Special to the Recorder
The Sharks kept their winning streak alive during the past week, posting wins over Creekside, Nease and IMG Academy and now have won seven straight games. In those seven games, Ponte Vedra’s powerful attack has 127 goals scored and the defense has allowed only 43.
The Creekside Knights fell to the Sharks 19-2, with Jack Burke leading the Shark attack with five goals. Clay Welch scored three and Reid Smith, CD James and Matt Keeler each collected two goals. Jack Woeste, Andrew Bray, Jason Prince and Walker Azzaro added single goals.
The Nease Panthers were the next foe for the Sharks, and were dispatched handily 20-3. Matt Keeler was the top goal getter for Ponte Vedra, finding the net six times. Azzaro and Welch added three, James two and O’Dare, Burke, Woeste, Prince, Dylan Hess and Matayo Trumble one each. Goals by Panthers Zach Ott and Austin Wood avoided the shutout.
IMG was next in line for the Sharks and it would prove to be their most important game of the season thus far. The Ascenders came into the Shark Tank boasting an 8-0 record and a national reputation.
Ponte Vedra was not impressed and jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a goal by Smith and a pair by Welch. Despite the Ascenders’ constant trash talking, the Sharks pushed their advantage to 6-1 on goals by Welch and Burke then moved to an 8-2 lead on goals by James and Burke.
IMG battled back scoring three times and trailed 9-5 as Smith’s goal ended the first quarter.
From this point on, the teams traded scores. A pair by Welch and single by Smith put Ponte Vedra up 12-7 at the end of the half. James, Keeler and Burke then answered each IMG goal to give Ponte Vedra a 15-13 advantage and the Sharks held on to win. Burke’s goal with two minutes left provided the Sharks insurance needed for the victory.
“This is the biggest win ever for the Ponte Vedra lacrosse program,” said Reid Smith after the game. It was a sentiment echoed by many of the Sharks.
The outlook for the future is bright as well as indicated by the performance of the Shark JV team this past week. The underclassmen trounced Nease 13-3 then humiliated Providence with a 24-0 mercy win. The juniors are undefeated after seven straight wins.
Ponte Vedra Junior Varsity Lacrosse vs Nease