Finish season 5-5, tie for conference title
The San Juan Dragons had a scrappy season that they will not soon forget.
The Dragons shook off 14-2 and 16-1 losses to win three consecutive games and finish the season 5-5 and tied for first place in the Skagit Conference of the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association.
Of all teams in six Division II conferences, the Dragons had three players in the top 25 in scoring and ground balls. Sophomore goalie Calin Mehrer was third in saves, third in shots, fifth in minutes played and sixth in save percentage.
And we did say scrappy. Who will forget the Dragons’ final home game April 29 vs. North County? Junior attackman Isaac Taylor took a blow that aggravated an earlier sternum injury and took him out of the game. Taylor, who had been in the division’s top 25 in goals, points and points-per-game, stood on the sidelines to support his team, stoic in the face of the fact that he would miss the playoffs.
“The team’s been a lot more united,” Mehrer said. “This year, we’ve all been up for the goal of playing our best. The new coach was amazing. Rob (Cuomo) brought us up to a better level.”
The Dragons were equally scrappy against the Klahowya Eagles in the first round of Division II playoffs, May 6 at Central Kitsap Junior High School in Silverdale.
“They are one of the best teams,” Mehrer said. “We didn’t know what to expect. They knew what they were doing.”
Behind four-goal performances by senior attackman Karl Neumann and junior midfielder Danny Zimny, Klahowya defeated San Juan 10-6 to advance to the quarter-final round of Division II playoffs. (Klahowya was ousted May 9 by No. 1-ranked Seattle Prep, 11-7).
Klahowya goalie Chad Reader had 10 saves on 16 shots in the May 6 win. Mehrer had 13 saves on 23 shots.
According to Cuomo, “This was a battle from the start. Klahowya took the early lead and their effective ride prevented San Juan from finding any offensive rhythm.”
Klahowya led 6-2 at the half. San Juan came out fired up in the third quarter and scored three quick goals. But Klahowya was able to keep its composure and earn a 10-6 victory.
All told, sophomore midfielder Forest Dayton had two goals, two assists and nine ground balls. Senior defenseman Josh Christenson had two goals and seven ground balls. Sophomore attackman Ryan Guard had one goal, one assist and one ground ball. Senior attackman Jens Townsdin had one goal and three ground balls.
Junior midfielder Dylan Galligan and senior defenseman Ben White each had four ground balls, junior midfielder Blaine Connolly and sophomore defenseman Anci Melic each had three ground balls, sophomore attackman Kyle Skoog had two ground balls, sophomore defenseman Brady Sundberg had one ground ball.