The Eastside Catholic Crusaders suffered their first loss of the season on Friday night in a tight 12-11 thriller in their toughest game of the year against visiting Victoria B.C. team the Claremont Spartans in this year’s Northwest Invitational.
The Crusader’s came into this game scoring an average 19.5 goals out of their six games this year. Claremont only allowed junior midfielder Joey Matte to score one goal all game greatly limiting a key component to their offense. The visiting Spartan team was a confident group heading into a game unaffected by a usually intimidating Eastside Catholic offense.
Senior attackman Eric Prologo and senior attackman Ryan Grazco had another typical night with 6 goals and 3 assists between them both. Senior midfielder Peter Bogaard also got his third hat-trick of the season tripling is total goals from last year. He helped play an integral role in their near victory as other veteran players were also struggling to find a good look.
This was Claremont’s second game against Eastside Catholic with their first game in 2015 ending in a 14-8 loss. They proved why they are this year’s B.C. Provincial Cup champions by going toe-to-toe with one of Washington’s best lacrosse team. Scoring goals was not a problem Eastside Catholic has had at all this year. They are still the only team in the Metro DI to put up double-digit numbers against Bainbridge’s defense and Claremont made them work for it in this game.
This second game of the Northwest Invitational was off to a great start when both teams appeared to be equals in ability. Claremont opened up the quarter the first goal when Eastside Catholic answered back with two. Claremont responded with a pair of goals of their own when the Crusaders tied it back up to end the quarter. This was going to be a great game.
The second quarter got a little bit tricky for Eastside Catholic when they were starting to struggle to find any good looks on the cage. Claremont was making nearly every possession a scoring play keeping their opponents in an uncomfortable position. The Crusaders were struggling to get anyone near the crease forcing them to shoot as often as possible just to keep it tied.
With some fancy footwork to the crease and a little more accuracy, Claremont finishes the first half with the lead 7-6. Eastside Catholic was getting slightly outplayed in this tight match-up as they needed to come up with a plan to end the game with the lead. Bogaard turned it up in the last half for the Crusaders scoring all three of his goals and keeping his team in the game.
Eastside Catholic would always be one step behind as they desperately tried to gain back their lead. The Crusaders haven’t ended a game yet this year without at least winning by 10 goals or more. This was a good test for them when they faced an obviously skilled Spartan team.
The Crusaders will play a couple more non-league games before they host the O’Dea Fighting Irish (3-2) on April 11.