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San Juan Dragons win first-round playoff 21-5, defeat Gig Harbor Fire | Lacrosse

Top photo: San Juan senior attackman Ryan Guard gets squeezed by two Gig Harbor defenders en route to a scoring attempt, May 15 in Friday Harbor. San Juan won 21-5. Second photo: A Gig Harbor player emerges with the ball after one of several clashes in the first quarter. Third photo: San Juan junior midfielder Cody West makes a pass. He contributed one of the five goals the Dragons scored in the first 15 minutes of the game. Bottom photo: San Juan senior midfielder Michael Ausilio collided with a Gig Harbor defender early in the game. - Richard Walker
Top photo: San Juan senior attackman Ryan Guard gets squeezed by two Gig Harbor defenders en route to a scoring attempt, May 15 in Friday Harbor. San Juan won 21-5. Second photo: A Gig Harbor player emerges with the ball after one of several clashes in the first quarter. Third photo: San Juan junior midfielder Cody West makes a pass. He contributed one of the five goals the Dragons scored in the first 15 minutes of the game. Bottom photo: San Juan senior midfielder Michael Ausilio collided with a Gig Harbor defender early in the game.
— image credit: Richard Walker

The San Juan Dragons defeated the Gig Harbor Fire 21-5 Saturday at Friday Harbor, advancing to the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association Division II quarterfinals for the first time in their history.

Next, the Skagit Conference champion Dragons (12-2) host Roosevelt (10-3) May 22, probably at 1:30 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the semi-final round.

That the Dragons were the dominant team was evident early. One minute into the game, Fire goalie Aaron Wolfe bumbled a shot by Dragon midfielder Weston Hedin, bumping it into the goal in an attempt to pick up the ball. Dragon attackman Ryan Guard followed up less than a minute later with the Dragons’ second goal.

One spectator compared the Dragons’ passing game to basketball. This was a fast, aggressive game; Guard was out with an injured knee before the end of the first period. Both sides drew several penalty calls during the first half.

After six more goals – Michael Ausilio, Cody West, Kyle Skoog (two), Guard and Hedin -- Wolfe’s frustration started to show, particularly after Skoog scored and then followed up with two scoring passes to Guard and Hedin in short order.

“You’re leaving me all alone down here,” Wolfe called to his defenders.

The Fire got a lot of encouragement from fans who traveled with the team to the island.

“Who wants it?” one fan called when a ball got loose.

“That’s a good defense,” another called.

“Stay on him, Caleb,” another called out to Fire sophomore defender Caleb Ruffu.

Nevertheless, by the half, the Dragons led 15-1.

“We’ve all played together since seventh grade and we’ve got 14 seniors,” Guard said after the game. “We don’t have any plays, we just know how the other thinks.”

San Juan fans were awed by the Dragons’ performance – and forecast growing interest in the sport on the island.

“This is going to do nothing but make lacrosse a spectator-enjoyable sport,” said Shannon Plummer, an assistant coach of the Friday Harbor football Wolverines. Being competitive has “forced them to be a team. If you’re not a team, you fall apart fast.”

San Juan scoring summary: Kyle Skoog, 5 goals, 2 assists. Weston Hedin, 5 goals, 1 assist. Michael Ausilio, 3 goals, 3 assists. Cody West, 3 goals, 1 assist. Ryan Guard, 2 goals, 1 assist. Alex Michael, 1 goal, 3 assists. Kyle Hills, 1 goal. Jimmy Chaffee, 1 goal.

Groundballs: Michael Ausilio, 13. Alex Michael, 9. Brady Sundberg, 6. Cody West, 6. Kyle Skoog, 4. Kyle Hills, 3. Jacob Justiniano, 3. Dylan Korth, 3. Niko Roiko, 2. Tate Brumsickle, 1. Josh Buck, 1. Jimmy Chaffee, 1. Ryan Guard, 1. Weston Hedin, 1. Austin Tompkins, 1.

Goalie summary: Calen Mehrer had six saves in nine shots in 34 minutes of play, for a save percentage of .667. Jacob Jackson had three saves in five shots in 14 minutes of play, for a save percentage of .600. Mehrer got the win.

Notebook: Senior midfielder Michael Ausilio will play for Boise State in 2011, his mother, Michelle Melborne, said. Senior attackman Ryan Guard may play for University of Montana, his parents said. ... Ausilio played May 15 after successful treatment for a ruptured vessel in his retina ... Senior attackman Forest Dayton, out for four games with an injury, is expected to return when the Dragons' (12-2) host Roosevelt (10-3) May 22, probably at 1:30 p.m., for the second round of playoffs.

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