Men’s lacrosse steals the win on Senior Night

Juniors Paul Buhlman (right) and Liam Condon (middle) scramble to control a ground ball. (Courtesy photo: J. Ianco)

By Owen Yancher, Staff–

Friday night’s Oak Ridge match-up was a lot closer than the Davis High men’s lacrosse team would have liked. But the Blue Devils got a 14-12 win on Friday, April 29 over the visiting Trojans (8-6, 3-3) to end the regular season with a 14-2 overall record, going 5-1 in Sacramento Valley League play.

The win secured the Devils’ playoff home field advantage. Coincidentally, Davis will take on Oak Ridge at home again next Tuesday, May 3. The rematch at Ron and Mary Brown stadium is set to start at 7:30 p.m.

Like always, Nick Juri’s squad came out firing. The Davis head coach was ecstatic on the sideline as he watched senior Justin Reno bend the Oak Ridge net to put the Devils up 1-0 only 15 seconds into the game. Reno, who led all Davis scorers with three goals, was one of seven seniors honored at Senior Night.

Another one of those seniors, Jake Hammond, was also red-hot. Hammond, one of the top faceoff specialists in the nation, won 22 faceoffs to go along with a pair of goals.

Senior Connor Amesbury also breached the Trojans net once, along with juniors Sean Gellen (two goals, one assist), Aiden Mager (two goals, two assists) and Rowan Hart (two goals, two assists).

Senior Justin Reno manuevers around an Oak Ridge defenseman. (Courtesy photo: J. Ianco)

Sophomore Nate Soeth (two goals, three assists) set up Hammond with the game-winning zinger with three minutes left in the contest, and added a goal of his own with only a minute remaining to pad the Devil lead.

Soeth’s goal, which was up close and personal with the Trojan goalkeeper, came quick off an assist from Hart and was a good representation of the contest’s overall chippiness.

For many of the Devil seniors, Friday’s contest had the potential to be their final career home game. After Davis’ 15-8 win over Oak Ridge earlier in April, senior Tom Thornton was confident in his team’s abilities going into the game, so Friday’s close outcome came as a shock.

“Not gonna lie, it was a little close there,” Thornton said. “But we came through and there’s no better way to end the regular season.”

Thornton reminisced over the time spent with his teammates over the years, many of whom he’s played with since sixth grade.

“We’re all family,” he added. “So this game…this experience, it means a lot.”

After going 8-8 only a season ago, Davis nearly doubled its win total with 14 this season–a huge improvement for Juri’s Blue Devil battalion.

The other seniors honored during Friday’s game were defenseman Alex Levine, longpole Matt Scheiber and Noah Lockerd.

The winner of Tuesday’s rematch game will move on to the league championship on Friday.

“I think we can pull through again like we did tonight,” Thornton said. “Hammy, he’s a champ. He saves our team time and time again, and we’re always looking good with Rowan Hart out there.”

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