High School Lacrosse

Indians unable to hang with Harrison

by Chris Goltermann

Had it been football at Garland Shoemake Stadium, East Coweta might have stood a chance in Monday’s game against Harrison heading into the fourth quarter.

But in lacrosse, it’s much harder to rally from an early seven-point deficit.

In a battle between two of three unbeaten Area 1-AAAAAA boys teams that were ranked among the top-four in the classification heading into this week, the Hoyas jumped out to a massive first quarter lead and fought off a small surge from the Indians in the second en route to a 14-3 victory to hand East Coweta its first loss of the 2014 season.

What was expected to be an epic showdown between a veteran Indians team and a traditionally strong Harrison program never materialized, with a valiant effort from senior goalie Brian DeBole managing to keep East Coweta in the game through halftime.

Led by three goal outings from sophomore Zach Danneman and junior Alex Mowry in the victory, the Hoyas stormed out to a 7-0 lead after the opening quarter while quickly putting distance between the Indians following a four-goal surge over a 73-second span in its final four minutes.

Harrison scored 12 of its 14 goals in the first and third quarters while outscored 3-2 by the Indians between the second and fourth periods.

The seven-goal surge from the Hoyas forced East Coweta to give chase over the final 36 minutes while only able to dominate one of four quarters.

The Indians pulled to within five goals before halftime by outscoring Harrison 3-1 in the second period, they never managed to duplicate the type of offense that saw the team put up 55 goals over three straight wins to open the season.

Between DeBole’s 17 saves and a defense that killed off all but one East Coweta penalty, the Indians were still within range despite trailing 8-3 at halftime.

The unbeaten Hoyas, now 7-0, began the third period with a quick tally and then finished the victory off with three more over the final 4:47 of the period with East Coweta struggling to get a shot on Harrison goalie Mitchell Barnes.

Barnes faced a host of opportunities but only had to make five saves to record the victory in goal with the brunt of Indians shots going wide of the goal.

Despite its frustrations, East Coweta put together consecutive goals from Lee Steed and Bryce Durden to open the second quarter to initially pull to within five.

Steed fooled Barnes with a high shot off a turnover in front of the Harrison net, before the Indians made it 7-2 when midfielder Sterling Tyson broke in on goal before feeding Durden just outside the crease to the left of the Harrison goalie.

Outside of a long shot from Frasier Hutchison that found its way past Barnes with 2:31 left until halftime, East Coweta struggled from there to get open looks against Harrison defenders Zachary LaFontaine, Ryan Ruff and Tyler Buehler.

The Indians still managed to stay within range at halftime after killing off a two-man disadvantage. Defenders Sam Thomas, Logan Wilson and Jay McKnight joined midfielder Ty Hagar in helping diffuse the 6-on-4 situation.

DeBole, meanwhile, was at the mercy of the Hoyas at times, despite making point-blank stops on several occasions. At least three of Harrison’s goals came on feeds from behind the net. Six of the senior’s 17 saves came in the first quarter.

The Hoyas, though, essentially put the game of of reach after catching the Indian goalie on the other side of midfield while trying to lead a clear with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. The result had Danneman pushing toward an open goal among three East Coweta defenders inside Indians territory before making an assist to Mowry for the last of his three goals.

The Indians (3-1, 2-1) look to regroup Wednesday at home in a non-region game against Archer (4-3).

Hoyas 14, Indians 3

Harrison 7 1 4 1 — 14

East Coweta 0 3 0 0 — 3

Goals: East Coweta — Lee Steed, Bryce Durden, Frasier Hutchison; Harrison — Zach Danneman 3, Alex Mowry 3, Michael Fahsel, Seth Cowen, Luke Hatfield, Lucas Wittenberg, Erik Holst, Holden Zenker.

Saves: East Coweta — Brian DeBole 17; Harrison — Mitchell Barnes 5.

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