For the tenth anniversary of their first lacrosse battle, McIntosh and Starr’s Mill logged an edition for the ages. What looked like a brewing lopsided match ended in a thrilling 10-9 win for the Chiefs.
McIntosh dominated for much of the night. Things looked out of reach when they built up a five goal lead with just eight minutes to play. Instead, Starr’s Mill went on the attack. The Panthers kept scratching and clawing until they tied it up at 9-9 with 43 seconds left. Even though the Chiefs would win soon after, it’s an effort that the Panthers have to be proud of.
“I was extremely proud of the players for continuing to battle even when it seemed the game was out of reach,” said Starr’s Mill coach Jeff Schmidlkofer. “We preach to keep battling through the adversity and we had plenty of it, especially in the second quarter when we had 11 turnovers. I think the players will learn from this and realize that when they play together that they are much more effective.”
It’s an important win for McIntosh as the continue to push for excellence.
“I’m really proud of my team but at the same time concerned with our ability to close out games. We’ve typically been strong in the second half this season, but tonight we had trouble taking care of the ball and controlling the game,” said McIntosh coach Darren Delfosse. “I was impressed with Starr’s Mill’s spirit to come back. We also stepped up at the last moment.”
McIntosh’s Caleb Sellers started the scoring. Starr’s Mill’s Evan Torris knotted it up midway through the first quarter before the Chiefs surged. Goals from Sam Herman, Tanner Karneboge, and Patrick Anderson made it a 4-1 game after one frame.
The Panthers struck first in the second quarter with a Joey DeLuca goal. McIntosh tallied goals from Garrett Leclaire, Herman, and Anderson as they held at a 7-2 lead at halftime.
Ryan Mathison was excellent in goal early for McIntosh, allowing just two goals while blocking many good looks. Drew Van de Motter turned it on in net in the second half for Starr’s Mill, giving up just three goals to an electric offense.
McIntosh scored just ten seconds into the second half on another Herman tally. Their offense would bog down though, thanks in part to strong defense by the Panthers. Spencer Hall scored for Starr’s Mill, making it an 8-3 game after three quarters.
The fourth quarter would swing heavily in Starr’s Mill’s direction. After Hall scored again, McIntosh’s Dawson Riesselmann made it a 9-4 game with eight minutes left. With their backs against the wall, the Panthers strung together a tremendous comeback. With four minutes to play, they unleashed a scoring onslaught. In a span of two minutes, goals from Wiley Ostrowski, Chris Falcone, Avery Jenks, and Hall sliced the margin to just 9-8. They completed the improbable comeback when Hall found the back of the net with 43 seconds to play.
Unfortunately for Starr’s Mill, McIntosh kept their composure and shook off their slide. Sam Herman stepped up and scorched the winning goal with 23 seconds left to play.
“It was a big shot for Sam and a huge shot for our team,” said Delfosse. “We’ve got a good team that plays hard. If we can clean a few things up, I’m optimistic about the rest of the season.”
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