HS LACROSSE: INDIANA 16, GATEWAY 3 -- Indians ride fast start to easy section win
With just five section opponents on its schedule, the Indiana High School lacrosse team essentially treats every WPIAL Division 2 Section 1 game like it’s a playoff game.
But losing its last game in heartbreaking fashion to first-place Greensburg Central Catholic made the Indians extraordinarily fired up and focused heading into Wednesday’s section game against Gateway.
Through the cold, wind and rain, Indiana raced to a 5-0 lead less than four minutes into the game and then kept on the accelerator en route to a 16-3 win over Gateway at Andy Kuzneski Field.
The Indians scored on their first 12 shots on goal and enforced the mercy rule and a running clock at halftime.
“I was pleased to see us get out to a good start, especially after losing a tough game to Greensburg Central Catholic last week,” Indiana coach Eric Wetzel said. “We only have two section games left and we really needed the win. That’s always our goal to start fast and we did that. Now we’ve just got to start getting in the habit of finishing stronger.”
Five different Indians netted goals in the game’s first four minutes, including Ryan Watters, who made it 5-0 when he scored from eight yards with 3:47 left in the first quarter.
Watters helped extend Indiana’s lead to 10-0 by scoring on a sizzling shot from 15 yards with 1:01 to go in the first quarter.
Watters and Andrew Wetzel scored three goals apiece in the first quarter, and the Indians bolted to a 12-0 lead.
“We sort of have to set the tone every game,” Andrew Wetzel said. “If we don’t, it will always just go south from there. If you let a team pick up steam then things can go wrong really fast out there.”
Keldon Spicher scored a nifty goal with 5:21 left in the second quarter to put Indiana ahead 13-1.
From around 15 yards, Spicher faked a pass to a teammate on the left wing, turned to his right and then whipped a shot over the left shoulder of an unsuspecting Gateway goalie.
The Indians benched their starters for the bulk of the third quarter and got their lone goal of the quarter from Nick Cornell, who scored with 6:17 left to make it 15-1.
Indiana’s Michael Supinka scored with 5:45 left in the game to round out Indiana’s scoring.
A relieved Eric Wetzel said the Indians refused to let Gateway creep back into the game the way they allowed Vincentian to mount a comeback on April 3.
“We don’t want to play tight games,” Eric Wetzel said. “We played down at Vincentian and we let them hang around after taking a 7-2 lead on them. We ended up putting a shot in with 2ﾽ seconds left in that game to pull out the win. We really don’t want to get in that situation again, but in order to avoid it, we’ve got to play better in the second half.”
“We definitely keep that in our minds,” Watters said of the Vincentian win. “It’s just proves that if you let a team hang around like that, then they can come back and bite you at any time.”
Spicher paced Indiana with two goals and three assists.
Tyler Milsop added six ground balls to lead the defensive charge, and goalie Sean Rhodes made eight saves.