Rowan Clay’s move to attack changes the game for boys varsity lacrosse in 18-2 win over Okemos

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Despite playing—and excelling—on defense in the opening weekend of the season, sophomore Rowan Clay made the move to attack for Wednesday’s contest, and he made an immediate impact. Leading the way with his aggressive style, the defender turned attackman scored four goals and added one assist in the Rangers’ 18-2 win over Okemos. 

Following two games in Indiana over the weekend with lots of positives to take away, head coach Andy Shira and the FHC coaching staff were able to take some additional time to focus on specifics after a hectic week of tryouts and practice. 

“The emphasis on practice on Monday and Tuesday was to play faster. Too many times last weekend we let the ball die in our sticks,” Shira said. “I think that really benefited us yesterday as we finally got on track of playing Ranger Lacrosse.”

From the onset, the Rangers were the aggressors and took it to the timid Okemos defense. As the Okemos defense carried the ball on the clear, the pressure from the FHC attack forced the Chiefs into key turnovers in transition in moments that the Rangers could have been vulnerable; instead, the Rangers gained extra possessions time after time off cross-field passes that the attack generated. Defensively, the Rangers picked off from where they left off the weekend before with another successful outing, only giving up two goals in the contest. 50/50 plays were not truly 50/50s in this one, and senior Mason Wiltz and freshman Luke Wedder dominated faceoffs.

On the offensive end, junior John Tomsheck was spreading the love, dishing out five assists to go along with two goals of his own. Senior Collin Ward recorded his first varsity hat trick, scoring three goals and tallying one assist. Sophomore Magnus Salmon continued his fast and furious start to high school lacrosse, recording another hat trick with his three goals on the day. Junior Nathan Sarjeant made a splash himself too as he recorded an impressive stat line of two goals and two assists. 

With the 18-2 win, the Rangers are 2-1, and their delayed season comes to a brief pause. After such a dominating and impressive performance, the difficult thing for the coaching staff becomes continuing this momentum after a week and a half hiatus. With spring break starting the minute the final horn sounded, the Rangers are soon going to rejoin each other rejuvenated, but also out of rhythm. 

“This is the worst part of the season for us as coaches,” Shira said. “We just got everything clicking, and now the kids go on break for a week and a half. Then it’s a quick turnaround with only one practice on Monday before we play a really good Brighton team on April 13.”