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Two games into the 2013 season, and it’s quite the start for first-year Matanzas boys lacrosse coach Jeff Goren.
In the season opener, the Pirates knocked off Nease, 6-5, for the first time since 2007 — and the first time at Nease.
Then, on Saturday, the Pirates took an early lead they never relinquished against crosstown rival Flagler Palm Coast, going on to win, 11-7, and marking the first time Matanzas has beaten FPC in four years.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Goren said of his team’s two wins. “We started a journey back in September. I came up with a plan, and so far, the plan is working.”
Against FPC, Matanzas got on the board first when Gunner Parson scored with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
Yan Lishinsky made it 2-0 shortly into the second quarter.
FPC responded, however, and scored two goals in a 50-second span to knot the score at 2-2.
With 3:49 left in the first half, Parson netted his second goal of the game. Christian Wilson gave Matanzas a 4-2 halftime lead when he scored with about 1:20 to go in the first half.
The teams went back-and-forth throughout the second half, but Matanzas outscored FPC, 7-5, over the final 24 minutes to win the game.
Parson finished with three goals and two assists. Jake Cohill added two goals and two assists, and Lishinksy stroked two goals.
FPC (0-1) will face Nease next. Bulldogs coach Ryan Andrews said he was proud of how his team played in its first game of the season. With several top players gone after graduating, Andrews said his team — which features two seniors, 17 juniors and four freshmen — will have to continue to develop. The players who are gone accounted for about 78% of last year’s offensive production, Andrews said.
Andrews said this year, goals must come from several players. On Saturday, five different Bulldogs found the back of the net. John Zelaskoski scored three goals and Alec Noble scored two.
“(Matanzas) is a tough team,” Andrews said. “They have a lot of experience. They didn’t let up.”
Matanzas freshman goalie Matt Gutierrez garnered a lot of praise from both Andrews and Goren.
Gutierrez tallied 12 saves in the game.
“It was absolutely a goalie’s game,” Andrews said. “(Gutierrez) is probably one of the best around. And as a freshman, that’s pretty scary. That was the difference — that was the gamebreaker.”
Although his team is 2-0, Goren said things won’t change as the season cranks up.
“We’re just building one day at a time and really working on what we do,” he said. “We’re not really worried about what the other team has. We just want to execute. We know we’re prepared, and if we play our game, we should win ball games.”
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