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San Juan Dragons win first-round playoff 21-5, defeat Gig Harbor Fire | Lacrosse
-- This version corrects the score reported in an earlier version.
The San Juan Dragons defeated the Gig Harbor Fire 21-5 Saturday at Friday Harbor, advancing to the second round of playoffs 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 Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association Division II semi-final.
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.”
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.