Northwest LAX Looks for Consistency As Playoffs Loom
Northwest High School’s lacrosse program continues improve under the direction of first year head coach Jon Kravitz, but the Jags are still struggling to play at a consistently high level.
Thursday night the team celebrated its seniors at their last regular season home game. Players like Cory Hathaway, Hunter Thompson, Sergio Juarez, and Collin Mandel who have worked hard to win five games this season, matching the number of wins from the previous two seasons combined. However, Thursday night those seniors ran into the buzzsaw that is the 2015 Blake Bengals, winners of seven straight games.
“The seniors definitely had a positive attitude going into the game tonight,” said Kravitz. “They maintained it throughout. Whether we scored a goal or the other team scored, our seniors stayed positive and gave it their best effort.”
In a hard-fought game, Blake extended its win streak to eight with a 9-6 victory over the Jags. Blake stuck first as freshman attacker Ethan Weaver found the back of the goal at the 6:40 mark of the first quarter.
Sophomore Cole Notari responded for Northwest beating Blake’s senior goalie Nate Steinman to even the score at one each.
Blake’s senior midfielder Brandon Johnson would beat the Jags senior goalie Darrell Park and Blake would lead 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.
Blake would extend their lead after junior Jake Silverman scored the first of his two goals on the day at the 10:00 minute mark of the second quarter.
The Jags Cole Notari would get his second straight goal at the 8:40 mark of the second quarter to cut the lead. But, Blake would score three more times in the second, with goals from Matt Majower, and two in a row from senior Frankie Hedgepath. The Bengals would take a 6-2 lead into halftime.
Northwest was without senior attackman and offensive sniper Hunter Thompson due to an injury which will likely keep him off the field and on the sidelines with crutches. “Hunter Thompson is out for the season,” said Kravitz. “He had a pretty serious injury to his knee and has been unable to play the last couple of games and I don’t anticipate that he would be playing moving forward. It is an unfortunate situation for Hunter and we all wish him the best in his recovery.”
The Jags would cut into the lead in the third quarter when senior Colin Mandel blasted a shot from the center of the field into the Blake goal. The Jag defense would work hard in the third to keep Blake from scoring until 1:12 remained and Blake’s Stephan Via would further extend their lead to 7-3.
Northwest would get three more goals in the contest, including two from senior Cory Hathaway and another from Colin Mandel with just seconds remaining in the game, but the damage was done. Blake would find the back of the net twice more in the fourth quarter to complete the victory at 9-6.
For their final regular season game, the Jags will travel to face a Walt Whitman team that is on a three-game win streak with a record of 9-4 which is the third best record in the county on Friday. With a win at Whitman on Friday, the Jags would finish even at 6-6 for the regular season.
“We are certainly hoping to win our last regular season game,” said Kravitz.” Our guys have the ability to do so. We will get back after it tomorrow at practice and focus our attention on Whitman and winning our last regular season game before the playoffs.”
Top: Northwest senior Cory Hathaway (4) drives the ball into Blake territory. He would finish the game with two goals.
Next: Jaguars sophomore Cole Notari (9) winds up for his second goal of the game against Blake on Wednesday night.
Next: Senior Colin Mandel (11) sets up his third quarter strike. The first of his two goals in the game.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.