East Boys Lacrosse defeats Rancocas Valley 9-8

Elissa Cohen, Eastside Staff

On Friday, May 15, the Cherry Hill East Boys Lacrosse Team managed to pull away from a tight game to achieve the program’s first playoff win in school history. The Cougars went head to head with the Rancocas Valley Red Devils until the final score of the game read 9-8.

To start the first quarter, Adam Hauck (’16) controlled the face-off and received possession for the Cougars. After a few quick passes throughout the attackers, Chris Hammerquist (’15) caught the ball from Ian Sheekey (’16) and then shot to the top left corner, scoring the first goal of the playoff game. The next face-off was not in East’s favor and RV was quick to catch-up by scoring their first goal within seconds.

Two quick goals from East brought them up 3-1 late in the first quarter. One of those goals included an insane behind the back shot from senior captain, Hammerquist. The Red Devils snuck in another goal, but that was all from Rancocas Valley’s attackers for the half.

Until the halftime clock ran out, the Cougars were dominating the field. Goalie, Jesse Viggiano (’15) had a couple of saves and his teammates Josh Cohen (’15) and Mike Simmons (’16) each had goals of their own. These plays made the halftime score 5-2 in East’s favor.

Out of the break, RV came with intensity after they realized that this could be their final game of the season. An easy point came from Simmons, but the Red Devils had three consecutive goals to follow him. The score was now 6-6.

Sheekey knew he had to do something so he got the face-off control and scored a quick goal to ensure his team had the lead. Back came RV with two more goals in order for them to gain their first lead of the game.

The face-off controls were almost split half and half, but by the end of the game, the Cougars prevailed having won nine out of seventeen. Off the face-off, Hauck took the ball and the boys passed around for some time until the perfect shot was available. Hammerquist received the ball and dodged his defenders to tie the game 8-8.

Another draw control was in East’s favor and the clock was down to two minutes. It was in their best interest to stall the game and keep possession for as long as possible, so that is what the players managed to do. With about 23 seconds left on the clock, East lost possession due to the strong defense from RV. Luckily, the Red Devils did not have enough time to score, so the game ended in a tie.

Two overtimes, which were sudden death, went by without scoring. Many shots were taken, but neither team seemed to want the win more. In the third, no one for the Cougars seemed to have the ability to finish their goals.

With under two minutes left, Freshman Eric Sherman (’18) stepped up. He tried a crease roll but could not seem to complete his shot. He got the rebound and went again around the right side of the crease scoring the winning goal for the Cougars and moving them on to the next round of playoffs. The boys stormed the field to tackle their young teammate with excitement.

The East Boys Lacrosse Program definitely has a future in the playoffs and in years to come. The players showed that they have the ability to finish a game and that is one of the most important skills a team needs come playoff games.