Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the Davis High boys lacrosse team started its 20-game win streak by eking out a win against a strong Miramonte squad. On Friday night, the Blue Devils had no such struggle with the Matadors, jumping out early and never looking back in a 13-2 victory.
DHS started fast, with senior midfielder Mikie Schlosser rocketing his laser beam of a shot toward the Miramonte net. Fortunately for the Matadors’ goalkeeper, Schlosser’s shot missed the goal by a few inches.
But Schlosser isn’t the Devils’ money man for no reason. Just 30 seconds later, the star — who is headed to the University of Michigan next season — faked a shot, pulled off a spin move worthy of an NFL running back to get around a defender, then used his left hand to put the ball in the top-right corner of the net, scoring Davis’ first goal of the season.
After a Miramonte turnover, Blue Devil Willie Hawkins flew up the sideline and found a streaking Kevin Klenzendorf on the other side of the goal to make it 2-0.
Turnovers seemed to be the theme of the game for the Matadors as their sloppy passing led to several extra scoring opportunities for the Devils. In fact, the visitors barely touched the ball, due to DHS’ possession-based offense. The combination of their turnovers and the effectiveness of Davis’ offense turned it into a very long night for the Matadors.
True to form, when a Miramonte player dropped the ball off an errant pass, an alert Kian Reno snapped up the ground ball and found himself directly in front of the crease, where he scored to put the Devils up 3-0.
After the locals went up 4-0 on a Mark Bruemmer goal, the Matadors finally broke through for a tally off of a rare DHS turnover late in the first quarter.
But Hawkins came right back to score the first goal of his big night by working his way around the goal for an easy finish. He ended the game with four goals and two assists.
Just before intermission, the Matadors earned a man-up situation and capitalized on it, narrowing the margin to just 5-2 at halftime. But the goal would be Miramonte’s last because of a great Blue Devil defensive effort that included a fantastic performance from goalkeeper Will McPherson.
“Our goalie played huge,” said DHS coach Nick Juri. “Not enough can be said about Will McPherson; he played out of his mind. To shut them out the second half when we had a three-goal lead going in at halftime. … I mean, a coach can’t ask for much more than that.”
After halftime, the offensive floodgates opened for the Devils as multiple goals from Hawkins, Ryan Amesbury and Daniel Rowen pushed the Davis advantage to 10-2.
“When we played within our system, when we played as a team, we were outstanding,” Juri said. “(We) were working hard with the ball and were working harder without the ball. And when we were all working together, it just looked real good, and that’s when we’re producing our goals.”
Even with the big lead, the Blue Devils’ ball-possession offense created several more opportunities.
After his team passed the ball around the goal several times, Hawkins carried it behind the crease and saw all of the Matador defenders concentrated around the goal. Big mistake.
Miramonte completely forgot about Schlosser and Hawkins floated the ball over the net to his open teammate. Schlosser who was 10 yards from the closest defender and put a bullet of a shot into the back of the net.
And he wasn’t done there.
Later, Schlosser was double-teamed — a defense the Matadors employed all night against the DHS standout — made a sharp cut to the left and quickly changed directions to go right, making a Miramonte defender fall over in the process. Schlosser then found a waiting Hawkins right in front of the goal to make it 12-2.
An Amesbury goal closed out the Devil scoring.
So, after Friday’s great performance, what could Davis possibly improve?
“We still have to understand where the weaknesses are in the defense,” Juri said. “And offensively, there’s still a lot to work on. Defensively, there’s still a lot to work on as well. The two goals we did allow could have been easily prevented.”
Notes: Sophomores Sam Eaton and Liam Neville got their first varsity minutes. … Schlosser finished with two goals and one assist, Rowen and Amesbury each scored twice and single tallies came from Bruemmer, Klenzendorf and Reno. … Devil fans got a scare when three-year starter Reno went down with an ankle injury in the third quarter. But Juri said the injury was caused mainly by fatigue and that Reno had been nursing an ankle injury going into the game. He is expected back for DHS’ next outing, a Tuesday night game at Monte Vista.