Fort Mill High expects top seed in lacrosse playoffs

mbanks@comporium.netApril 7, 2014 

Fort Mill’s Mitch Russell moves around a Nation Ford defender during the Jackets’ win. The victory capped an undefeated season against South Carolina opponents.

MAC BANKS

— After closing out the regular season undefeated in South Carolina, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets boys’ lacrosse team will open the state playoffs this week with what should be the No. 1 seed.

Fort Mill finished the regular season 9-3, including 9-0 within the state. The team’s only losses this season have come from teams in North Carolina.

The Jackets closed the regular season with a 18-5 win against Nation Ford Saturday night. But Fort Mill coach Steve Nadolski knows more is expected this week.

“We have got some work to do,” he said. “Everyone is on the same page, but we have a long way to go.”

Fort Mill and Nation Ford played close in the first half, but Fort Mill jumped out to a 4-0 lead with goals from junior Tyler Lozinski, senior Ethan Gray and junior Matt Somjak and pulled away with an 8-1 run in the third quarter.

The Jackets were led by Lozinski, who had five goals in the game, and Somjak, who had four. Senior Mitch Russell also scored four goals.

Nation Ford got on the board with a goal from sophomore Billy Luther with about two and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Another Falcons sophomore, Nic Catan, scored about two minutes later to cut the Jackets’ lead to 4-2. Fort Mill senior Wyatt Phillips added a goal with just less than 42 seconds left to give the Jackets a 5-2 lead after the first quarter.

Fort Mill kept the momentum in the second quarter when Russell scored the first two goals for the Jackets.

Catan added his second goal of the game in the quarter, as would Luther. Somjak also scored two in the quarter. The Jackets took a 10-4 lead into the half and opened the third quarter with four straight with goals from Somjak, Lozinski, Gray and Russell.

Nation Ford senior Matt Quill scored the last goal for the Falcons with about three minutes left in the third quarter and Fort Mill sophomore Colin Crutchfield ended the scoring with a goal with 45 seconds left in the quarter.

Nation Ford’s playoff fate was not determined at press time. The team finished the regular season 6-8.

“We started (the season) slow, but after that we came on strong out last seven games going 5-2,” Falcons’ head coach Brian Holland said Saturday. “But tonight, we just made mistakes here and there. The kids had great effort and played hard.”

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