Vestal spent the week before the Class B state lacrosse quarterfinals preparing to limit the potent Jamesville-Dewitt attack duo of senior Jordan Evans and junior Griffin Feiner.
But that preparation can take you only so far. It’s hard to simulate the skill and vision of two NCAA Division I-caliber players. Evans and Feiner combined for 17 points as the Section 3 Red Rams cruised to a 16-7 win over the Golden Bears on Saturday at Union-Endicott’s Ty Cobb Stadium.
“In the first quarter, I thought we were pretty much there in terms of team defense, but we spent some time in the penalty box, which hurt us,” coach Chris Mahon said of his Golden Bears, which faced J-D for the third straight season in the quarterfinals. “We kind of got away from our game plan a little bit. I don’t think there’s anything you are going to do to totally shut them down. All you can really hope to do is limit their scoring opportunities.”
Feiner, who is committed to the University of Hartford, finished with eight goals and Evans, who will play at Syracuse, added one goal and eight assists.
“Honestly, I think on our first possession, we must’ve had six or seven shots within a minute-and-a-half span and they were all high,” said J-D coach Jamie Archer, who has led the Red Rams to two of the last three Class B state titles. “I think we were getting the shots that we wanted, it was just a matter of when our guys were going to start putting them on cage.”
Evans and Feiner dominated play in the first half. Feiner scored seven goals, including all four J-D goals in the first quarter, and Evans added one goal and six assists as the Red Rams built a 13-1 halftime lead.
J-D (19-1) limited the Golden Bears (9-6) to three shots on goal in the first quarter and held Vestal scoreless for the first 23 minutes of the game. Sophomore attackman Jake Nelson scored unassisted with 1:04 left in the first half to bring Vestal to within 11-1. The Red Rams responded with two goals in the final minute. Feiner scored his seventh off a pass from Evans and then junior attackman Griffin Johnson scored with one second remaining in the half.
Junior Nick Nestlerode played a strong first half for the Golden Bears. He recorded eight saves, including three in the first four minutes as Vestal kept the Red Rams off the scoreboard.
“We are excited,” Feiner said. “We look to make it to the state championship every year, it’s our ultimate goal and if we don’t win the state championship in the end, it’s a disappointment. We expect to make it to the state championship every year.”
Senior Kenny King scored twice and senior Marshall Case, sophomore Jake Nelson, and senior John Winchell each added one goal and one assist for the Golden Bears.
“Every year, we face Jamesville-Dewitt and the only time we see that type of a caliber of a team is when we play Corning or Ithaca during the season,” Mahon said. “I am proud of the kids. They left their hearts out on the field today. I couldn’t say enough about that nucleus that we have.”