Senior Ben Lipscomb scored what ended up being the game winning goal, in the 1st quarter.
Junior Goaltender, Hayden Stanifer, registered eight saves Friday night to lead the #5 Woodlands Highlanders to a 3-2 victory over the #3 Highland Park Scots in a highly anticipated, Texas High School Lacrosse League, Division I, inter-district matchup Friday night in Houston.
For the Woodlands, several players had one point outings including senior Ben Lipscomb, junior Brian Welling, and junior Graham Casey, while junior Sean McCanna and sophomore Gus Pinsoneault each registered an assist.
Friday night gave us the opportunity to get our first glimpse of the Highland Park Scots who made the trip down to Houston. The Woodlands had prepared by taking their talents to a variety of preseason tournaments, while the Scots remained content working on everything in house. What, on paper, might look like a recipe for an offensive explosion turned into a defensive stalemate.
In a losing effort, junior midfielder Robert Mencke led the Scots with a goal and an assist while senior attackman Ben Larrabee tallied an assist.
Case Carpenter looked strong for his first D1 Varsity outing.
The Woodlands got out in front 3-0 in the first quarter, but that was the sum of their scoring effort as HP battled back down 3-1 at the half and 3-2 heading into the final quarter.
From the onset of the contest, it definitely had the feel of a season opener, especially for the defending State Champs. The Scots came out sluggish and struggled in the clearing game which gave the Highlanders several early, second-chance opportunities. The Woodlands capitalized and got out in front at the outset, but the game tightened up considerably after that.
Highland Park went with a strong, starting, close-defensive unit of senior Hilton Kennington, followed by juniors Remy Kell and William Stowe. As the game progressed, this defensive unit, anchored by senior captain Matthew Meaders, regained 2012 post-season form. Meaders was steady in the cage, while the newest member, Case Carpenter, was very solid. As the season moves on, this group will continue to tighten up and prove formidable as always.
While the Scots defensive unit was solid, the Highlanders group edged them out on the evening. Limiting a team to two goals in an outing is impressive. Limiting the defending State Champs to two goals is noteworthy. Making several tough saves late in the game, Hayden Stanifer proved equally formidable to his HP counterpart.
On the offensive side of the field, Highland Park lacked crispness with their goals coming off of a quick restart as the 1st half was coming to a close and an extra man effort in the 3rd. Other than that, they were lacking. Filling the shoes from last year will be tough, but the Scots will continue to round into form as HP had a slow start in 2012. The usually potent, Woodlands offensive unit also had some trouble finding the back of the net after an impressive first quarter. The Highlanders could not buy a bucket, but not for lack of opportunities. The Woodlands had some wide open looks hitting a few pipes, while Meaders came up big to thwart their efforts.
Jake WIlliams looked strong against HP. Christopher Marlow saw limited action in his first Scots contest.
At the end of the game, the Scots had a prolonged possession that ended with a “timer on” situation. Ultimately, this led to a turnover. Woodlands retained possession, and the game finished 3-2. Definitely lower scoring than originally expected, but entertaining to the very end nevertheless!
The Woodlands look to continue their winning ways against Kinkaid, while Highland Park got back in the win column Saturday defeating Strake Jesuit 12 – 4. The Scots now set their sights on a tough matchup against the Lawrenceville School of Princeton at the Patriot Cup on Saturday, March 2nd.
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