Raiders have defensive edge
by Adam Carrington
March 23, 2014 04:03 AM | 2674 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walton players celebrate Dylan Boast’s goal during Saturday’s game against archrival Lassiter in the AJO4LAX Fest at Pope.
<BR>Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
Walton players celebrate Dylan Boast’s goal during Saturday’s game against archrival Lassiter in the AJO4LAX Fest at Pope.
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter
MARIETTA — Walton’s defense was a bit headstrong as it faced Lassiter on Saturday afternoon in Pope’s AJO4LAX Fest.

The Raiders won the majority of loose balls when Lassiter was on the attack, and they withstood 27 of 30 shot attempts.

And while Walton’s high-octane offense didn’t play to its potential — the Raiders entered averaging 10 goals a game — it did just enough to beat the Trojans 7-3 in an Area 2AAAAAA match.

Goalkeeper Jacob Hornberger ended up with 12 saves for the Raiders (6-2, 2-1) and was named MVP of the game, but he gave kudos to his teammates who played in front of him.

“We have an incredible defense on my side of the field and I owe all the credit to them,” Hornberger said. “They’re big guys who can play body defense. They also have great stick skills, which makes it easy to clear.”

Tom Barre scored two of Lassiter’s three goals. The first came on the opening possession of the game, when he finished off Will McAllister’s assist while on the run.

Lassiter (3-4, 3-2) didn’t find the net again until early in the second quarter, and it scored its third at the third-quarter buzzer. The Trojans were balanced with 15 shots in both the first and second halves, but most of their attempts either went wide or inside the net on Hornberger’s stick.

Walton’s scoring was spread out — Justin Peterman was the only multiple scorer with two goals — and it wasn’t until the second quarter when the Raiders really came to life.

With the score tied at 2-all, Walton coach Griffin Spotz called timeout with 6:36 left in the half in a bid to give the Raiders some motivation. They took charge from there, with three unanswered goals to end the half.

“We told the boys to settle down and play our game,” Spotz said. “We played a rough first quarter, and if we can clean it up a little bit, we’ll start finding the back of the goal.”

Finding the back of the goal was exactly what Walton did.

Peterman’s first goal put Walton ahead for good. Dylan Boast finished a shot through traffic to add to the lead, and Cameron Wiley scored on a Michael Gernatt assist with 53 seconds left.

Walton wasn’t as fluid on offense in the second half, but it did add another goal early when Ryan Jones scooped up a loose ball and scored.

Lassiter possessed the ball a majority of the third quarter, following Jones’ goal, and it took as many as seven unsuccessful shots in the third before Barre took advantage of a defensive breakdown at the third-quarter buzzer.

Lassiter had five additional shots in the fourth quarter, one of which bounced off the pipe.

“We just didn’t capitalize, and some of our movement was off,” Lassiter coach Brendan Leezer said. “To tell the truth, we have six returning starters, and three of them are hurt, so we’re young. I think we’re getting in system, but it’s a matter of capitalizing.”

Walton’s final goal came with 30 seconds to play, on a wrap-around goal by Peterman.

Pope 7, Blessed Trinity 4: The host Greyhounds controlled the first half of their non-area game before withstanding the Titans’ rally late in the match.

Tyler Borko led Pope (6-3) with three goals and added an assist. Parker Levell added two goals, and Liam Lynch and Zach Lynch each scored one.

The bulk of Pope’s scoring came in the first three quarters, and it held a 5-1 cushion going into the fourth quarter.

Goalkeeper Michael Oswald kept Blessed Trinity in check and was named MVP of the game.
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