Entering a two week stretch that see’s the team battle six tough opponents, the Millbrook Men’s Lacrosse team was able to prepare with a 19-3 victory on Friday night against Wake Forest. The Wildcats jumped on the Cougars early, and by game’s end coach Adam Kraciuk was able to give all of his players a significant amount of playing time.
In a game that saw Millbrook score over a third of their goals in the opening quarter, it was Wake Forest who struck first. The Cougars held a 1-0 lead up until the 8:37 mark of the first quarter when Drew Bass tied things up. Less than two minutes later, Joe Cooper would put the Wildcats up for good with his first goal of the evening. That score was just a sign of things to come as four different Wildcats, along with Cooper managed to score in the final four minutes of the stanza. Garrett Patnesky was the first as he skipped a shot in, then Jeff Young followed by emerging from scrum in front of the net to score on an assist from Eric Stieber. Patnesky was on the giving end of the next goal as he found Cooper for a score to make it 5-1 with 1:36 left in the first. Cruz Waerness kept the offense alive and well twenty seconds later when he found the back of the net off the face-off. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Alec Lademann was able to rip home a shot to increase the Millbrook lead to 7-1 after one.
“We were able to run a lot of set plays today, and get lots of different guys in” said Kraciuk after the game. “That’s really important because it keeps fresh legs on the field, and it’s just more and more in-game experience for those younger guys. Not only does a game like this help now, it benefits us down the road”. One of those younger guys to get early minutes was goaltender Tommy Gouveia. He came in relief of Josh Madey after the first quarter, and allowed only two goals while making three stops.
Garrett Patnesky opened the scoring in the second with a laser top shelf to make it 8-1. He wasn’t done there as he made it 9-1 with 9:03 left in the half. After another score from Waerness, Patnesky spun and found Connor Wilcoxen in front of the goal, Wilcoxen wouldn’t miss for his fourth goal of the season. By the halfway point of the second quarter, Patnesky had already racked up a hat trick for his 30th goal of the season, and he had already scooped up three ground balls, and dished out three assists in the process. In doing so, he became first player in the conference this season to score 30+ goals, scoop up 40+ ground balls, and hand out 20+ assists.
Wilcoxen’s score made it 11-1 Millbrook, and they were not done from there. Patnesky found Cooper in front of the goal for a jump shot that found it’s way in with 90 seconds left in the half. Just a minute later, the Cougars would score to send the team’s into halftime with the Wildcats comfortably ahead 12-2.
Coming out of the break, Millbrook turned some defense into offense early. The stout back line for the ‘Cats saw Sam Weeks make a couple big plays in the first half. In the opening minutes of the second, Tosin Adeoti would lay the lumber on a Wake Forest midfielder that would cause a break out for Millbrook. Cruz Waerness ended up with the ball in his stick, and he would not miss to make it 13-2. Lademan would score halfway into the third to make it 14-2, then Drew Bass would net his second of the night to make it 15-2. Stieber opened the fourth quarter with a goal, followed by a score from Jordan Gailey, and Patnesky’s fourth of the game to put things out of hand at 18-3. Sam Weeks’ defense in the first half led to several offensive chances for the defender. His third shot attempt of the night came in the latter half of the fourth quarter and he made it count for his second goal of the season to wrap up the scoring at 19-3.
With the win, Millbrook moves to 7-4 on the season, 6-3 in Conference 4 play. The Wildcats travel to Heritage on Tuesday before heading back home for a pair of games on Thursday and Friday vs. Holly Springs, and Enloe.