North Island Rage mount 'have-to-see-it-to-believe-it' comeback
The North Island Rage U16 field lacrosse team, sponsored by Saratoga Ventures, played a double header against Nanaimo last weekend.
The two teams are sporting almost identical records and each team was anxious to dominate on the turf. The Rage had the momentum early and speedy Nathan Hoff made an end-to-end run to score with a big stick to get North Island on the board.
Jordan Balon fed a nice pass to Alec Molander on which he capitalized and the score was 3-2 Nanaimo at the end of the first quarter.
The Rage’s Alex Kussauer, Lucas Marriot Spencer and Jory Clermont took control in the midfield in the second quarter and North Island regained the lead and didn’t relinquish it for the rest of the game. Molander showed his dexterity on his second goal, putting it in from behind the goalline. Graham Evans took one for the team while setting up Ryan Smith’s goal, then scored four in a row.
Tanner Jones scored three goals, all through the five hole. Balon and Smith ran a give-and-go that resulted in the Rage’s 12th and final goal for a 12-9 win.
Game two had a completely different look, with Nanaimo winning three consecutive faceoffs and scoring three times before North Island had touched the ball. Evans has been quietly able to find some space in front of the goal and the middies were hitting him with passes, resulting in the Rage’s first two goals. In a quick transition passing play, the ball moved from Molander to Jones to Brady Garrett, who beat the goalie and the half ended 7-3 for Nanaimo. The team gained more ground in the third quarter with goals from Molander, Evans and Jones to move to 8-6. Big sticks Joe Gonsky, Roy Uzzel, Sam Kussauer, and Colton Edwards dug in and held the fort while the offense chipped away at Nanaimo’s lead, moving to a 10-10 tie. Nanaimo scored two quick ones, then goalie Rage Sal Burchill shut the door. In a remarkable comeback, the Rage scored six goals in the fourth quarter to salvage a 12-12 tie. Scorers were Griffin Whyley, Molander and two each from Garrett and Evans.The Rage’s next games will be at Bill Moore Park in Courtenay on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.