Senior Josh Pearson flips ball to a teammate. (Inji Kang’19/Media staff)
The CA boys lacrosse team split a pair of games, outlasting Oakwood for its first win of the season before falling to Buckeye Valley.
After dropping three consecutive contests to begin the year, the Vikings looked to find a groove in their home opener against Oakwood on Wednesday, April 11. Academy came out of the gates swinging, as sophomore Andrew Swartz scored less than 20 seconds into the game. Behind two goals from classmate Charlie Yaw, the Vikes took a 3-1 lead early. The Lumberjacks responded with a goal of their own, but still trailed by 1 at the end of the first quarter.
Junior Keenan Bellisari found the back of the net to kick off the second period, but Oakwood didn’t panic. Instead, the Lumberjacks tallied goals on back-to-back possessions, tying the game at four. CA quickly answered, as Swartz and Bellisari each scored again to close the half.
Minutes after the break, senior Michael Boeckman capitalized from close distance, giving the Vikings their largest lead of the game. Still, Oakwood refused to go down quietly. The Lumberjacks closed the gap to 7-6, but missed from short range to even the scoreboard. Freshman Robert Mills made them pay on the other end, ripping a shot past the goalkeeper. Oakwood scored to end the quarter, and Academy clung onto a narrow lead entering the final 12 minutes.
The Lumberjacks knotted the game at 8, but the Vikes would not be denied. Yaw and Bellisari each netted clutch goals to give CA a late advantage. Oakwood made a furious rally in the dying moments, but its game-tying desperation shot was smothered by sophomore goalie Philip Soderberg, preserving a 10-9 victory for the Vikings.
Following its win, Academy traveled to Buckeye Valley on Thursday, April 12. The Barons jumped on the Vikes from the starting face-off and never looked back, cruising to a 14-2 win. Despite the loss, CA will use the game as a learning experience, and should be better-suited to stand its ground against elite competition in the future.
After a solid week, the Vikings will look to ride the momentum, as they host Licking Valley on Tuesday, April 17, travel to Hilliard Darby on Thursday, April 19, and return home to clash with Pickerington North on Saturday, April 21.