Jaedon Henderson and Ryan Emerson, both members of Ithaca High’s 24-player senior class, scored three goals apiece as the Little Red celebrated Senior Night in style, cruising past outmanned Union-Endicott, 18-1, in Section 4 boys’ lacrosse action at Bredbenner Field.
Senior Carson Case chipped in two goals and senior goalie Eh Tha Dah made two saves in a little more than a half of play before yielding to junior Matt Fricke, who stopped three Tigers shots.
Head coach Frank Welch got all 24 of his seniors in the game as Ithaca (13-1) scored five goals in the final three minutes of the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead, and led 14-1 at halftime. Thirteen players had at least a goal for Ithaca, which outshot U-E, 47-11, and had a commanding 58-16 advantage in ground balls.
“This is the largest group of seniors we’ve ever had, and they’ve been playing together for a long time,” Welch said. “It’s a fun group to be around, and to watch them grow up to be good lacrosse players and good people, and to have all 24 of them play tonight, it was fun for them and fun for everybody.”
Henderson admitted it was an emotional pregame ceremony, during which each of the two dozen seniors was introduced in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the stadium grandstand.
“We’ve playing together since first grade, second grade, and playing throughout the summers,” he said. “It’s just great playing with these guys, and I love them to death. We might not ever see each other again (after graduation), so it was a great experience and an emotional feeling, and a great win.”
Emile Sassone-Lawless put the Little Red on the board just 52 seconds into the game, but it took Ithaca most of the rest of the first period to score again. But when it finally did, the goals came in bunches and Welch substituted freely beginning in the second quarter.
“These kids got out there and played team lacrosse, moved the ball and were looking for their teammates, and that’s what we want to see,” Welch said. “The backups got a lot of playing time, and kids who hadn’t scored a lot of goals scored a bunch for us. It was a good win for us.”
Erik Legenhausen scored the only goal for Union-Endicott (2-9), while goalie Luke Wilbur made 24 saves.
Ithaca hosts Chenango Forks Saturday morning before wrapping up the regular season at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Corning.