April 24, 2010
In an emotionally charged contest, Fort Lewis took on perennial powerhouse Westminster on a blustery day at the FLC stadium field. Westminster – ranked #6 nationally and the 2008 national division 2 club lacrosse champions, looked impressive as they arrived at FLC in their luxury bus, a roster of 35 players and a 5 person coaching staff. Comparatively, the #18 ranked Hawks looked sparse with only 16 players suited up and a 2 person coaching staff. However, the Hawks were mentally ready and feeling confident in their team play coming off of 5 straight wins. As this was the senior’s last game in an FLC uniform, the seniors had an extra mental intensity knowing that they had never beaten Westminster.
After 5 minutes of tough play in the first quarter, FLC lit up the nets first as star Attackman Erik Johnson found Andy Grenhart for a close shot from the crease. Minutes later, the Griffins pinged the FLC nets to make it 1-1. Freshman middie Fred Waddle assisted Erik Johnson to end the quarter with the Hawks up 2-1.
With excellent play in the midfield, offense, and defense, the Hawks were able to put in 4 more goals in the second quarter with scores by Andy Grenhart, Erik Johnson, Dan Riecks and Josh deGuzman. With 2 goals scored by Westminster, the Hawks had a 6-3 lead at the half.
Even with very few players to substitute, the Hawks came out firing for the third quarter with goals by Andy Grenhart (2), Josh deGuzman, Fred Waddle, and Erik Johnson to the Griffins 1 goal, to put the Sky Hawks up 11-4 with just 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. This first 10 minutes of this quarter was perhaps the best lacrosse that FLC had played all season. The defense played patiently, created numerous turnovers, and then were able to move the ball to the Hawk’s offense with excellent clears. The attack coordinated well with the midfield and was able to move the ball quickly enough to generate quality shots.
With the end of the game nearing, the Griffins ramped up their intensity, started winning face-offs and ripped 5 goals in just 6 minutes, to a single goal by Erik Johnson to make it 12-10 with 10 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Fortunately, Fred Waddle was able to stop the bleeding with a sweep across the midfield putting 2 shots in to give the Hawks a 3 point lead with 7 minutes to play. Westminster scored just 10 seconds later off a face-off win and fast break. The last 5 minutes of the game saw intense play by both team with several close shots and fast midfield action. A final tally by the Griffins with 19 seconds remaining gave the Hawks a 14-12 edge at the buzzer.
The Hawks finished the season 10 -4, with 6 straight wins.