Bowman’s effort pushes boys lax past Hamburg
Jake Bowman’s penchant for finding the back of the net showed up in a big way on May 7, as the attacker set the Clarence boys lacrosse single game record with 10 goals in all but officially defeating Hamburg by himself in what would be the Red Devils’ 11-10 triumph.
Dom Basile had Clarence’s other tally, but it was Bowman, whom coach Charley Warkenthien noted was “on fire” and “created a lot of his chances,” that led the way in what Warkenthien described as “prob- ably our first fully complete game of the season.”
“Honestly, the guys played hard from the opening minute right on through the final minute,” Warkenthien said. “It was such a great game, a game that was exactly the way lacrosse should be played. Both teams gave a great effort; truth be told, I caught myself enjoying it like I was a spectator quite a few times in the second half.”
Clarence established the tone for the game early on by jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Hamburg managed to trim the Red Devils’ advantage to 4-2 by the end of the frame and use that momentum to eventually knot the game at 6-6 at the half. Neither team could really establish a significant lead in the second half, however, with the Red Devils not even taking the lead for good until there was less than 30 seconds to play in regulation.
A penalty with 13 seconds to play had Warkenthien worried, but goalie Nate Prelewicz came up with a big man-down save – one of his 13 “quality” saves for the game, Warkenthien said – to preserve the win.
The Red Devils, flying high after recording such a big win over a quality program, took down first-year program Buffalo with ease two days later, 23-1. As much as Clarence was able to get out to a quick start against Hamburg, it was able to do even more damage early on against Buffalo, taking a 12-1 lead at the half.
Fourteen different players were ultimately able to find the scorebook for the Clarence by the end of the game, paced by Cam Swantek’s and Matt Wright’s three goals each. Cole Harris finished with two goals and an assist, while Zach Norton also scored twice. Ben Langlotz added a goal and an assist for the victors.
Clarence was unable to complete the sweep of its three opponents of the regular season come Friday, however, as Akron demonstrated why it will be one of the section’s favorites to make a push for a state tournament berth after taking the Red Devils down in this year’s fundraiser game between the clubs, 17-6.
Owen Hill, Akron’s returning All-American, led the Tigers’ charge, demonstrating what Warkenthien called a “powerful and unbelievable” offensive display to help push Akron to the win. Akron began to pull away in the second quarter, turning a 3-3 game at the start of the frame into an 8-5 lead at the half.
“As they scored goal after goal, they just seemed to gain more and more confidence,” Warkenthien said. “We just didn’t have an answer for Owen, and Akron’s shooting was lights out in general. They’ve got some outstanding shooters, but we hung in there with them early until they get hot and forced us to play catch up. It wasn’t our best effort in the end, but it’s still just a really nice evening win, lose or draw. There’s never any hard feeling no matter how the game plays out.”
Bowman, who now has 51 goals and 19 assists for the season, led Clarence’s charge with three goals and an assist.
The Red Devils finished the regular season 10-6 overall and will learn their playoff fate today. Warkenthien believes his squad will open postseason play on Thursday, May 24, but regardless of who Clarence draws, he’s hoping the Red Devils’ recent trend of spreading the wealth on offense continues to be a factor for as long as they’re still playing.
“We’ve been starting to spread the ball around as of late, which is good because we’re going to need a bunch of contributors if we want to be successful come the playoffs,” Warkenthien said. “We can’t rely on just one line of midfielders or one line of the attack. The good thing is, I think this year the kids have realized that if they play hard for 48 minutes, they’re always going to be in the game and be tough to beat.”