Petaluma used an impressive first half Wednesday night to defeat their west side rival St. Vincent de Paul 14-7.
“This was a great fight by both sides,” Petaluma head coach Carter Olsen said. “Both teams have great players and for us it just came down to our bench.”
In terms of numbers, the bench was not an issue for the Trojans. They have nearly double the amount of players in their program as St. Vincent de Paul has.
St. Vincent de Paul found themselves down 3-0 after four minutes of play, and 5-2 at the end of the first. They dug themselves into an early hole, and was never able to climb out of it. Petaluma held the lead for the entire contest.
“We were having trouble controlling the ball,” St. Vincent de Paul head coach Ed Evans said. “With only four substitutes, we need to control possessions. We were not respecting the ball and we had too many unforced errors.”
Petaluma’s success in the contest was highlighted by Bendt Jorgensen. He scored nine goals on 14 shots. Junior Joe Schwappach also contributed with three goals out of five attempts.
Scoring was not the problem for St. Vincent de Paul, as they made seven out their eight shots on goal. Junior Viktor Blais and sophomore Malcolm Rooks both contributed with two goals each. Sophomore Bishop Gilfillan, junior Jaret Bosarge, and sophomore Preston Kwan each scored one.
Mustang goalie Enzo Vallee has shown great promise as a freshman, but his defense couldn’t find a flow during the game.
“We came out very flat in the first half,” Vallee said. “We started looking better in the second half, but it was too late and we fell short.”
Heading into the third quarter trailing 8-3, the Mustangs were able to gain some momentum. Petaluma scored a quick goal but the Mustangs countered. They scored two of their own to cut the lead down to 9-5. Although they were still down by four, momentum was clearly on their side.
“It felt good gaining some momentum early in the second half,” Vallee said. “It was still frustrating thinking about how slow we started the game, but we showed promise down the stretch.”
Petaluma was able to keep their composure throughout this momentum shift, and it was clear that this can be credited to mature coaching styles.
“My thought process was just to make sure my players stuck to the fundamentals,” Olsen said. “I needed my defense to slide, we kept fishing for sticks. We gave them positioning when we needed to just play smart.”
Injuries suffered by Kwan and Blais did not help the situation for St. Vincent de Paul. Petaluma would pull away and win the fourth quarter for the seven-goal victory.
This is St. Vincent de Paul’s first varsity lacrosse season in school history. Although the wins do not show it, the Mustangs have very impressive young talent and the future looks bright. They will only be losing one senior after the season, star defender Riley Gilfillan.
Upcoming for the St. Vincent de Paul (2-5), they will face Sonoma Valley (0-5) on Friday and then will host San Marin on Tuesday. As for Petaluma (3-4), they will also see Sonoma Valley in their next contest on Monday and then will face Cardinal Newman for a league contest.