Teams come together to help grow the game in Arizona
Holbrook – Fort Lewis hit the road to officially kick off the 2023 season this weekend with games in Holbrook, Arizona, which saw the Skyhawks come away with a 29-12 win over Southern Utah on Saturday while falling to Northern Arizona 10-5 on a windy Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Stadium.
The games played this weekend marked the first lacrosse games ever played in Holbrook, as the teams came together to put on the ‘grow the game’ event, in a first for the sport and northeastern Arizona.
The action started Saturday, with SUU and Fort Lewis going blow for blow with each other in a wild first half, which finished with three lead changes, 18 goals, and the Skyhawks clinging to a two goal lead at 10-8.
Fort Lewis was kept afloat by another dominating performance at the faceoff X from freshman Nolan Miner, who finished the game winning 28 faceoffs while losing 14. Attackman Jasper Iaconis helped keep pace as well, securing a hat trick in the first quarter, on his way to a career high and program best, nine goals on the day. The freshman added three assists for good measure.
On the other end, the defense struggled in the first half to contain midfielder Max Danto, who finished the game with six goals to lead the way for the Thunderbirds.
However, Fort Lewis was able to pour it on in the third quarter, putting 13 in the back of the net before the end of the period, fueled largely by junior Cullen Robinette, whose five assists in the third quarter helped put the lead out of reach. Robinette would finish the game with 3 goals and another career best and program high 9 assists.
“I had to watch the tape myself, but what a performance from both those guys”, Coach Robby Fields said after the game, speaking of Robinette and Iaconis. “I’ve never seen a 9 goal and 9 assist game from teammates before. Let’s hope it’s not the last.”
Sunday would be a different story, with the Hawks taking on SLC heavyweight Northern Arizona University.
The Lumberjacks opened things by scoring two before junior Braden Lindsey beat his defender to put one behind the goaltender for NAU and cut the lead to 2-1. The defensive battle continued in the second quarter as sophomore Parker Sanchez was a brick wall for the Skyhawks, stopping 12 in the first half. Jasper Iaconis continued his hot streak finishing a fast break in the second quarter to bring the score to 5-2 at halftime.
After the break, NAU was able to find a quick look on the crease to extend the lead, but Iaconis found paydirt again with two quick goals to bring the score to 6-4 with about 25 minutes left in the game. That is when the NAU ride clamped down, forcing the Skyhawks into 11 failed clears in the second half, eliminating any opportunity for FLC to tie the game.
NAU would score two more in the third and fourth to win 10-5, with Iaconis finding Braden Lindsey in the fourth to close out scoring for the Skyhawks. Iaconis finished as leading scorer with 3 goals and an assist.
The player of the game for Fort Lewis was goalie Parker Sanchez, the newly converted goaltender, playing in only his third game in goal ever, ended up with 20 saves on the afternoon, leading the strong defensive effort.
“This was a great test for our team, and hats off to NAU, they’re gonna be one of the best teams in the SLC, that ride really changed the game in the fourth quarter.” Coach Tom Mudrak said.
The Skyhawks will be in Denver next weekend to take on Colorado Mines on Saturday at 4p and Denver University on Sunday at noon. Both games will be streamed on our instagram page.