High school lacrosse returns to Hailey’s Founders Field Saturday, April 19 at 1:30 p.m. with a marquee match-up between the Borah High School Lions and Wood River Warriors.
Wood River (4-1-0), in second place in the Treasure Valley Lacrosse League Division 2 ranks, brings a three-game win streak into this week’s games.
First-place Borah won its first three league games by a combined 24-11 score and handed Wood River its only loss by a close 5-3 score back on April 2, in Mountain Home.
The Warriors tune up for Saturday’s clash with another match in their 12-game TVLL Div. 2 season today, Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Skyview (0-4-1) in Mountain Home. Wood River won its first meeting at Skyview 7-3 April 5.
Coach Aaron Prazenka’s Warriors played two close games last week and won both—8-7 in overtime over Emmett Wednesday at Mountain Home, and 9-5 at Meridian Saturday. The Emmett win was the team’s second OT victory.
In the exciting game against Emmett, the resilient Warriors never led until overtime when Hayden Thayer (7 goals, 2 assists season) scored the game winner, his second clutch goal of the game. Emmett led 5-2 at half and 6-3 in the third period, but the Warriors tallied three unanswered goals for a 6-6 tie.
Emmett (1-2-0 season) slipped ahead 7-6, but three penalties put the Warriors three men down with time slipping away. Emmett rotated the ball with its 6-3 player edge and managed a shot that was blocked by goalie Miles Jones (10 saves game, 56 season).
After smothering the shot, Jones made a 70-yard outlet pass to attackman Joe Anderson and the Warriors killed the penalties. That’s when Thayer hoisted the team on his back.
Thayer, a junior, netted a bounce shot sending the game into overtime. Showing incredible versatility throughout the game, Thayer switched seamlessly from long pole to short stick he returned as a long pole middie for the overtime faceoff.
He scooped the ball from close to the midfield stripe and drove to middle of the field, from where Thayer ripped an 18-yard shot with his six-foot long stick that bounced at the goalie’s feet and found the net for the game winner.
Senior Gus Conrad took 10 shots and scored three goals, his first of the season. Senior Cooper Bailey (13 goals, 1 assist) added a goal and assist. Connor Lohrke and Matt Fisher each added one goal, and Matthew Galgano added an assist.
Defensively Travis and Zach Swanson along with Hayes Gilman ramped up the physicality in the second half to give the Warriors a chance for the comeback. Conrad got aggressive with several big hits putting opposing players on the ground causing turnovers.
Coach Aaron Prazenka said, “The team showed some intestinal fortitude to keep playing hard and come from behind.”
Saturday, the Warriors traveled to Meridian (2-2-0) and put together what Prazenka called their best team effort beating Meridian 9-5.
Defensively the Warriors fired on all cylinders causing many turnovers and winning the ground ball battles.
Conrad (1 assist) brought aggressiveness to the midfield defense creating fast break opportunities. Zach Swanson received the game ball for keeping the Meridian attack outside and timing slides perfectly to prevent chances.
Offensively Wood River improved its ball movement and found the open man. Galgano added another assist.
Bailey led the way with five goals on a season-high 12 shots. He made several great feeds when the defense closed in.
Playing on the attack, Evan Telford timed his moves from behind the goal to the front of the crease perfectly. He slipped behind the defense and caught feeds from the middies for point-blank quick stick shots face-to-face with the goalie.
Telford scored three goals. Fisher tallied the Warriors’ final goal, ripping a shot from a tough angle on the left side.
The Warriors continued to improve on faceoffs with Luke Robertson facing and Thayer showing great speed and physicality playing with a long pole from the wing.
Thayer had nine ground balls, Bailey seven, Conrad six and Travis Swanson scooped up five leading a 46-ground ball attack for Wood River.