The No. 5 Juan Diego Eagles fought off Waterford on Monday night, winning 11-8.
The Eagles were without three starters due to breaking team rules but the absence allowed younger players to step up, which they did.
“We had two of senior midfielders, Eric Doughty and Nate Elorreaga stepped up,” said Juan Diego Head Coach Patrick Lambert. “They played great.”
The game started with both teams taking good possessions. Waterford won the opening face-off and were able to take two good shots before Juan Diego Goalie Erik Gronseth was able to save a shot. Juan Diego went into their offensive set but Waterford Goalie Alex Smidt saved a shot and the Ravens began to clear. Smidt took the ball out of the crease and started walking up field. The Juan Diego Attackmen didn’t pick him up so Smidt crossed midfield and ran to goal. Smidt wound up and put a shot on cage, but Gronseth came away with the save and cleared it to Eric Doughty who took the ball at midfield and ran all the way to goal, scoring the first goal of the game.
The Ravens would answer with a goal by Eric Mika on a pass from Jordan Desautels. The Eagles followed suit as Doughty added to his tally to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead after the first quarter. Both teams traded two goals in the second half but a two goal run by Juan Diego would give them a 6-3 lead going into halftime.
On the opening face-off of the second half, Waterford Midfielder Nicholas Deseelhorst won the face-off, drove down the field, spun through several Eagle defenders and scored a goal while being pushed to the ground. Waterford scored two more goals to tie the game at 6. Juan Diego answered on a goal by back on a goal by Tyler Grogg who got the ball in the top left corner of the box, took a few steps in and ripped it over his defender for the goal. Waterford answered back on the very next possession on a goal by Mika who towered over his defender, allowing him to shoot right over his shoulder. A few minutes later, Juan Diego would regain the lead on a goal by Alex Day who burned his man at the top of the box, planted his feet and shot a bounce shot. The ball took an unusual hop into the top of the net. The Eagles would lead by one goal after three quarters of play.
Juan Diego scored a few minutes into the fourth quarter but Waterford answered on the ensuing face-off as Deseelhorst once again won the face-off, and ran through the Eagle defense for the goal. That was the last goal the Ravens would score but would give up two more goals to give the Eagles an 11-8 win.
“This is a good momentum changer after our last game,” said Lambert. The Eagles lost to No. 2 Alta, 13-6.
Juan Diego was led by Doughty who had 3 goals. Waterford was led by Mika, Oliver Shaw and Desautels who all had 2 goals and 1 assist.
Juan Diego will host Orem on Thursday while Waterford will play Brighton on Wednesday.