Hang around the Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic boys lacrosse team enough, you’ll hear head coach Zach Lombardo and his staff use the word “complacency.”
It’s what the Cougars are told to avoid at all costs.
On Tuesday, after host Cocalico opened the scoring a little more than a minute into the game, the Cougars were anything but complacent.
They responded with five goals in a span of four and a half minutes in the first quarter, then added the first two goals of the second. The seven straight markers keyed them to a 14-7 win over the Eagles.
Luke Walling led the way with four goals and two assists, while John Paul Jones added a hat trick. The Cougars improved to 2-0 in the L-L, 4-0 overall, tying 2008 for the program’s best record to start a season.
“I think we came into the game a little too loose,” Lombardo said. “I told the guys after the (Cocalico) first goal they had to tighten it up. We scored that first goal and the guys clicked in. I am very proud of how they responded to it.”
Walling credited Cocalico (0-2, 0-4) for the quick deficit.
“This team is a lot more aggressive than the teams we’ve played the first couple of games,” Walling said. “I guess that first little spurt we had adjust to it. I think we did a good job. Going on that five-goal run showed how we can play against better competition.”
If Lombardo was concerned after Cocalico scored two late goals in the second quarter and notched a quick one early in third to trim the Cougars’ lead to 7-4, he didn’t need to be.
They responded by netting the next five goals, two each from Walling and Joe Loiseau, along with Jones’ conversion of a brilliant pass from Walling.
“We are proud of that, but still have a lot of work to do. You want to stay confident, but can’t get complacent. That’s what I keep telling these guys,” Lombardo said. “We have to do what we have to do on the field, but we’ve got to clean up the little mistakes to be better.”
One area Lombardo would like to see his team improve is the 21 turnovers it committed on Tuesday. However a 49-24 advantage in ground balls, and the goalkeeping of Peyton Snopek held the Eagles at bay.
“Peyton has taken over. He has done such an excellent job; he’s that quiet giant. He won’t say much, but that guy, when he steps between the pipes, is all confidence,” Lombardo said. “The last four games could have been a lot closer if it wasn’t for him. He made a lot of great stops.”
“I was just trying to stay focused. We have a goal of getting to districts and league (tournaments),” Snopek said. “We have to make sure we are getting the clears and making the saves. Offense did a great job today. Everyone is just doing their job.”
Shawn Kernaghan led Cocalico with three goals and Owen Zimmerman added a pair in the loss.