River Hill throws weight around against Atholton

Physical Hawks enjoy sizable advantage, 9-4

Boys lacrosse

April 02, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Any boys lacrosse team that plays River Hill this season better be prepared for a physical game.

"We're trying to focus on being aggressive this year," said Hawks coach Keith Gonsouland.

That style was on display yesterday at River Hill, where the Hawks defeated Atholton, 9-4.

"We're not pretty boys like everyone thinks we'll be," said 5-foot-7, 235-pound junior attackman John Kerchensteiner (three goals, one assist).

The Hawks have plenty of defensive size and talent with which to be aggressive.

Karl Heinz, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior defenseman, was the most aggressive player yesterday. Not far behind him was senior Paul Ridge (6-0, 185) and Josh Bogdanor (6-2, 200).

"Defense is our strength," Gonsouland said. "We ride people pretty well, and I think we scored two goals off rides today. We like to force you into mistakes and score easy goals off them."

River Hill goalkeeper Matt Hanson recorded 18 saves against a team that shot often but not always wisely.

"A lot of their shots were right at my stick," Hanson said.

Although the Hawks were called for eight penalties, the Raiders managed only one man-down goal.

"We've given up only three man-down goals all season in 27 man-down situations," Gonsouland said. "We're looking for consistency from Matt, and this was his third straight strong game."

The Hawks (3-1 overall, 2-0 Howard County) and Atholton (1-2, 0-1) have been competitive the past two seasons, with games decided by two goals and one goal.

"No one likes to see River Hill win, so the game got a little emotional," said Gonsouland, who called for the refs to stop the game at one point when he thought play was getting intentionally dirty. Play resumed after a brief discussion among the two refs and both coaches.

Atholton coach Josh Bound was disappointed with his team.

"It's the worst I've ever seen them play," he said. "Mike Dunn, on a busted knee from a dirty shot, was the only kid who stepped up for us. He came out, got some ice and then scored two more goals."

Dunn, a senior attackman, missed most of last season with a shoulder injury. He now faces another possible season-ending injury. His knee was wrapped and he was limping after he returned to the game.

Dunn scored two goals and had two assists.

Tim Morgan scored two goals and had one assist, and Alex Tack had two goals and two assists for River Hill.

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