FORT MILL — With a good inch of standing water on the field to start the game and a steady downpour throughout, the Fort Mill boys lacrosse team sloshed their way to an 18-9 win over the Riverside Warriors and into the Upper State finals next week.
Despite the weather being so bad, Fort Mill head coach Steve Nadolski said why not play.
This is what we practice in, so it was no big deal, he said. We moved the ball well on offense. It was cool to see things come together. The kids played hard.
Fort Mill will take on the winner of the Nation Ford-Greenville game which was rescheduled from Thursday to today in Greenville. The Upper State finals will be next Tuesday.
The Jackets came out of the half with a two point lead at 7-5, but with a quick surge of energy scored four goals within the first four minutes forcing Riverside to take a time out.
Fort Mill junior and Duke University committee Mitch Russell put the Jackets up by three to start the third quarter scoring 38 seconds into the second half. Russell would help with an assist a minute later as junior Wyatt Phillips would score to make it 9-5.
The Jackets would continue their run as senior Trevor Wylie would score his second goal of the game shortly afterwards.
Junior Ethan Gray would then grab himself a hat trick scoring just under the eight minute mark into the quarter. Gray would lead Fort Mill with five goals in the game.
After the timeout by Riverside about midway through the quarter, Phillips would score his second goal of the game forcing the Warriors to regroup again defensively.
Russell would get a hat trick with about 3:30 left in the third quarter as Fort Mill increased their commanding lead to 13-5.
After six unanswered goals by Fort Mill, Riverside rattled off two quick ones before the end of the period, but the Jackets would answer back as Wylie would score with just under 12 seconds left in the period.
Riverside tried to rally in the fourth quarter down by seven when it started, but the Jackets made up for the one goal they allowed. Fort Mill outscored the Warriors 4-1 in the final period.
The game was a lot closer in the first half.
In the second quarter, Riverside quickly scored a goal to make it 4-3 as junior Tristan Lawrence cut the Jackets lead to just one.
Sophomore Tyler Lozinski was able to keep Fort Mill out in front as he collected a hat trick in the second quarter with his third goal of the game with just nine minutes left in the first half.
Wylie pushed the Jackets lead out even further scoring about 90 seconds later to make it 6-3 for Fort Mill.
However, every time the Jackets made a play they seem to give one back as Riverside sophomore Ryan Cerino would score his second goal of the game to keep Warriors on the offensive.
With a game time temperature at 40 degrees, the Jackets went for a goal quickly as Russell hit Gray for an early score just 2:10 into the game. Russell cashed in with a goal of his own four minutes later as he went from behind the goal and around the left side for a diving shot.
Lozinski got into the action adding another Jackets goal roughly 40 seconds later to put Fort Mill up 3-0.
Fort Mill controlled much of the first quarter by winning face-offs and controlling the momentum of the game as both teams tried to adjust to the elements.
Fort Mill 18, Riverside 9
Goals: Riverside Ryan Cerino 5, Anthony Quiles, Tristan Lawrence, Jake Bertka, Turner Kendall. Fort Mill Ethan Gray 5, Mitch Russell 4, Tyler Lozinski 3, Trevor Wylie 3, Wyatt Phillips 3.
Shots on goal: Riverside 22, Fort Mill 23.
Saves: Dylan Lambert (R) 5, Kyle Young (FM) 13.
Records: Riverside 11-3, Fort Mill 10-3.