Covenant’s boys lacrosse team has a busy week ahead of it with four games on the schedule, but junior Luke Sorenson made sure the Eagles got off on the right foot with seven goals in a 9-7 win over Miller School Monday.
“This is the second game where he just kind of was a beast and made the difference with seven,” said Covenant coach Chris Gilbert. “It’s crazy, but there still was a lot that went into that, we had to get their defense moving and spin it quickly.”
The Eagles answered every time Miller made a run, with Covenant first jumping out to a 3-0 lead before Miller responded and tied the game at 3-3. Miller then pushed ahead 4-3 before halftime. The game’s back-and-forth nature was indicative of a Miller program that has vastly improved under head coach Clay Wawner as he and his players continue to build the program essentially from scratch.
“It’s huge, a couple of years ago we’re not even able to play them, it’s not even competitive, it’s not fun,” Wawner said. “This was fun, to be in a tie game, a one-goal game in the fourth quarter. But it’s also frustrating as well because we had a great opportunity to win it and we didn’t. We’ve just got to keep getting better.”
The game was tied at 5-5 when Covenant got going with a pair of goals in the final 15 seconds of the third quarter to take a 7-5 lead, but Miller managed to tie the game again at 7-7 midway through the fourth quarter. The Mavericks answered Sorenson’s big output with a two-headed monster of Luke Rice and Will Thompson who each notched a hat trick.
“We’ve been doing a lot of offseason stuff and making sure they’re playing on travel teams and working with good coaches and showing them a lot of film has helped,” Wawner said. “It’s a lot of their spare time as well, (Rice) working on his game, hitting the wall has really helped us.”
But two goals down the stretch put the Eagles back ahead 9-7, allowing them to escape with their second win of the season.
“At the end of the day, the guys never slowed down as far as hustle,” Gilbert said. “I told them we were going to win this game with groundballs. We were able to win a lot of those and finish enough to get the win.”
The Mavericks may have gotten their biggest lift from defender Reese Hintz who picked up four groundballs and helped the Miller defense hold Covenant in check.
“I think Reese, and any team can tell you, is one of the best defensemen in the state,” Wawner said. “He’s fantastic, he’s a vocal leader, he works his butt off and is very skilled. He’s really kind of our rock.”
Effy Wenda finished with five ground balls and the Mavericks’ other goal outside Rice and Thompson.
Seth Leavell and Connor Poindexter scored a goal each to round out the Eagles’ scoring. Covenant keeper Jude Steljes faced 21 shots from Miller and allowed just seven goals.
The Eagles play on the road at Highland Tuesday while Miller looks to bounce back against