The following article, written by Ben Handel, appeared in the Moscow Pullman Daily News on May 20, 2014…
A decisive second quarter proved to be the difference as Logos toppled Moscow 11-6 Monday at the Idaho SprinTurf Practice Field, clinching the fourth and final spot in the upcoming Northern Idaho Lacrosse League playoffs.
The Knights scored twice in the first 30 seconds of the second period, helping spark a dominant 7-0 run that turned what had been a 2-2 contest midway through the first into a 10-3 Logos advantage at halftime.
“We didn’t really do anything differently in the second quarter than we did in the first,” Knights coach Ben Merkle said. “It was just everybody started to get into a groove, we started hitting our passes and making good decisions.”
Leading the charge for the Knights was senior attacker Trevor Morse, who scored six goals – including the first five of the night for his team – and tallied an assist in the final regular-season action of his varsity career. Teammate Sean Stanton racked up a trio of goals and an assist.
“Trevor and Sean, once they get their chemistry going, they started putting them in like crazy,” Merkle said. “They really took over for us.”
Morse and the Knights drew first blood, taking a pass from midfielder Jonny Handel on the left wing and putting it into the back of the net. The Bears, however, retaliated with a goal from Aaron Ivie to knot things up. The duo of Morse and Handel got Logos the lead on its next trip down the field, but again Moscow answered right back, this time with a goal from Hunter Klawitter to make it 2-2.
The Knights were able to stay on attack for the majority of the remainder of the game, finishing with a 35-17 advantage in shots attempted. A large part of the reason for that was the Knights’ ability to clear the ball on defense – something two Logos midfielders in particular excelled at.
“Levi (Wintz) and Jonny (Handel) have incredible wheels, and they’re coming off of taking a state title in track the day before,” Merkle said. “They’re really impressive and can clear the ball really fast, but they also have really good stick skills and know where to be to get that open.”
With Wintz and Handel reversing the field nearly every time Moscow attacked Logos’ defense, the Knights went on a 7-0 run before Sam Odenberg took a pass from Xavier Murdoch and scored for the Bears before halftime.
After the break, however, it was a much more even contest. Neither team scored in the third and Moscow owned a 3-1 advantage in the fourth courtesy of a pair of goals from Matt Cornelison.
“We certainly picked it up in the second half compared to the first half,” Bears coach Jay Johnson said. “I was disappointed with the result, especially the way things fell apart in the first half.”
Defensively, senior goalie Quintin Akers led Moscow with 21 saves while Logos’ Luke Mason tallied seven.
“We started playing Luke in the goal very recently – this is only his fourth game in goal – and he’s been getting a lot better,” Merkle said. “He’s getting smarter about when he should come out of the cage and making stops on those one-on-one dodges. The other thing is both (Shane) Stokes and (Sam) Skiles are getting good at working their positions on defense and Gavin Dooley made nice plays for us tonight, too.”
With the win, Logos improved to 2-8 overall and 2-6 in league, with both wins coming against Moscow. The Knights will visit top-seeded Coeur d’Alene at 6 p.m. tonight in the first round of the playoffs. The Bears finished the spring 0-8 in NILL play.
“I told the players that I was always pleased with their effort,” Johnson said. “We always gave 100 percent and worked hard, even if we didn’t always get the results we wanted.”