Oakland Mills runs past Hammond, 11-6 Boys lacrosse

April 08, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

For proof of what kind of difference a year can make, take a look at Iggy Levelev and the Oakland Mills lacrosse team.

Last year, the Scorpions staggered home with a 3-9 record and their second consecutive losing season, just four years after playing in the state championship game.

Levelev was a freshman attackman then, playing on the Scorpions' junior varsity team, which fared worse than the varsity. "We lost all of our games. I think we tied a scrimmage," he recalled.

Fast forward to a drastically different scene yesterday at Oakland Mills, where Levelev alone nearly outscored the visiting Hammond Bears. Levelev, teaming up several times with senior attackman Shannon Hiteshew, scored a game-high six goals to lead the Scorpions to an 11-6 victory.

The Scorpions improved to 3-0, equaling last year's victory total.

Hammond, which graduated six starters from last year's 10-4 playoff team, dropped to 0-2.

"We're on a mission, aren't we? Well, we're trying to fulfill it," said Phil Stephenson, Oakland Mills' first-year coach. "The kids are starting to gain some confidence. We know any team is capable of beating us, but we're on target at this point."

The Scorpions responded all over the field yesterday. Their defense -- led by Buzz Krohn and Chris Sheldon -- frustrated Hammond's offense with a combination of good positioning, nifty stickwork and rough body checks. They held Tommy Lea, Hammond's star midfielder, to one first-half goal and two assists.

Oakland Mills goalkeeper Matt LeBlanc, who entered the game with a 93 save ratio, recorded 16 saves in another fine effort.

Offensively, the Scorpions took advantage of a Hammond defense that gave too much ground and was caught out of position repeatedly. The result? Oakland Mills took a 2-0 advantage in the first three minutes and led throughout.

Levelev and Hiteshew gave Hammond the most trouble. Levelev got the Scorpions rolling with three first-half goals to stake them to a 7-4 halftime lead. He then put the Bears away by scoring Oakland Mills' last three goals.

Hiteshew scored twice, but he hurt Hammond more with his passing. Hiteshew had five assists, and his excellent feeds led to three of Levelev's goals.

"During the summer league [last year], most of our team's scoring came off of our [Levelev and Hiteshew] goals and assists," Levelev said. "In box lacrosse, most of my goals came off his assists. We play well together. He [Hiteshew] is a real good passer."

Following Shawn Madison's game-opening goal -- which deflected off the strick of Hammond goalie Hunter Hawes (10 saves) -- Levelev scored 30 seconds later off a Hiteshew pass to make it 2-0.

Hammond's Mike Sargent (three goals, one assist) cut the lead to 2-1 midway through the quarter, but Levelev answered two minutes later by bouncing in a hard shot from 12 yards away. A minute into the second period, he faked out a Hammond defender on the left wing, cut to the goal and hit the upper right corner to make it 4-1.

After Hiteshew scored twice to increase the lead to 6-2, Lea and Brian Kampel (two goals) scored to slice the margin to 6-4, but Hammond's low defense allowed Jeff Wong (two goals) to get loose and score with seven seconds left in the half to make it 7-4 at intermission.

Hammond came to life briefly in the second half. On their first possession, Lea hit Sargent with a nice pass in transition, and Sargent converted at close range to bring the Bears within 7-5. But that was it for Hammond's offense, until Sargent scored a meaningless goal with 28 seconds left in the game.

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