HomesportsLeesville Lacrosse captures conference title with win over Enloe

Leesville Lacrosse captures conference title with win over Enloe

By the time that Conner New, the lone four-year letterman on the Leesville Lacrosse, scored his only goal of Tuesday’s Senior Night game, the celebration of Leesville’s conference title was well under way.

Griffin McNamara’s fourth goal broke a 7-7 deadlock with 6:45 to play and helped the Pride (13-1) pull away for a 10-7 victory over Enloe (10-4) to clinch the regular season championship and conclude an undefeated home record.

“We got challenged by a good team and we had to earn it,” said head coach Franklin Zirkle. “That’s the way it should be with a conference championship game.”

Leesville's Alex Shearer (#32) takes the shot that cut the deficit to 3-2 during the second quarter.
Leesville’s Alex Shearer (#32) takes the shot that cut the deficit to 3-2 during the second quarter.

After trailing 3-1 after the first quarter, Alex Shearer and Eric Fitz both scored and goaltender Graham Holmes held Enloe scoreless in the second quarter for a 3-3 halftime tie. The teams then traded momentum swings in the third quarter and entered the final 12 minutes tied at 6 goals apiece.

Leesville’s Parker Beebe put the Pride up 7-6 with 8:40 left after his team killed a two-man advantage sequence for Enloe, then added at insurance marker to extend the lead to 9-7 with 5:53 left.

Enloe’s Tanner Hudson recorded a hat trick for the visitors, while the Eagles enjoyed 13 saves from their goaltender. Enloe had won seven consecutive games, including over then-conference leader Broughton, since losing to Leesville at home on April 2.

McNamara looks on during the first quarter of Tuesday's game.
McNamara looks on during the first quarter of Tuesday’s game.

“We knew they had a big head of steam,” said McNamara. “We knew we had to play the brand of lacrosse we know how to play and we would come out on top, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Leesville will conclude their regular season Friday at Garner (a team they defeated 19-0 earlier this year) before hosting a game in the first round of the playoffs a week later. Tainted only by a 10-6 loss at Broughton last week, the team is set to finish the regular season 14-1 and boasts a whopping 169-64 goal differential so far.

Zirkle, however, still sees room for improvement. “We’ve got to play a lot better than we played tonight,” he said after Tuesday’s game. “We need to learn how to play playoff lacrosse.”

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