Blythewood/Chapin, SC (Connor Radtke) - Blythewood High School’s Senior Night for their 2017/18 lacrosse team featured a game versus the Chapin High School Eagles. When all the ceremonies were completed, and the game was finished, there were feathers on the field as the Bengals handed the Eagles a loss. At the end of the game, the board reflected that the Eagles hung tough, but simply weren’t able to overcome the Bengals who handed the team from the north of our county a 12-10 loss.
The night started out with a ceremony honoring the Blythewood High senior lacrosse players. They include goalie #1 Pierce Hall, middies #2 Gavin Vasquez, #7 Matthew Clary, #8 Brandon Proveaux, #11 Ryan Crawford, #12 Mac Martin, and attackmen #3 Justin Williams, and defenders #9 Bryce Carter, #22 Trey Edwards, and #30 Mark Dunkin. After that ceremony, the game began.
The game started off with Blythewood winning the opening faceoff. They held possession for some time but eventually, Chapin took command of the ball, ran down the field, and scored the opening goal. That goal by Chapin’s #18 Brandon McCutchen, came with 4:49 left in the first. After their early one goal lead, Chapin would soon give up two as the big cat’s #7 Matthew Clary, and #13 Ryan Williams scored. Blythewood was now up one with 2:05 left in the first. Chapin called a timeout, regrouped, and with 33.3 sec left in the first, they were able to score again! At the end of the first quarter, the referees chose two players for stick checks which brought each team an illegal stick penalty. Both teams received a 1 min penalty to start the second quarter. Both players were able to repair their sticks after the penalty time was up and return to the game.
The second quarter started at a much faster pace, and an early goal by Blythewood’s #7 Matthew Clary gave the Bengals a 3-1 lead with 10:21 left in the second. After the early goal, Chapin would go on a rampage and score four unanswered goals thanks to #8 Addison Condrey, #7 Cole Finn, #10 Tred Dixon, and #2 Dawson Rider.
With the board showing 4-3 in favor of the Eagles, Blythewood’s #13 Ryan Williams would score his second goal of the game to tie it all up at 4. Chapin received an unnecessary roughness high hit penalty courtesy of #23 Garret Sabaka, which had him in the penalty box for two minutes. To avenge the penalty, Chapin’s #7 Cole Finn would score a shorthanded goal putting the Eagles back on top by one. Both teams called time-outs to plan their attacks, but no one scored for the rest of the first half. With a short time on the clock, Chapin’s Luke Lackovic was called for slashing penalty that bought him 1-minute in the box to close out that half.
Lackovic killed off his penalty in the opening of the second and exited the penalty box to score the first goal of the second half, putting the Eagles ahead by one. Blythewood’s #7 Matthew Clary would then go on to complete his hat trick plus one, scoring two quick goals to bring the Bengals within one point with 7:54 left in the third. After a penalty against Chapin was called, Blythewood’s #13 Ryan Williams would also complete his hat trick and tie the game up at 7 all. Blythewood’s #7 would then score again allowing the Bengals to take their first lead of the second half with 5:07 left on the clock. After the go-ahead goal, Chapin received back-to-back penalties, one by #23 Garret Sabaka for unnecessary roughness, and the other by Chapin Eagles’ bench. This forced the Eagles to be two men down for one minute. That was all that Blythewood’s #13 Ryan Williams needed to score the last goal of the third quarter, giving the Bengals’ the lead.
Quickly after the 4th began, Chapin’s #7 Cole Finn scored, giving him his hat trick. Within a minute, Blythewood would answer back with #4 Nick Van Zyl’s first goal of the game, and #13 Ryan Williams scoring again to give the Bengals a 3-goal lead. Chapin received a penalty for a push by #12 Cole Crawford and Blythewood’s #7 Matthew Clary capitalized finishing his second hat trick of the game and score his 6th overall goal of the game. Now with the Bengals up four, Chapin took a timeout to regroup again. Within a minute of that timeout, Chapin’s #2 Dawson Rider would score his second goal of the game bringing the Eagles within three. Blythewood had two penalties, one by #4 Nick Van Zyl resulting in 30 seconds of penalty box time for a push, and the other by #30 Mark Dunkin resulting in one minute of penalty box time for unnecessary roughness. This opened the door, and Chapin’s #8 Addison Condrey scored, but the clock ran out before the mighty Eagles had the opportunity to even it up. The game ended with a 12-10 victory by the Bengals over the Eagles.
Jason Cuzzupe, head coach of the Blythewood Bengals, said his team overcame an early deficit because they had a strong warrior mindset and never stopped grinding, “They never lost confidence in themselves and their abilities.” Cuzzupe said he believed it came down to his team just sticking to the basics, which allowed them to maintain possession in the second half.
Jeff Mirgon, head coach of the Chapin Eagles, said that he believed his guys played very well and as hard as he wanted them too. He was proud of their efforts but was upset that penalties hurt them so much. He was especially proud of the Eagles’ ground ball play and praised #5 Luke Lackovic for returning from a concussion injury and playing a great game.
This game would leave the Bengals sitting 6-6 for the season and the Eagles 6-7. Each of their next games are scheduled against Spring Valley High School. Blythewood will play them Wednesday April 10, 2018, and Chapin will play them Thursday April 11, 2018.
As the season is coming to an end, Chapin can look back on its season as an extreme success. Going from winning one game during the 2016 season, to getting their first home game win in three years and the potential to finish the year even is a drastic improvement. Overall the game was a great show of talent and heart.
Good luck to the seniors of Blythewood and to both teams as the playoffs are right around the corner.