Oasis Academy may have lost Tuesday’s home lacrosse match against Bishop Monogue, but the game showed the team has big promise for the rest of the season.
After a close first half, the game ended 13-7.
Oasis coach John Keitz said it was their best game of the season. He said the players have been hanging back in the perimeter and not playing close where they can dodge and cut into the goal.
“That’s been hurting us,” the coach said. “You shoot from 30 yards, you’re probably going to miss; that’s easy for the goalie to save.”
During Tuesday’s game, though, the Bighorns played close to the other team. With a few exceptions the Oasis players didn’t take a shot at the goal until they were in the thick of the action. Keitz recalled one goal where Oasis’ Josh Carter went behind the goal and spun in an impossible-looking shot.
“That’s the type of stuff these guys used to do the past several years,” Keitz said. “They’re getting back to playing their style. They’re shaking off the intimidation factor of playing seniors and the big guys.”
The game was locked in a stalemate for the first half. Bishop opened with two goals, but Oasis pulled them back. Bishop took the first quarter 3-2. In the second quarter neither team could get ahead and the half ended in a 4-4 tie.
Bishop pulled ahead in the second half, building a 9-5 lead. Oasis was overwhelmed in the final quarter as Bishop scored goal after goal. The home team scored two goals, but Bishop had too big a lead to catch up.
Keitz noted the Miners were last year’s champions and are one of the best teams in the league.
He said the game was a team effort for the Bighorns. After the match, the coaches and referees had trouble picking an offensive Most Valuable Player. There were a number of great players to choose from, and Keitz said it was nice to see the kind of plays they make in practice on the field.
Goalie Brenden Leary was on fire. He defended most of the game, stopping many of the Miners’ shots. At the end of the third quarter, he injured his hand and went to the sidelines to be replaced by Tristan Rodarte. Late in the game, Leary returned to the net and finished out the match.
“He’s smart,” Keitz said of Leary’s condition. “I’m sure if his hand were broken, if he were seriously injured he wouldn’t go in and risk it.”
Leary was named the game’s defensive MVP.
Keitz said he’s proud of his team and their performance. He added they played with heart and played a smart game, and he felt it was going to get exciting as the season continued.
Today Oasis plays in Truckee. Keitz said it looks like it will be a good game, considering all the improvements the Bighorns have made since the start of the season.