Laxers light up Garfield girls, NK boys

Klahowya’s Danny Zimny fires a shot in the middle during Friday’s 19-2 win against North Kitsap.  - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Klahowya’s Danny Zimny fires a shot in the middle during Friday’s 19-2 win against North Kitsap.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

In light of the biggest week of the season upcoming, the Klahowya boys lacrosse squad needed to make an impact.

19 goals later, the Eagles had.

In defeating North Kitsap 19-2 at home on Friday, the Eagles (9-2) are hoping they’ll be ready for this week’s rematches with Puyallup (9-2) and Tacoma (10-0), the only teams the Eagles have fallen to.

“We really want to get back at Puyallup,” Klahowya’s Danny Zimny said. “We had a close game all the way with them. And Tacoma, we want to change that score around.”

The Eagles fell to Puyallup in a closer 11-6 game and to Tacoma 19-5 earlier this season.

“We were a lot slower than them,” Eagle senior Seth Hertenstein said. “But we got ourselves back into shape. We can play with Puyallup for sure. Tacoma will be a tough game but I think we’ll pick it up.”

Zimny scored four goals and added three assists against the Vikings while Karl Neumann scored three goals and dished out four assists. Chad Reeder was dominant in the goal, recording just 12 saves thanks to an equally impressive defensive effort.

Hawley said Reeder’s effort has allowed that defense, led by junior Yancy Lever, to try all sorts of new strategies.

“Chad’s played really well all year,” Hawley said. “He makes 20-25 saves a game, which is huge. That’s been helpful. We’ve done a lot of different things on defense.”

His teammates agreed.

“It’s really good,” Zimny said. “It takes away their momentum. When he gets that save, it’s a big momentum shift right there.”

But perhaps more than anything, Klahowya benefited from a total team effort.

“I think it makes a huge difference,” Klahowya coach Rob Hawley said. “If they like each other, they trust each other. They don’t worry about whose getting the goals. The reality is every time a ball goes in for a goal, they’re happy no matter who scored it.”

The Eagles still have a shot at entering the postseason as high as the No. 2 seed. Hawley said it doesn’t matter too much where they get as much as how they get there.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re two or three as long as we make the strides we need to,” he said. “If we make the strides, we’ll be able to beat them potentially.”

In Friday’s game, the Eagles scored early and often en route to a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Hertenstein said it showed how much he and his teammates stepped up, especially after a shaky 11-5 win against Port Angeles.

“The last few games we haven’t been playing all out,” he said. “We had to step it up. And we all pretty much stepped up and did what we were supposed to do.”

The Eagles were successful in their various offensive sets, some of which neither Tacoma nor Puyallup have been up against this season.

“Tacoma and Puyallup haven’t seen that look,” Hawley said. “I’m pretty confident we’ll be better off.”

Hawley said the team has made various improvements since the contests with Puyallup and Tacoma, but none greater than speed.

“The biggest areas of improvement we had to accomplish was just overall team speed on defense,” he said. “Being able to put pressure on the other team with out going wild and just letting them run by you.”

He said that includes reaction times.

“We’ve been working a lot to improve our foot speed but also just ways to stay faster, to react more quickly,” Hawley said.

As a result of his team’s improved play, he knows what he wants to see this week.

“What I’ll see when we play Tacoma if all this comes together, I’ll see my guys running with confidence instead of just standing there watching the ball whip around until it’s in the back of the net,” he said.

Klahowya battles Tacoma at 5 p.m. tonight while the Eagles take on Puyallup at the same time Friday. Both contests are at home.

Girls lacrosse

The Klahowya girls laxers also picked up a big win last week, knocking off Garfield 8-4 on Thursday despite missing a couple key players in Sarah Dawson and Jenna Adams, both members of the school’s track team as well.

“That’s a total team effort,” girls coach Eric Moore said. “We didn’t rely on only our big guns. It’s awesome having that team game.”

Klahowya (3-4-1) got big efforts from Koyuki Fritchman, who scored three goals, and Katie Gaskill, who added three more.

Goalie Karli Kent was also on fire, making a number of outstanding saves to hold off Garfield.

The team play again was Moore’s favorite part of the win.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “You can tell they believe in each other as a team.”

Kent said she just did her best to keep her attention on the other team.

“I like just being a spectator in the game,” she said. “So for me, just staying focused on the game. When the girls are coming at me with the ball, I have to keep focused on the ball.”

After getting shelled 17-6 by Lake Sammamish, Moore said it was nice to start the game off with three scores. LS scored the first six in the loss.

“Another thing is we didn’t start out flat,” Moore said. “Lake Sammamish, it was a shell-shock.”

Klahowya hosted Mercer Island last night, but results were unavailable at press time. The Eagles host Bethel next week.

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