With five minutes remaining in the game and a three-goal lead in hand, Valencia High lacrosse’s Brendan Barry addressed his team after a time out.
“Empty all the tanks right now,” Barry shouted at an amped up Vikings squad.
Valencia did just that, taking down Village Christian 18-15 in a neck-and-neck contest at Valencia on Friday night.
The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, ending the frame with a 5-1 lead.
But a Village Christian three-minute, non-releasable man advantage in the second quarter gave the Vikes (8-8 overall) the boost they needed. Five goals were scored in that time frame.
“That literally just made up for all of our errors in the first quarter and just helped us get to back where we should’ve been to start,” said Valencia coach Mark Bell. “So after halftime, it was a 0-0 game essentially.”
Entering the third quarter tied 8-8, players’ and coaches’ emotions heated up due to skepticism of refereeing and overall competitiveness.
“It’s a rough sport,” Bell said. “That’s why we play the sport. There’s going to be some times where boys get hit and … that’s the dexterity of being a lacrosse player.
“Especially this when two teams just want to win so bad, especially because it’s the last game for both seasons. It’s going to be high intensity, it’s going to be high pressure, it’s going to be a high-velocity game.”
Leading by two heading into the fourth quarter, Barry scored back-to-back goals to lengthen the Vikings’ lead to 16-12.
With 2:44 remaining in the game, the Crusaders brought the game within one goal at 16-15, but Barry and Evan Dean each netted one apiece to seal the game.
Barry, Dean and Noah Swigert finished the game with four goals each, while Alan Lin scored three for himself.
Clayton Byers was 9-for-14 on faceoffs.
Valencia will learn its playoff seeding on Sunday.