Matanzas lost to district rival St. Augustine 7-6 on the night of Wednesday, March 7, at Matanzas High School.
The Matanzas boys lacrosse team lost to its district rival, St. Augustine, on the night of Wednesday, March 7, at Matanzas High School.
After playing a physical, back-and-fourth contest for four quarters, the two teams battled it out in a sudden-death overtime period. The Yellow Jackets got the first — and last — punch, scoring nearly two minutes into the period to defeat the Pirates 7-6.
Matanzas coach Efrain Gutierrez paused for a brief moment to collect his thoughts before he spoke.
“I think it’s safe to say that we hate those guys a little bit more than we hate Flagler Palm Coast. There’s a lot of bad blood there. This was a fun one to get out, but the real game is going to be in the playoffs in April.”
-Matanzas coach Efrain Gutierrez on the Pirates' rivalry with St. Augustine
“You know what? This is good,” Gutierrez said of the loss. “I think this is a blessing in disguise.”
The Pirates and the Yellow Jackets have fought for control of the district for the last four years. Matanzas last won the district title with a dominating 23-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets in 2016. But, the Yellow Jackets ended the Pirates’ season last year in the district championship game, which St. Augustine won 12-9.
The 2018 season is about getting revenge for the Pirates.
“I’m a firm believer in that it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” Gutierrez said. “We witnessed that last year with these guys when we beat them in the regular season and then lost in the playoffs. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s back to the drawing board for us.”
The Pirates struggled to put the ball in the back of the net on Wednesday night against the Yellow Jackets. What stood out, however, was the Pirates’ defense.
“Six goals? That’s like a field goal in football,” Gutierrez said. “I’m impressed with this team because they’re really buying into the systems we’re drawing up.”
Defender Ryan O’Conner said he wanted one thing for the rest of the season: “We want to get our district championship back.”