CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Myers Park Mustangs triumphed over the Marvin Ridge Mavericks in a tightly fought men's high school lacrosse game on Saturday night at Myers Park Stadium.
The two teams met in the NCHSAA State Playoff Game 3--or the Sectional Round--on a beautiful night for lacrosse. The game immediately followed the Lady Mustangs contest with Charlotte Catholic's women's lacrosse team, a game that Catholic won handily, 23-7.
As for the men, there were high expectations from the large crowd that was evenly split between hometown Mustang fans and visiting Mavericks fans.
When the two teams faced off for the first time, Duffy Suhr was in goal for Myers Park and Reilly McDermott was between the pipes for Marvin Ridge. Both goalies had impressive games, taking and turning away a significant amount of high speed shots.
Myers Park led off the scoring when attack man Daniel Stone scored the first goal on what would eventually be a 'hat-trick' night. Junior attack man Corey Venable from Marvin Ridge quickly evened up the scoring with a first quarter shot of his own.
Marvin Ridge looked like it was going to give the home team fits when freshman midfielder Jack Rich scored the second goal for the away team, and senior attack man Walker Bettison followed to give the Mavericks a 3-1 lead.
Myers Park came back though, when speedy attack man Drew Ortiz, a junior, scored just as the first quarter ended to make it 3-2 Marvin Ridge.
The Mustangs pulled even when Angus Musser, a senior defense man, fired a shot into the goal, but Marvin Ridge came right back when senior midfielder Ryan Stranahan raced through a gauntlet of Myers Park defenders as flags flew, and ripped a shot off.
That made it 4-3 Marvin Ridge in the second quarter, and that's the way it stayed until there were just 8.9 seconds left in the first half. That's when Myers Park attack man Daniel Stone scored his second goal of the night, making it a 4-4 tie at the half.
As the second half got underway, both teams were energized but Myers Park took the lead when junior midfield Bryant Portwood scored.
A cross check penalty on Marvin Ridge led to a man-up situation and the speedy Drew Ortiz from Myers Park took advantage and scored his second goal of the game, making it 6-4 Myers Park.
The Mavericks refused to go away though, when Corey Venable made a sweet play and ripped a shot to bring the score to 6-5.
The see-saw battle tipped the other way as Myers Park came right back with a score. Daniel Stone scored goal number 3 making it 7-5 at the end of the third quarter.
As the fourth quarter started, fans for both teams were on their feet, urging their teams on. Marvin Ridge answered their pleading fans when junior midfielder Zach Martin ripped a shot and brought the Mavericks to within one at 7-6.
However, the Mustangs, as they did all night, answered the call. With just under five minutes left, junior middie Brad Pellisaro gave Myers Park all the cushion it would need at 8-6.
Marvin Ridge made several strong attempts at the end of the game but the Mustangs held on to advance in the state tournament.
The final score was 8-6.