High School Lacrosse
Cougars unable to keep up in loss to Grayson
by Chris Goltermann
On a night where the temperatures sunk back to winter-like conditions at Drake Stadium, Newnan’s chances in its long awaited home opener equally went south just as quickly in a 13-3 loss against an undefeated Grayson boys lacrosse lineup on Wednesday.
The Cougars, who have already been hit hard by injury and illness, were met with two near unstoppable objects — a fierce wind and a Rams team that only seemed to get stronger as a non-region game progressed.
Absences left Newnan (0-6) with only seven substitutes including backup goalie Ronald Grooms. Grayson consistently used three lines of midfielders to the Cougars two throughout the game. As the game progressed, the Rams found themselves on constant odd-man rushes resulting in goals.
Down 2-0 early in the first quarter, Newnan quickly answered Grayson’s second goal less than a minute later when Chris Mapel took a pass from teammate Austin Ohliger behind the net and fired it past goalie Chris Briner, cutting its deficit in half.
The Rams, though, added two more goals in the final 5:23 of the opening period on tallies by Matt McHugh and Cameron Schuster while keeping pressure on Newnan goalie Jordan Surrett.
He was at the mercy of McHugh in front of the net off a loose ball in front of the crease while Schuster’s shot came off a feed from behind the goal.
The Cougar junior made five of his 17 saves in the first quarter to keep the game close while robbing Grayson middie Christian Brewer and attack Sharp Reynerison on consecutive stops.
From there, however, the Rams began to add some distance with three goals in the second — including a pair on a non-release penalty on Surrett — before putting the game away with a five-goal third period.
The Cougars have faced six opponents with a combined record of 19-11 so far this season heading into Friday’s trip to North Cobb (3-3).
Grooms made a pair of stops after coming on when Surrett was called on an illegal body check before Grayson connected twice with the man-up situation on goals by Reynerison and McHugh.
Newnan’s offensive drought carried into the final five minutes of the game before long-stick midfielder Mike McMahon found Ohliger at the side of the net.
The Cougars closed the game on Travis Greene’s bounce shot past Grayson backup goalie Lane Seale.
Surrett, Grooms and starting defender Ryan Kozlowski — who took a turn in goal in the fourth quarter — combined to make 20 saves, two by both Grooms and Kozlowski.
East Coweta’s boys, coming off Monday’s disappointing home loss to Area 1-AAAAAA rival Harrison (7-0), host Archer tonight. Northgate’s boys resume play after a six-day layoff on Friday at home in a 1-AAAAA/A game against Grady (1-3).