BELLEVUE, WA - The weather is heating up and so is the Bellevue offense. The Wolverines returned home last night for a conference game against the Rebels from Juanita, and they put on a show. In what amounted to a tune up against an overmatched Juanita team, the Wolverines dominated from start to finish as they prepare for a showdown with Issaquah next Wednesday.
The fireworks came from all over the field, but the fuse was lit by Joe Bethke, who scored the Wolverines first 3 goals from a variety of different angles. The senior midfielder ended up with an impressive 5 goals and an assist to lead the way for Bellevue. Juanita scored a couple of early goals and had the game tied at 2-2, but it was all Wolverines after that. The defense dug in and made it difficult for the Rebels to get into their offense, forcing numerous turnovers. Senior Andrew Blasko helped Bellevue dominate possession with a stellar game at the faceoff X, winning 15 of 22 draws.
After Juanita scored to tie the game at 2-2, Bellevue ripped off 11 straight goals to make it 13-2 at halftime. Scoring came from up and down the roster as 9 different players register a goal. Sophomore Tom Heed led the team in assists with 3, and Blasko gobbled up 11 ground balls. The bench was emptied in the second half and the full roster saw significant time, as the Wolverines cruised to a 16-4 win.
Long Island, NY - The Bellevue Boys lacrosse team made their annual sojurn to the east coast to test themselves against top tier competition this past week. This year's trip included match-ups against some of the top programs in the country, making it arguably the stiffest competition the program has ever faced. The week was the polar opposite of the sunshine and sandy beaches that were enjoyed by many of their peers this spring break, as the temperatures hung around freezing and a chilly wind blew for much of the time the team was on the field. But as always, the trip was a fun one, filled with great moments that will leave lasting memories for a team full of 16-18 year old boys. Off the field, the team enjoyed a trip to the 911 Memorial in Manhattan, Time Square and the famous Italian restaurant Carmines in NYC. As for the results on the field, here's a recap of each of the three games.
Game 1 vs. Massapequa
Bellevue opened their spring break trip to Long Island with a matchup against mighty Massapequa. The Chiefs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, with the Wolverines looking a little sluggish on their first day in the Eastern time zone. Bellevue would battle back quickly, though, evening the score at 3-3 on the strength of a couple goals from sophomore midfielder Matt Marino. Massapequa once again stretched the lead to 3 goals before Bellevue got one back on a fast break goal from senior Joe Bethke, and the Chiefs held a 6-4 advantage going into the half.
Bellevue got right back into the game in the 3rd quarter, as Augie Fratt entered the scoring act with a couple of outside rips that brought the Wolverines within a goal at 7-6. Each team traded goals before the end of the quarter, and it was a one goal game heading into the 4th period. That’s when the Chiefs, ranked #17 in the nation by Lacrosse Magazine, started to pull away. They scored 3 unanswered goals to start the period, and Bellevue found themselves down 4 goals with 5 minutes to go in the game. Bethke then fed Fratt from behind the cage for a goal that stopped the bleeding; Marino struck again, and Fratt registered another – his second straight game in which he’s scored 5 goals – bringing the Wolverines within two at 12-10.
Unfortunately, Bellevue would run out of time and the comeback fell short. The Chiefs added a man-up goal with 1:19 left making it 13-10, and that put the game out of reach. Bellevue fought valiantly and gave a good showing in their first of three games on Long Island, but in the end, the Chiefs were too much for the Wolverines on this night.
Game 2 vs. Garden City
The Wolverines' second game of the three game series was no less a challenge, as they faced off against a storied Garden City program, a traditional power that has put many players into the D1 college ranks. In contrast to the first game at Massapequa, the battle against Garden City was a defensive struggle, with both teams finding it difficult to generate any offense. The first quarter was played to a scoreless tie, and the second quarter was a grind as well. A late goal from Bethke was the only first half tally, and it gave the Wolverines a slim 1-0 lead going into the half.
The second half featured more of the same, as the defenses for both teams turned back the offense repeatedly, forcing turnovers and making saves on difficult shots. Jack Harmeyer got the start in goal, and saved 6 of the 10 shots he faced that were on cage. Garden City finally found the net midway through the third quarter to tie the game up at 1-1, but Bellevue jumped ahead again when Jackson Fredman took in a feed from Bethke and drilled one past the Trojans goalie. Once again, the Trojans would answer, taking advantage of a man-up opportunity with just over four minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, and then jumped ahead for the first time in the 4th quarter, taking a 3-2 lead. Bellevue returned the favor when Bethke found the open man against the Trojans' man down defense, and Fratt provided the equalizer with 3:30 to go in the game.
Unfortunately for Bellevue, that's as close as they would get to the "W", as Garden City scored twice in the next 90 seconds to take a 2 goal lead. Bellevue continued to fight, adding a goal from Paul Johnson and taking possession with 45 seconds to go, giving themselves a chance to force overtime, but the Trojan defense held the Wolverines at bay as they had done for most of the day, and the final seconds ticked off the clock with Garden City on top by a single goal, 5-4.
Game 3 vs. Long Beach
Bellevue entered their final game of the spring break trip hungry for a win. They played two of the best programs in the country nearly even, only to fall by slim margins. The narrow defeats had them desperate to put their stamp on the trip with a victory, but Long Beach would present another stern test. Much like the first two games, the game against the Marines was a tight one. It was a back and forth affair, with neither team leading by more than one goal for the majority of the game. Long Beach struck first, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. Cole Bouwman got the start in goal, and made a few early saves to keep things close, and then the Bellevue offense got going. Cameron McMahon opened the scoring for Bellevue, followed closely by a dodge from X by Paul Johnson to make it 2-1 Wolverines. The Marines would answer late in the quarter and it was 2-2 after one.
Long Beach won the faceoff to open the 3rd quarter and converted it into a fast break goal to take the lead 3-2. Bellevue tied it on a nifty bounce shot from Matt Marino, but a man-up opportunity for Long Beach resulted in another goal for the Marines. Once again the Wolverines would draw even, this time on a goal from Fredman, and at halftime the game was all knotted up at 4-4.
Things got a little testy in the 3rd quarter as tempers flared and flags rained down on the field, giving both teams man-up opportunities. Long Beach capitalized with a goal to regain the advantage at 5-4, but later in the quarter Marino blew one by the keeper for his second of the game, and once again the game was tied. It would stay that way through the quarter, and the teams entered the final period deadlocked at 5-5. Early in the 4th period, defenseman Michael Moran made a game changing play, as he scooped up a ground ball and took it all the way down the field, finding McMahon in front of the net for a diving shot that gave the Wolverines the lead. On the ensuing possession, Johnson ripped one past the goalie and Bellevue finally had a more comfortable 2 goal cushion. It didn't last long, though, as Long Beach came charging back and scored again to pull within one at 7-6,. However, the Bellevue defense dug in and blanked the Mariners the rest of the way, preserving the one goal win.
The game was close on the scoreboard, but Bellevue kept the Marines under pressure for much of the game. The Wolverines got off 44 shots, 22 of which were saved by the Long Beach keeper. At the faceoff dot, Andrew Blasko performed admirably in his first extended action of the season, and the defense, as they had against Garden City, played a very solid game, holding down the Long Beach attack and minimizing their opportunities. Cole Bouwman and Jack Harmeyer, who entered the game in the second half, combined to keep the Marines in check.
The team returns home to resume league play, starting with a home game against Juanita this Friday, April 15th @ 8:00pm. Come on out and support the team as they work their way toward the playoffs.