by SUE POUBA
What a difference a week makes! When the Rockford boys lacrosse team opened their season at Ann Arbor Pioneer on March 21, it left the Rams with an opening-season loss and a few things to work on in practice that next week. The hard work in practice paid off as the Rams went on to post a 15-14 victory on March 27 against UD Jesuit, who was ranked second in the state.
In Ann Arbor, the Rams fell 6-13. Matt Duvel scored three times and Derek Korthuis, CJ Scholl and Cody Cantu each added one. Adam Kroll was credited with an assist and goalie Gabe Stulp faced 22 shots on goal.
In Detroit, UD Jesuit scored early and led 5-2 at the end of the first. But Rockford didn’t give up. By halftime, they had narrowed the lead to two and trailed 6-8. Then partway through the third, the Rams took the lead for the first time. But by the end of the period, they found themselves down as UD led by one at the end of the third, 12-11.
In the fourth, the defense stepped it up. Gabe Speirs, Cooper Sturr, Andy Shira and DJ Lubs seemed to be everywhere the ball was. Stulp held UD to two goals in the final period.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior attack Jeremy Pouba had five goals, Scholl had three, Duvel, Korthuis and Ray Sabon each had two, and Josh Belanger had one. Duvel and Sabon each had two assists, with single assists going to Belanger, Shea Mills, Mitch Newton, Pouba, Speirs and Sturr.
This victory for the Rams was a total team effort. Despite being called for 10 penalties in the game, they maintained their focus and showed that they can hang with the teams from the east side of the state. Next up for the Rams is East Lansing on March 31 and then Forest Hills Eastern on April 1. The boys’ complete schedule can be found on their website at www.rockfordlacrosse.org.