Ponte Vedra stickmen off to strong start


The lacrosse season may have just started but the Ponte Vedra Sharks appear to be in mid-season form. After three games the locals have yet to lose and have scored 55 goals. Bishop Moore was Ponte Vedra’s latest victim, losing 14-11 Feb. 17 at the Shark Tank.

Unlike the Sharks’ first two games, Friday’s matchup with the Hornets was a real shootout as each team took turns holding the lead. Ponte Vedra opened up early with goals by Matthew Keeler and Dylan Hess in the first three minutes. Bishop Moore then got on the scoreboard six minutes in, but Reid Smith of the Sharks matched that score to put Ponte Vedra up 3-1.

The Hornets scored their second goal 16 seconds before the first quarter ended, then went on to score three unanswered goals for a 5-3 advantage. Smith stopped the bleeding with his second goal of the game at the 10-minute mark of the quarter, sending the Sharks on a four-goal spurt. Clay Welch tied matters at 5-5 then goals by Smith, Jack Burke and Keeler put Ponte Vedra up 8-5.

Bishop Moore scored with a minute left in the half, but Keeler matched that a few minutes into the third quarter. Leading 9-6, Ponte Vedra did their best to hang on as the visitors pressed to tie the game. They got close at 9-8 with four minutes to play but Welch pushed the Sharks advantage to 10-8. The visitors scored in the final minutes of the third quarter to close within one, 10-9, then evened the game at 10-10 early in the final quarter.

Four minutes into the final quarter, the Hornets regained the lead but their advantage was short lived. The Sharks regained control of the game scoring four unanswered goals – one by Welch, one by Hess, one by Smith and one by Keeler.

Ponte Vedra opened the season on the road with lopsided wins over Timber Creek and Fleming Island. Timber Creek fell 21-3 and Fleming Island lost 20-3.