy night, and a big improvement from the somewhat uneven performance in game one against Skyline. Next up is Woodinville (Tuesday 7:00pm @ Woodinville HS), who should provide a solid early season test for the Wolverines.
Tuesday marked the start of the 2017 campaign for the Wolverines as they squared off against the Skyline Spartans at BHS Stadium. The Spartans have historically given the Wolverines a tussle, and Tuesday was no exception as the season got underway with a matchup of two good teams. Bellevue cracked the seal on the scoring with a man-up goal in the first minute of the game, and then added a couple more to take a 3-1 lead. Skyline answered quickly, though, rattling off three straight goals to take a one goal lead at 4-3. Matt Marino got the Wolverines even late in the quarter when he rolled back to the middle of the field and beat the goalie low with a well placed shot, the first of three goals for Marino on the night.
Skyline took the lead again 5-4 early in the second, as the teams continued to exchange blows. Down by a goal, the Wolverines settled things down and began working their offense. Operating from behind the cage, Tommy Heed fed Cameron McMahon in front of the net to even the score, and on the next position the pair combined again in similar fashion to give the lead back to the Bellevue. After a failed clear by the Spartans, McMahon struck again, this time off a feed from defender Jack Heed who carried the ball into the offensive end and delivered a perfect pass from his long pole to McMahon sitting on the doorstep. Two Heeds, one McMahon, three goals. McMahon would later add an assist to his stat line to lead the Wolverines in scoring with 4 total points.
The Spartans refused to roll over, getting a goal on a bomb from midfiedler William Cespedes to pull within one. On the ensuing possession, the Spartans held the ball for two full minutes before finding a crack in the Bellevue defense and scoring again to tie the game at 7-7.
Once again, the Wolverines would surge ahead, this time with the help of senior attackman Justin Backer. After winning a ground ball in their defensive end, Bellevue's Chase Overton triggered a fastbreak that ended with McMahon feeding Backer near the crease for a goal. On Bellevue's next possession, Backer gathered in a rebound in front of the cage and tickled the net a second time to put Bellevue up by two. The half would end with Bellevue ahead 9-7, a high scoring, high octane affair on opening night.
Both teams would make their half time adjustments, and the defenses found their footing in the second half, putting an end to the frenzied pace seen in the first two quarters. Goalie Cabe Edelhertz settled in, recording 7 of his 8 total saves in the second half, and the defense hounded the Spartans all over the field, limiting them to a single goal in the 3rd and 4th quarters. A whole host of Wolverines contributed to the defensive effort, from seniors Michael Moran and Grif Hawblitzel to first time varsity players like Shane Johnson and Michael Kihanya. It was a solid team effort in the second half, and it helped Bellevue secure the win in their first game of the season, 11-9.
Up next for Bellevue will be a trip to Issaquah to take on the Eagles this Friday night. JV game at 6:00pm and Varsity at 8:00pm.
The 2017 season of Bellevue Lacrosse gets under way next week, as the Wolverines will host Skyline on Tuesday March 14th at 8:00pm (JV at 6:00pm) in their season opener. Bellevue will be looking to defend the state championship they earned in 2016, but it won’t be easy. The Wolverines will need to replace several key contributors from last year’s senior class, including four first team all league selections Joe Bethke (ATT), Michael Medzegian (DEF), Jack Albrecht (LSM) and Andrew Choe (MID/FO).
The cupboard is far from bare, however, as several starters return in 2017, including a midfield that brings back all league performers Augie Fratt and Matt Marino, as well as Justin Angelel who was second team all league as a sophomore before missing the 2016 season with an injury. Midfielders Joe Albrecht and Quinn Sullivan, both varsity contributors last year, will also be back in 2017, along with converted attackman Carson Lombardi.
Senior Cameron McMahon leads a group of attackmen that all saw significant playing time last year. He will team with junior Paul Johnson, a returning starter himself, Tom Heed and Justin Backer to provide experience at the attack position. On defense, Michael Moran and Chase Overton will return to anchor a strong group of defenders, and Cabe Edelhertz, a two year starter at goalie, is back for his junior season.
John Baumann is entering his 13th season as head coach. Under Baumann’s leadership, Bellevue has amassed a 185-67 record, with 6 state championship appearances and 5 state titles. Joining Baumann’s staff will be Connor Sofield, who will fill the role of offensive coordinator. Sofield is a native Long Islander who played college lacrosse at Holy Cross. Chris Holmes will once again coordinate the defense.
The Wolverines’ schedule is packed with great games both in conference and out. They open with traditional Kingco foes Skyline, Issaquah, Woodinville and Eastlake before hosting Denver East who will be making the trip out to Seattle from the mile High City. A few days later Bellevue will take on three more out of state opponents when they match up against Lakeridge (Portland), Claremont (BC), and Palo Verde (Las Vegas) – three teams that have given Bellevue all they can handle in recent years.
Over spring break Bellevue will travel to Texas to take on three teams from the Dallas area, including a Highland Park squad that features several D1 commits. The game will be played in the 8000 seat Highlander Stadium. Bellevue will then finish up the regular season with games against rivals Mercer Island and Eastside Catholic.
Schedules for all three Bellevue teams – Varsity, JV and JV2 – can be found on the website. It figures to be another exciting season of high level lacrosse, so come on out and support the team, starting Tuesday night.
High school players in contention for a spot on the varsity team spent the weekend at Fort Casey working, competing and bonding as Bellevue prepared for the upcoming season. The team braved some nasty weather on Friday, but found reprieve in milder conditions on Saturday and Sunday. The coaches began installing offensive and defensive concepts as players battled for the final few roster spots. All in all, another successful Camp Casey.