By Sarah Snare
LoCoSports Copy Editor
Purcellville (March 22, 2017) — Woodgrove High School boys lacrosse came out victorious in a non-conference match-up with the Eastern View High School Cyclones of Orange County in Purcellville on March 20, with a final score of 20-9.
The Wolverines took control of the game early, with Woodgrove junior attack Shane Reynolds winning the face-off and immediately passing the ball off to senior attack Michael Gaston – who has committed to play at Berry College in 2018. Gaston was quick to attempt the first shot of the game, barely thirty seconds into the first quarter.
“We had a lot of really good looks; I can’t take all the credit, but we are moving the ball well,” said Reynolds, who led the Wolverines with five goals and two assists. “I know we connected a bunch of times, but it’s a team effort.”
In addition to racking up the goals, Reynolds served as the sole face-off player of the night for Woodgrove, as their other one is out due to injury. Reynolds – who is aiming for an 80-percent face-off win rate – performed his duty well, gaining possession for the Wolverines on a majority of the face-offs.
Junior attack Mason Coates joined his teammate among the top scorers of the night, with six of Woodgrove’s goals.
While their offense put on an impressive show, Woodgrove head coach Devin Pinkston was quick to name defense as the team’s biggest strength.
“Defense, defense, defense,” Pinkston said. “Our defense is extremely tough. Big and physical. They’re very talented, and our face-off guys. I think we have the two best face-off guys in the state, I’ll be honest with you.”
The Wolverine defense proved these words as they held off the Cyclones from scoring until late in the first quarter. Eastern View junior midfielder Cody Howard – who led his team with five goals – was finally able to break through the line eight minutes into the game, scoring the first goal of the night for the Cyclones.
Both the Wolverines’ offense and defense kept up the pace throughout the first half, heading to the locker rooms with a score of 8-4, in Woodgrove’s favor.
Woodgrove jumped into the second half even quicker than they had the first, with sophomore Patton Robertson scoring just 17 seconds into the third quarter.
After multiple penalties for holding, tripping, pushing and illegal body checks on both sides, the teams returned to their respective benches as the third quarter clock hit zero with a score of 14-8, Woodgrove.
The Wolverines dominated the final quarter, with six goals to Eastern View’s one. With just over a minute left in the game, Woodgrove senior defender Grant Ammann – who will be playing for the High Point University Panthers in the fall – brought the final score to 20-9.
Although they came out with a win, Pinkston knows his team has a lot to work on.
“Building chemistry is going to be our biggest goal here,” Pinkston said. “A lot of new offensive, defense returns, almost everything. There’s a lot of new faces. We graduated 17 seniors last year.”
The team may seem young, with underclassmen – including ten freshman – taking the place of those 17 graduates; however, Pinkston still has a strong group working for him this season, as his boys – including 12 seniors – are striving for state rings.
“My goal for this season is to win states, isn’t that what every team wants?” Reynolds said with a laugh.
The Wolverines take the field next at Langley High School on March 24, where they play the Oakton High School Cougars, while the Cyclones seek redemption on March 23 against the Mountain View High School Wildcats.
1Q 10:21 WG #18 Shane Reynolds
1Q 8:34 WG #20 Mason Coates
1Q 5:23 WG #3 Hunter Fulton
1Q 4:40 WG #3 Hunter Fulton
1Q 4:02 EV #2 Kaden Woodward
1Q 0:28 EV #8 Cody Howard
2Q 11:39 EV #8 Cody Howard
2Q 8:01 WG #20 Mason Coates
2Q 7:00 WG #16 Johnny Robic
2Q 6:03 WG #20 Mason Coates assisted by #9 Tyler Madden
2Q 3:08 WG #16 Johnny Robic
2Q 1:39 EV #8 Cody Howard
3Q 11:43 WG #5 Patton Robertson
3Q 10:41 WG #6 Michael Gaston assisted by #18 Shane Reynolds
3Q 9:28 WG #18 Shane Reynolds
3Q 8:41 EV #11 Luke Peters
3Q 8:25 EV #22 Jason Southern
3Q 4:15 EV #8 Cody Howard
3Q 4:45 EV #8 Cody Howard
3Q 3:29 WG #20 Mason Coates
3Q 1:35 WG #18 Shane Reynolds
3Q 0:23 WG #20 Mason Coates assisted by #18 Shane Reynolds
4Q 11:49 WG #5 Patton Robertson
4Q 11:34 WG #18 Shane Reynolds assisted by #9 Tyler Madden
4Q 10:07 WG #18 Shane Reynolds
4Q 8:51 EV #2 Kaden Woodward
4Q 8:03 WG #9 Tyler Madden
4Q 2:02 WG #20 Mason Coates assisted by #16 Johnny Robic
4Q 1:28 WG #4 Grant Ammann