Boys lacrosse team has several multi-year starters
For a couple of years, Eastview had to endure being pushed around by bigger, older lacrosse players.
Now the Lightning is big enough and old enough to push back. The team has pushed all the way to the top of the mnlaxhub.com state rankings while winning its first eight games.
“It’s all-around maturity,” Eastview coach Tim Roche said. “Our kids have different builds now and different skillsets as opposed to where we were a couple of years ago. I remember a couple of years ago we played Prior Lake and they just pushed us all over the field because they were bigger. Now we’re the ones who can push.
“It’s very reminiscent of our 2012 team (that won the state championship) as far as how mature they are.”
Experience counts for a lot, too. Senior attackman Noah Lindner and junior midfielder Joe Stillings are in their fourth seasons as varsity players, and eight others are in their third seasons. Eastview has 10 players – eight seniors and two juniors – that have committed to playing for college teams.
Eastview is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the South Suburban Conference after defeating Apple Valley 11-3 on Tuesday.
Fast starts in individual games have led to a fast start to the season. Eastview has outscored opponents 32-6 in the first quarter. Eastview’s defense has been sound, allowing no more than seven goals in any game, and the scoring has been balanced.
“It’s a very unselfish team, and one thing I’ve seen in 11 years coaching here is you can’t rely on one person,” Roche said. “You need a team.”
Lindner and Noah Joseph had hat tricks in the victory over Apple Valley, and Jason Hill scored two goals. Jack Peeters recovered five ground balls, with Noah Desrocher, Jaden Welborn and Ryan Moran getting four each. Jackson Beran played the first 43 minutes in goal and faced only six shots from Apple Valley (1-6, 0-5).
The Lightning has been able to jump out to leads most of the time, which allows the team to control the clock and the pace of the game. Sometimes, however, “we get a lead, then go into a bit of a lull,” Roche said. “What we want to do now is play a full four quarters. We haven’t played a full game yet, and I think the guys would agree with that.”
A consistent 48 minutes will be needed next week when the Lightning plays defending state champion Prior Lake and No. 2-ranked Eagan in a three-day span. The Lightning goes to Prior Lake at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, and plays host to Eagan at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18.
South Suburban Conference teams Eastview, Eagan, Prior Lake and Rosemount all are ranked in the top 10 in the state. “I haven’t thought much about whether the conference is stronger than last year,” Roche said, “but it’s definitely the strongest in the state.”
Before getting to Prior Lake and Eagan, Eastview has home games against Farmington (7:30 p.m. Thursday) and Minnetonka (2 p.m. Saturday).