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Blanchet vs SAAS - Playoff Recap

The Seattle Academy Cardinals move one step closer to the first round of the playoffs after a tough 8-5 win over an evenly matched Blanchet Braves team on Tuesday at Genesee Park. Story by Michael Thornbloom.

Blanchet started this game out with a goal resulting in an early time out call by Cardinal head coach Scott Pattison. After rallying his team together, they were able to string together a pair of goals putting them in the lead before the Braves answered back to tie it up 2-2. Just as this game was getting intense, the weather turned ugly and forced a 30 minute game delay due to lightning.

The delay greatly slowed down the momentum of the game once the players returned to the field leaving the rest of the first quarter scoreless. The second quarter started out equally sluggish with both teams failing to connect on passes while barely getting set offensively resulting in only a goal each to end the half 3-3. Defensively these teams were stout and playing smart lacrosse, only challenging the ball carrier when necessary and forcing turnovers throughout the half.

The start of the second half looked to be in the control of the Cardinals as they maintained possession for the first three minutes with shot after shot, only to have it pay off with their fourth goal of the game. Blanchet was clearly not willing to let Seattle Academy increase their lead as freshman midfielder Luke Gardner (2g, 1a) delivered a beautiful pass to senior attackman Jackson Brown (2g) for another game tying goal.

This was the last time the Braves could catch up to their newfound rivals as the start of their decline came with the first penalty of the game. Seattle Academy handily capitalized on their EMO, putting Blanchet back on their heels once again. With the fourth quarter fast approaching, the Braves started to struggle with ground balls on their side of the field resulting in another Cardinal goal marking the biggest lead of this game 6-4.

Blanchet wrangled in their final goal before the fourth quarter began, to which the weather delay took an even bigger toll on this very important game. With a soccer team looking to take the field at their 7pm start time, the game was forced into a time crunch that no team with playoffs on the line needed. The match was barely able to reach end of regulation time with the Cardinals bringing in two more goals and the Braves going scoreless in the fourth with Seattle Academy emerging on top 8-5.

Cardinal junior attackman Blake Calvo and senior midfielder Henry Johnson walked away with a pair of goals each accounting for half their team’s final score. This marked the most goals in a single game for Calvo this year as he could become an even bigger asset to this team up front on their playoff run. For Johnson, it’s just another day at the office for this team’s top scoring player but with players like Calvo bringing in the support, Lakeside could have their hands full.

This game was a matchup tiebreaker with both teams 1-1 against each other in regular season. Seattle Academy was not sleeping on this team as they knew they needed the edge to win another one. “I think a lot of our high effort was on loose balls.” Pattison said. “Our defense played spectacular the past few games, especially today and always keeps us in it and were able to make some clutch plays.”

Pattison was clearly excited about the opportunity to play this team again next year as they both have proven to be nearly identical in talent and play. This road is only going to get harder for his 1A/2A state championship team as they stare down the barrel of formidable Private school teams. His plan is to be more consistent overall and remind his team that the mistakes they make will become much more costly against the higher level Private school opponents.

Next stop for this motivated Cardinal team is against the Lakeside Lions (2-7) next Thursday at Genesee Park. Lakeside may currently sit at the bottom of their division but they spend all year playing against some of the best teams this state has to offer, and with only one day between games it won’t be easy.

Story by Michael Thornbloom.