Coming off of a win at Quince Orchard on Apr. 2, the Patriots turned their attention to Northwest on Apr. 5, another big game as Northwest coach Jonathan Powell made his return to Wootton against his former squad.
The Patriots didn’t get anything easy against the Jaguars, going into the half leading 4-3. Starting the second half the Patriots got early contributions from senior attackman Caleb Metz and Alex Kim to give a little cushion to their slim lead.
The Patriots never waivered, holding their lead and holding on for an 8-4 win at home. “It was a nice team win, this game was hard fought and I’m glad we were able to hold on for the win,” junior midfielder Ben Bloch said.
They went on to play Gaithersburg in their next game on Apr. 10. As the game started fast, the Patriots looked like they had something to prove, getting out to an 8-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. The scoring was provided by Metz and senior attackman Hunter Band, who both recorded hat tricks in the contest. The Patriots not only cruised to the half leading 11-1, but all the way until the final horn, winning the game 17-2. “Going into the season, we believed that Gaithersburg was a team we should beat. So we had to go out and prove to everyone that we could beat them,” sophomore defenseman Anthony De Leon said.
Next came the highly anticipated matchup with Churchill on Apr. 12 and, the Patriots had a lot of confidence. Coming off of three straight wins, the Patriots all but guaranteed to beat the Bulldogs. The game got off to a slow start, but the Bulldogs stuck first going up 1-0. It was a back and forth game, both teams exchanging possessions with missed shots and opportunities.
Churchill began to find their rhythm before halftime and took a 3-1 lead into the break, but, the Patriots were still searching for answers against the Bulldog defense. The second half started slow as well, but then once again the Bulldogs went on a 2-0 spurt taking the 5-1 lead in the fourth quarter. With a Patriots needing a spurt of their own, senior defenseman Aaron Strauss went down the field and cut the lead to three as the fourth quarter wound down.
In the end, the Patriots couldn’t find enough offense late, falling to the Bulldogs 5-3. “It was such a frustrating loss, you never want to lose to Churchill at home, especially in your senior year,” senior defenseman Jay Raichura said.
The captains this year are seniors Aaron Strauss, Hunter Band, and Seamus Graham. They are all returning players with more than two years of experience on varsity. They are hoping to lead the team this year deep in the playoffs.
The Patriots had one more match up before spring break, going against Sherwood on Apr. 15. It didn’t seem as if the Patriots had a chance falling into an early 7-0 hole. However, senior midfielder Alec Yassin wasn’t going to let the game be a blowout, scoring two first half goals. The Patriots went into the half losing 8-2, and didn’t have an answer for the Warriors losing this one 12-4.
The Patriots took on Whitman on Apr. 26 at home, but is too late to be covered in this issue.