In a game of boys lacrosse squads featuring identical mascots, there proved to be few similarities between host St. Mary's Ryken and visiting Bishop O'Connell (Va.) as the local Knights prevailed 10-4 in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference meeting.
Ryken (6-5, 2-1 WCAC) got four goals and three assists from junior Ryan Figueiras and three more from senior Jadden Stewart and junior goalie Austin Barnett recorded 12 saves. Ryken forged a 6-0 lead at halftime against a youthful O'Connell team that started only one senior and played eight freshmen during the game.
"We did a lot of things really well," Ryken first-year head coach Chris Perkinson said. "We knew they were going to play a zone, so we had to be patient and the guys did that. Ryan and Jadden both had excellent games and Austin was exceptional in the net today. He didn't have to make his first save until the second period, but we always stress to him to make that first save."
By the time Barnett notched his first save of the day, Ryken had already staked their goalie to a 4-0 lead. Quinn Ellenwood scored just over three minutes into the contest on an assist from Figueiras, then three minutes later Stewart tallied his first of the day to make it 2-0, which is how the first period ended.
Figueiras notched his second goal of the day just over a minute into the second quarter and Brendan Hudson scored off an Figueiras assist to give the hosts a 4-0 lead. While Ryken kept O'Connell goalie Jacob Hahn busy during the first half, Barnett did not record his first save until midway through the second quarter.
"It really wasn't about me," Barnett said. "My teammates put me in great position today. We played really well as a team. It was great seeing the guys score. It took some of the pressure off of me."
Figueiras actually scored twice more before the first half expired. Nearing the midway point of the second quarter, he notched his second goal of the day and shortly after Ryken killed off a 30-second O'Connell extra man advantage, Figueiras completed a first-half hat trick off an assist from Stewart.
"It was a really good game for everybody," Figueiras said. "We knew that we had to take our time against their zone. We had to wait to get good shots. I was glad to score those goals, but I was just as happy watching my teammates score. We've got a good team. Our goal is to get to win the WCAC."
O'Connell (4-5, 0-3) finally ended Barnett's bid for a shutout with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter on a goal by Caden Kightlinger. Stewart posted his second goal of the outing with less than a minute remaining in the quarter on an assist from Figueiras to vault Ryken to a 7-1 lead.
The offenses came to life in the final frame as each squad scored three times. Figueiras posted his fourth of the day just over a minute into the fourth, then Tom Natal scored his first of two goals two minutes later. John VanHouten and Stewart scored for Ryken, while Michael Reed and Natal scored in the last five minutes for O'Connell, well after the outcome had been decided.
"They're a very good team," said O'Connell second-year coach Chris Beck. "They have three or four really strong players. We only have one senior and we started four freshmen and played eight freshmen altogether. We're hoping to keep these guys together for all four years and we'll see if we can move up. But right now Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and Paul VI (Va.) look like their head and shoulders the best in our league."
Ryken's next scheduled contest is at 7 p.m. Friday at home versus Bishop Ireton (Va.).