Raleigh, NC — The first game of the season for Cardinal Gibbons (1-0) and second for Leesville (1-1) started with some apparent rust being shaken off, with neither squad finding consistency the first few minutes. Senior midfielder Lawson Sinclair opened up the Crusader’s 2018 scoring with a goal assisted from fellow senior midfielder Jack Zamik at the 9:54 mark. Gibbons proceeded to score 3 more unanswered goals with Zamik tallying 3 assists. Leesville hit the mark on an man-up opportunity, with Mason Robertson finding Zack Blakeman to stop the bleeding with 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Gibbons hit back with another 6 unanswered goals from the end of the 1st quarter to the midway point of the 2nd quarter. Many of the Crusader’s opportunities came from a mixture of tenacious riding from the attack and the inability for Leesville to clear the ball. Leesville was able to get 2 back towards the end of the second with goals from Brian Fitz and Cole Jankowsky. The first half was highlighted by Cardinal Gibbons Senior Attackman Adam Barry finding the back of the net 3 times and adding an assist.
The second half saw both teams take a complete 180. Gibbons Head Coach Alex Buckley opted to play his back up brigade for much of the second half. This led to struggles on both the defensive and offensive end. The Pride pounced at the opportunity and scored 5 unanswered goals during a stretch of the second half. Despite getting within 4, the Leesville valiant comeback attempt was not enough to overcome a sloppy first half. Gibbons was able to kill off quite a bit of clock in the final minutes after back to back man-up opportunities in which they opted to not shoot.
The 13-9 final score is a bit deceiving, as the Crusaders were never in any danger of giving up the lead. Leesville should be pleased with the way they fought in the second half to close the gap. Leesville's Brian Fitz seemed to pick up where he left off from last season with 2 goals and an assist. Zach Blakeman had a solid night going 2g/2a on the night, while Cole Jankowsky had a respectful night at the face-off X.
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