GREENBELT – The Eleanor Roosevelt High School boys’ lacrosse team knew it had to change up its strategy after halftime to maintain its shot at victory.
Coming out of halftime down 5-0, Charles H. Flowers’ physical and intense style attempted to drain the Raiders of their energy. That was when Roosevelt Head Coach Scott Sorensen changed his team’s focus to playing faster in order to create easier shots on goal.
“What we did was on the faceoffs, we decided to attack and bring it down as fast as we could,” Sorensen said. “We needed to get the loose balls and ground balls to attack to open it up.”
The strategy worked, as Roosevelt became more efficient in the third quarter and scored seven goals on 10 shots. Sophomore attacker David Tyree, IV scored four of his five goals in that quarter as the Raiders defeated Flowers, 13-1, for their third win of the season.
The strategy change helped Roosevelt (3-0), as it struggled to deal with Flowers trying to impose a physical style of play on defense. The Jaguars (1-4) forced several loose balls and turnovers through their body and stick checks. Whenever Roosevelt did get shots, goaltender Devon Lewis got in the way. He finished with eight saves.
Roosevelt’s coaching staff expected that style of play. Flowers Head Coach Carlos Pettigrew is familiar with their strategy, as he coached the Raiders last season and led the team to the county’s first lacrosse championship.
“They were very intense,” Sorensen said about Flowers. “We know that they preach intensity, going for loose balls and pressuring your man. They did a great job with it.”
Two quick first quarter goals by Roosevelt attacker Jeffrey Holmes cooled the Jaguars’ defensive onslaught. Early in the second quarter, as both teams scrambled for a loose ball, midfielder Erik Croft scooped it up and quickly found Tyree open in front of Flowers’ goal. The attacker wasted no time and slapped the ball into the net, pushing the lead to 3-0.
With less than 90 seconds before halftime, Roosevelt senior Duncan Corcoran received a quick pass from midfielder Elias Kallon, who launched a shot past the goalie for the first of his three goals.
As the third quarter began, Tyree rushed in on two winning faceoffs to nab two quick goals in less than a minute.
Flowers attempted to fight back as attacker Keith Johnson converted a long-range shot for the Jags’ only goal of the game.
However, Roosevelt continued to attack at will as four different players capitalized on scoring opportunities, pushing the lead into double-digits by the end of the quarter. The Raiders scored six unanswered goals by the end of the game.
“The whole team knew who was on point,” Corcoran said. “We had to get the ball to them and fed them if they were hungry. We wanted to keep the streak going.”
With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Tyree scored his fifth goal and quickly found his teammates to celebrate the accomplishment.
“All of those goals were assisted,” Tyree said about his five-goal performance. “That was the main adjustment (in the second half) – having more vision on the field, so I have all my teammates to thank for that.”
In the fourth quarter, five infractions caused Flowers to play a man down for three minutes. However, the Jags’ defense stood strong, making sure Roosevelt did not score while they were a man down.
Pettigrew hopes his team uses its defensive performance against Roosevelt as motivation to continue improving its communication and offense for the rest of the season.
“We have to continue working on the fundamentals to get better,” Pettigrew said. “Until we get our fundamentals down, we are still going to be one step below other teams.”
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