After an offseason spent dwelling an early exit from the state playoffs, Thomas S. Wootton High School’s boys lacrosse team opened the 2013 season with an impressive victory at James A. Coles Memorial Field.
Matt Romm scored three goals, Jake Mitchell had three assists, Matt Hoy made 13 saves and the Patriots beat the Sherwood Warriors, 9-4, on a chilly evening.
“It was definitely good to get out and get a win,” said Hoy, a senior. “I thought overall we played pretty well for our first game. I definitely think there’s a lot of things we can clean up. I personally had a lot of turnovers on clears and our offense threw a couple balls away. But there’s definitely a lot of positive signs.”
Using its quick-strike offense, Wootton created high-percentage scoring opportunities on clear attempts and after faceoffs. The Patriots scored five goals on fast breaks, four on clears and one after a faceoff.
Romm scored two of his goals on clears, with quick movement up the field giving the Patriots odd-man advantages and leaving Romm alone near the crease. Jake Dunlop scored his only goal after winning a faceoff in the third quarter, picking up the ground ball and taking it the length for a seven-second score.
Joe Kelly, who keyed several of the Patriots fastbreak attempts, nearly created another quick goal. His feed to a waiting Romm was stopped by Sherwood goalie William Wycoff (10 saves).
“In practice we just drill fast breaks over and over again,” Romm said. “It’s like a sixth sense for us. We just get in there, move the ball around and shoot.”
Dunlop was nearly unstoppable during faceoffs. Splitting time on faceoffs with Mike Kim, Dunlop, who plans to play at Bucknell, took the majority of the faceoffs and only lost on violations. Wootton finished with a 13-5 advantage.
Dunlop was penalized with a three-minute stick violation to start the fourth quarter.
“He’s a great faceoff guy,” Wootton coach Colin Thomson said. “He’s solid. He had a great game. What can I say? He’s solid.”
Sherwood’s troubles came on routine plays, failing at times to string together passes. The Warriors were led by Chris Voorhees’s two goals.
“I thought they beat us in between the lines,” Sherwood coach Chip Steel said. “I think we just didn’t throw and catch well. That’s the big thing.”
Wootton, which lost in the 4A/3A West Region semifinals last season, the first time in seven years it did not win the region, believes it sent a message with the win, in which six different players scored goals.
Wootton’s next game is 10 a.m. Saturday at Gonzaga (3-2).
“It was really good to start off the season strong and make a statement to the other teams around the league,” Romm said. “It just feels good to feel like a winner going into Saturday against Gonzaga.”
Wootton 9, Sherwood 4
Sherwood 2 0 1 1 — 4
Wootton 2 3 3 1 — 9
Sherwood (0-1): Goals: Chris Voorhees 2, Michael Crooks, Dalton Thomas. Assists: Brian McNeely, Sean Prin
Wootton (1-0): Goals: Myles Romm 3, Matt Saltzman 2, Max Coonin, Jake Mitchell, Mike Kim, Jake Dunlop. Assists: Jake Mitchell 3, Max Coonin, Austin Schoenfeld.