After a home game against Valencia High on Tuesday night, West Ranch boys lacrosse goalie Shane Quesada walked along the sidelines holding a snickerdoodle cookie in the net of his stick.
“It’s not gross because it’s a part of me,” he said, referring to the stick.
It’s hard to call him crazy. After all, he made key saves and directed a defense that allowed minimal goals in the Wildcats’ 14-4 win over the Vikings.
“Shane does a great job,” said West Ranch midfielder Teo Domic. “He really backs up the defense, he’s the backbone of it. He commands the defense very well. Even when I’m not playing defense, I can hear him talk on the sideline.”
The defensive core of Hunter Anderson, Garret Vander Leek, Chris Striff and Derek Moskal along with Quesada held Valencia (3-1) scoreless until midway through the second quarter, when Alan Lin scored on his third consecutive attempt.
“Those guys are extremely athletic, and they are just on the hands of the opponent, always pestering them, making it hard to throw and catch,” said West Ranch coach Mike Borsos. “As soon as the guy gets the ball on the stick, they’re on their hands and just have high pressure on them.”
The Cats (3-2) were leading 5-1 after Lin’s goal. Valencia scored another at the start of the second half to cut the deficit to three.
Josh Botoglou and Jacob Gandara scored back-to-back goals for West Ranch with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Valencia scored once more in the third and once early in the final frame before it was silenced.
“We played hard the entire game,” said Valencia coach Will Goodman. “We just need to finish our shots. We just weren’t finishing anything. If we finished them, I think it would’ve been a different story.”
Four Viking shots hit the post throughout the game, inducing anxiety for the Vikes, but relief for Quesada.
“I call the posts my friends and every time they stop a ball, I give them a little hit with my stick and I kind of thank them,” said the senior.
West Ranch’s Domic and Jacob Gandara picked up hat tricks and Bryce Hildebrand, Noah Gervasi and Adam Doyle completed two-goal games in the fourth quarter.
“(We’re) just sticking to the script,” Domic said. “We’ve been practicing for months on a designed offense and by doing that we’ve just become very accustomed to it and it showed in the results and the score.”
The game was dedicated to Maya Evans, a West Ranch student and girls lacrosse player who was diagnosed with leukemia in the fall. The orange-themed event raised money for Evans with a dunk tank, 50/50 raffle, silent auction and more.
“We came out to play for her because she loved the sport, we all love the sport and we’re all one big family,” said Quesada.
West Ranch girls lacrosse defeated Valencia 18-2 on Tuesday afternoon at West Ranch.
Audra Kim had four goals and five assists, Hope Jin had four goals and one assist, and Bella Gervasi had four goals for the Wildcats. Goalie Jodan Adamek-Postelwait had 10 saves on 12 shots.