By Owen Gotimer
South Riding (May 27, 2016) — Trailing Kettle Run High School at halftime of the Evergreen Group boys lacrosse championship, Freedom High School junior Hunter Capestany knew it was time to take control in the second half. He did just that, scoring as many goals in the second half by himself as the Cougars did as a team throughout the night as the Eagles finished the boys, girls sweep of the Evergreen Group tournament championships with a 12-7 come-from-behind win.
“I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates because most of my goals were assisted. They push me all the time, and I knew at half time they needed me to step up,” Capestany said. “I knew Kettle Run was getting tired, so I took advantage of that and just put it in the back of the net.”
Just over three minutes into the third quarter, Capestany came from behind the net and put one past the Kettle Run goalie. Then less than a minute after his first second-half goal, Capestany made almost an identical play to even out the score at 6-6.
“Basically, we were doing the things we prepared to do after we settled down in the second half,” Freedom head coach Warren Danzenbaker said. “We started to force them to do things they probably didn’t want to do on their clears, and then we started to take advantage of possessions and get more possessions on offense and anytime we get more possessions, we’re going to find the back of the net.”
Capestany would not stop finding the back of the net for the rest of the game as he scored five more times before time expired on his way to a career-high eight goals.
“In some games this year, it’s the attack that’s carries us and Hunter’s leading the charge, and in some games, it’s the middies who are leading the charge,” Danzenbaker said. “We’re not a one-dimensional team, so if you want to take out one player, other guys are going to step up. Tonight, Hunter did that for us. It was his turn, and he was ready to do it. We like having him on our side and not somebody else’s.”
The Cougars travelled to South Riding with a much smaller roster than the Eagles – and without Capestany – and as the third quarter went on, more and more Kettle Run players seemed to get winded.
“We just played the game we came to play and got outplayed in the second half. That’s pretty much what happened,” Kettle Run head coach Scott Begley said. “They have a lot of players, a lot of good players, and we played way too much defense. If we played four minutes of offense in the second half, I’d be surprised. When that happens your guys get tired, you give them too many opportunities and you make too many mistakes.”
If the Cougars weren’t tired enough as it was – in the heat with fewer guys on their roster – the Eagles are a fast-paced team which likes to push the offense hoping that more opportunities will lead to more goals.
“We have a deep roster, and we like to play fast. Kettle Run is a good team, and they’re a well-coached program, but they don’t have the numbers we have,” Danzenbaker said. “On a night like this when it’s hot and humid, we can put seven, eight, nine middies out there when they can only put four or five out there. We saw in the third quarter they were putting their sticks on their helmets; they were exhausted. That’s when we knew we were going to start pushing.”
Both Kettle Run and Freedom advance to the VHSL 4A West zone playoffs starting on May 31 as the Cougars hit the road again to take on the Dulles Group champion Dominion Titans while the Eagles play host to the Dulles Group runner up Woodgrove Wolverines.
1Q 10:21 KR Miclat
1Q 7:30 KR Donaldson
1Q 6:40 F Bishop
1Q 5:47 F Capestany
1Q 3:24 KR Kelly
1Q 3:17 F Donovan
2Q 10:51 KR Dodge
2Q 9:59 F Nies
2Q 2:38 KR Miclat
2Q 0:25 KR Dodge
3Q 8:40 F Capestany
3Q 7:55 F Capestany
3Q 6:31 F Capestany
3Q 3:34 F Capestany
4Q 10:32 KR Miclat
4Q 6:29 F Johnson
4Q 6:03 F Capestany
4Q 5:21 F Capestany
4Q 3:49 F Capestany