The Tiger men’s lacrosse team downed the Lake Uniontown Blue Streaks 8-7 on a brisk May night in Uniontown. The game was a close affair all night. The Tigers would take a lead only to see it slip away to a scrappy Blue Streak squad. The game was back and fourth with goals coming from the usual suspects Owen Lang, Shamar Steele and sneaky finisher Pendle Smith. The Tigers got a big boost from senior Jalen Starr adding a tough goal. The Tigers would take an 8-6 lead with two consecutive goals by crafty attackman Owen Lang. Lang beat his defender and a stout Blue Streak goaltender to finish the goals in tight. The Blue Streaks wouldn’t go away quietly as they scored their seventh goal to bring it within one. The contest got zany in the final minutes with Heights turning the ball over in dangerous spots on the field. The games signature play saw LSM Daniel Lewis chasing a threatening “steak” down in front of his own goal, at the same time Shamar Steele and Sam Kramer slid and played the body. The pileup was a mass of limbs flying in the air resembling a buggs bunny cartoon. The play resulted in a penalty for Lewis putting the Tigers under pressure for the games final 20 seconds. Lewis could be heard encouraging his teammates on from the penalty box. Heights held on to escape from Uniontown with an 8-7 victory.
Heights was short handed on this night with key long stick Andrew “Pec” Pecararo out with a concert. Along with “Pec” in the barbershop quartet was Sukie Truitt and Nathan Henning. Attacker Will Lasch was also out with an illness. Covering for “Pec” on defense was Jalen Starr and Daniel Lewis. The dynamic duo did a nice job on Uniontowns most dangerous player, attackman #11
Xavi Pelligree did a nice job making timely saves in the goal. He also got involved in the clearing game helping get the ball up the field. Pelligree is a field general calling out defensive strategies and making sure his defenders are in position. On one occasion Pelligree took off upfield with his trademark speed on display. Xavi was met with some resistance, when he tried to cut at midfield he slipped on the matted artificial turf surface and went heels up or “feet to Jesus.” This is a term made popular by Christopher “Booboo” Wallace a Heights alumni goaltender known for his eccentric style often wearing vans and a native themed poncho in the goal.
The Tigers were battling a distinct home field advantage for host Uniontown. The turf was beat down making it slippery and bouncy. Almost all the Tiger players went down at one time or another to the delight of the crowd. The old turf caused numerous turnovers and made ground balls difficult to stick a fork in.
Standout Shamar Steele was again instrumental in leading the Tigers to victory. Steele won the majority of his faceoffs scooping up first time grounders and advancing the ball up the field. The Blue Streaks tried different strategies to slow Steele down but to no avail. In the second half Sham was “face guarded.” This strategy is just as it sounds, an opposing defender stands face to face in an attempt to keep the ball out of said players stick. Face guarding is a somewhat frowned upon strategy utilized by coaches when they have no other options or aim to frustrate an opposing threat. It’s also a sign of respect.
The Tigers played as a team often switching positions to muster the energy for victory. Andrew Pollard and Jack Dyer played minutes at midfield and attack. Starr and Lewis often switched positions from defense to midfield. The short bench took its toll as Shamar Steele got leg cramping and had to miss a few shifts. On one instrumental faceoff freshman Aiden Smith came in to win the important draw.
After the competitive, clean, respectful game Lake Uniontown snack bar officials outfitted hungry Tigers with hotdogs, chips and bottled water. This was nice gesture that was much appreciated. The bus ride home had the team singing folk songs including John Denver, Billy Joel and Hanna Montana’s party in USA..
The Tigers are back in Uniontown for a playoff game with nearby Green high school this Tuesday