Boys varsity lacrosse takes on Brother Rice in the face-off of the century


Goalie Crandall Quinn swiftly takes the ball up the field.

The face-off of the century between the Rangers and the Brother Rice Warriors occurred this previous Friday, April 21. This game was like no other; the Rangers were matched against—most likely–the future state champions of Division 1. Without a doubt, the boys had to bring their all to this game, and their all only. 

In preparation for the game, the boys worked on their mindsets. They worked on having faith in themselves and one another; it was the critical factor in leading the boys to a neck-and-neck game against the Warriors.

“The focus of the week was belief,” said coach Andy Shira. “We had to believe in each other, our systems, our teammates, and our coaches. We knew that people outside of the FHC community wouldn’t give us a chance to win that game. We knew if we attacked the week and locked in mentally, we could compete and have a chance to win. The group did just that.”

Many different feelings were lingering before the game. As the crowd grew more prominent and the time came closer, the boys felt all sorts of emotions. They were thrilled to play with such outstanding competitors but also super nervous. 

“Obviously, everyone was excited about the game all week, it’s a game we circle on our calendar at the start of the year, and it’s an opportunity to make a statement,” said sophomore defensive midfielder Ty Ryan. “Before the game, I’m sure the team was nervous but excited. And once the game started, the sideline was electric. Everyone did a great job keeping the energy up all night and getting up for every play.”

With the high energy and high stakes, there was so much going on at all minutes of the game. Throughout the duration of the game, the boys played skillfully, but there were some slight errors. Senior captain and goalie Crandall Quinn had some words of advice. 

“From the goalie’s perspective, I think we need to improve on catching and passing the ball. Not only that, but I think we need some work on looking up and looking for the open people.”

Throughout the entire game, the score was kept extremely close. This means a lot; the boys kept up with such an advanced team. It showed the skill and potential of the team. Even with some bad plays, the boys were doing many things right.

“Our defense played one of its best games of the whole season,” said freshman defenseman Joey VanderVeen, “Overall, I think there are still some small improvements we need to make, but we’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season. I think the defense as a whole really stepped up and had an amazing transition game.”

With good plays and smart moves came great stats. Senior captain and attackman Jonah McConnell, leading in points, secured three goals and two assists; senior midfielder Jake Koning also attainted a hat-trick of his own. Following not far behind, another senior captain and attackman, Graham Bennett, had two goals of his own. A junior captain and midfielder, Nolan Hartl, had two goals and one assist. Another midfielder, senior Collin Webb, added another goal to the batch; the Senior captain and LSM, Sam Sneider, did the same. As for assists, juniors Mickey Mehney and Vaughn Cheslek—a midfielder and LSM—had one each. Ty also had an assist. In the cage, Crandall had 14 saves. Unfortunately, the boys fell just short, with the final score of 12-15. 

Considering this challenging game, the team has much to work on and reflect on. 

“The team feels rejuvenated. We know we haven’t lived up to the standard in a lot of games yet this year, but they proved in this game how talented we actually are, and I think that should send a message to the rest of the state,” said Shira. “The biggest challenge for our guys now is not to have a drop-off. We have to come with that energy, that intensity, and that passion each and every day in practice and games. We can’t take a step back.”

The boys will continue to work hard on and off the field. Their next game will be on Tuesday, April 25. The face-off will occur at 7:00 p.m. at our Ranger Stadium.