Dragons scorch Skagit Valley 9-0; next stop, Stanwood on Saturday

Top photo, San Juan
Top photo, San Juan's Graham Ellis (13) maneuvers through a flank of Skagit Valley defenders. Middle photo, a Skagit Valley Flyer dodges a pass by San Juan's Ryan Guard (23). Bottom photo, San Juan Coach Rob Cuomo provides some half-time counsel to his players.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Skagit Valley has a new team and ended up on the losing end in a 9-0 contest March 24 in Friday Harbor.

But the Flyers, outscored 22-6 in two games, still had something to teach the San Juan Dragons.

The Flyers ran a zone defense, forcing the Dragons' offense to move a lot more. "We need to do that every game," said Dragons Coach Rob Cuomo, looking ahead to his team's rematch with undefeated Lynnwood.

With the win March 24, the Dragons improved to 2-2 and moved into third place in the seven-team Skagit Conference of the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association.

Junior attack Forest Dayton scored four goals, had one assist and snagged six ground balls. Junior attack Nils Nelson scored two goals and picked up six ground balls. Junior attack Ryan Guard contributed a goal and three assists and scooped up four ground balls. Senior midfielder Mike Short contributed a goal and scooped up two ground balls.

Michael Ausilio, Blaine Connelly, Michael Davis, Dylan Galligan, Weston Hedin, Conner Johns, Dylan Korth, Anci Melic, Alex Michael, Cameron Paterson and Brady Sundberg also contributed to the Dragons' defense.

Junior goalie Calen Mehrer had seven saves in seven scoring attempts. His counterpart, Skagit Valley's Tyler Tarabochia, was busier, managing seven nine saves in 18 shots.

The first third of the 12-game season has taught the Dragons a lot of what they're going to need to know in order to overcome Mukilteo and Lynnwood, their biggest obstacles to the post-season.

"We feel a lot better. We are doing a lot more positive things and I think we'll be better prepared to play them," Cuomo said. "Mukilteo and Lynnwood are our two toughest opponents but we know we can play them. We're looking forward to having them on our field."

Home field definitely has the advantage in lacrosse. The Dragons practice at Foxhall Field, which can be like a muddy cow pasture. They played Lynnwood on March 18 at Brier Terrace Middle School's AstroTurf field — a completely different surface.

"After we went 0-2, we had a meeting and I asked, 'Who's going to step up?' We were maybe taking some things for granted. Everyone has to figure out a way to contribute."

Next: The Dragons travel to Stanwood (1-1) on Saturday, 3 p.m. (The game was originally reported earlier as a home game at 2 p.m.) The Dragons are then off for two weeks before hosting Lynnwood April 11, 2 p.m.

Notebook ... Sophomore midfielder Taylor Boudreau's name was misspelled in the March 18 story, "Rusty start for confident Dragons." The Journal apologizes. ...

Senior attack Isaac Taylor, the Dragons' co-captain and a leading league scorer in 2008, is still out with an ankle injury. Coach Rob Cuomo said he expects Taylor to return by the April 11 home game vs. Lynnwood ...

Junior goalie Calen Mehrer is second in saves in WHSBLA Division II, which consists of 28 teams in four conferences.

After four games, Mehrer has played 192 minutes, faced 69 shots and had 43 saves, for a save percentage of 0.623 ...

Junior attack Forest Dayton is fifth in goals (9) and seventh in ground balls (21) in WHSBLA Division II. Senior midfielder Conner Johns is fifth in ground balls (23).

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