Lacrosse Suffers Tough Loss Against Aquinas, Little Does Much to Keep Game Close



Sophomore Caden Hayes sets up his sophomore teammate Sean Sheehan for a go ahead goal in the second quarter.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m., the boys’ varsity lacrosse team was defeated by St. Thomas Aquinas by a score of 11-12. The game featured many swings in momentum, as the two teams battled into the match’s final seconds.

The game started off well for the Buccaneers with two early goals from senior captain Brady Quinn. Quinn’s second goal featured a fake spin move from behind the crease, which resulted in an open goal.

The first quarter was also dominated by freshman goalie Tatum Little, who had two great saves to keep the Bucs in front. Although Little allowed more goals as the game went on, his many clutch saves kept his team close for the entire game.

Little believes he played well on Tuesday and also will only get better as the season goes on and is thankful for the opportunity to play on the varsity squad.

“I performed at my best, and I tried as hard as I could, but I would have liked to go back and make some stops that I should have made. It’s definitely really exciting to be able to play on varsity as a freshman, and the opportunity really gives me the motivation to keep working hard,” exclaimed Little.

At the end of the first quarter, St. Thomas scored a goal to cut into the Bucs’ lead. They carried this momentum into the second quarter scoring two quick goals to go ahead by a score of 3-2. Despite this being the first time the Buccaneers trailed all game, they were able to fight back with three consecutive goals by Quinn, sophomore Sean Sheehan, and eighth-grader Jack Kelleher.

These consecutive goals thrilled the smaller Tuesday night student section. Junior Taylor Grande enjoys cheering on the Lacrosse team but is sad about the outcome of the game.

“I love going to school sporting events, especially lacrosse. It was a great game between two good teams, but I wish we could have come out on top,” said Grande.

Following another Buccaneer goal by sophomore Jayden Vega, two goals from the Aquinas knotted the score up 6-5 in favor of the Buccaneers at halftime.

The second half started with more of the same as goals from sophomores Caden Hayes and Alex Ponchock offset two early third-quarter goals from St. Thomas. After a few missed opportunities on offense and some questionable defense, the Buccaneers were trailing in the fourth quarter.

Even though the team was battling from behind, Vega and senior Brett Salech were able to win control of the ball on some major fourth-quarter faceoffs which allowed Vega and Kelleher to score two goals and gather an 11-10 lead. Quinn believes the faceoff guys helped them tie up the game and thinks the offense let the team down.

“I think that our face-off guys did well battling and trying to get as many possessions as they could,” said Quinn. “We have to fight for ground balls more, play with more passion, and offensively we have to set up and make sure we are spaced so that we can beat our one-on-one matchups,” added Quinn.

After the Buccaneers scored, St. Thomas was able to tie the game up after a questionable out-of-bounds call by the referees. This resulted in an important faceoff, which was won by the Aquinas. With 27 seconds remaining, the go-ahead goal was scored by St. Thomas giving the Buccaneers their first loss of the season.

Although this was a tough loss for the Buccaneers, the season is just starting and head coach Peter Cordrey expects the team to learn from their mistakes.

“I thought that our defense played fairly well. There were moments where we were very good on offense and there were also moments where we were not. It’s early going, and it’s a young team. We’re going to make a lot of mistakes, so for us it’s about the process, learning from those mistakes, and getting better every day,” acknowledged Coach Cordrey.

The Bucs’ next opponent will be Friday versus at Pine Crest in Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00 p.m.


Maturing Boys’ Tennis Served Loss by Experienced North Broward Prep 
Joey Tomassetti and Reid Waxman

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the boys’ varsity tennis team played North Broward Prep at 3:30 P.M in a set of earlyseason matinee matches. It was a rough day for the Bucs, as the Eagles were victorious in each of the afternoon’s seven pairings, yet the Bucs remain optimistic about the direction in which they are heading.

We are still looking to improve. As one of the seniors, I try to mentor the younger players and help them with whatever they need. More wins will come eventually as we continue to grow as a team,” senior captain Wils Davis said confidently.

Varsity head coach Robbie Clouse cited the Eagles’ talent advantage as the main reason for the Bucs’ loss.

“We are a young and inexperienced team. They have recruited players who will play in Division 1. Players at Benjamin play tennis as a hobby. The North Broward Prep School plays for state titles. We can compete in districts and regionals, but are limited by our youth. We still have a long way to go, though,” Clouse remarked.

The boys’ teams played five singles and two doubles matches in a pro set (eight games). The top seed from each team played each other, the second seed from each team, and so forth.

In the first match, Bucs seventh-grader Misha Liberzon dueled Eagle’s junior Jacob Hartman. Liberzon got a rocky start, falling behind 5-1 early on. But after regaining his focus, Liberzon was able to claw his way back to a 5-4 deficit. Hartman’s experience paid off as he closed the match 8-4.

“Honestly, I was playing horribly in those first six games. My serves were not going in, and he was putting the ball into places I could not get to,” Liberzon states, frustrated. “When I brought it back to 5-4, I felt more comfortable, but then he started to heat up. He played a great match and is a great player.”

In the second match, senior Aditya Jasti played against the Eagle’s senior Felipe Ferreria. Ferreria was in control for the entirety of the match and ultimately came out on top, 8-1. Jasti feels like he had the wrong game plan the entire match.

“I think that I tried to go for too little, and I tried to play too consistently because that caused me to lose,” Jasti expressed. “Whenever I hit a heavy topspin shot, my opponent would crush it. But, when I started being aggressive, I was able to win my only game against him.”

Bucs senior Owen Gruner battled against Eagles eighth grader Jacob Stein. Gruner played a competitive match, with many of his games going to deuce.

“It was a good match. My serve was not on point, and I could not follow through on some of the points with my groundstrokes. On a positive note, my volleys were good, and those led me through my match. I found a weakness in my opponent and used it to my advantage,” Gruner mentioned.

Bucs eighth grader Chase Atkins competed against Eagles freshman Alexander Lessen. Atkins played a good match, but Lessen played better. He was MaxPreps’ Player of the Match.

“I played well today, but my opponent played out of his mind. I was getting the ball back in the court, and he just ran me around the baseline. His serve was tough to get since it had so much kick. I did not expect that outcome with how I played the past few days.

Bucs sophomore R.J. Sahm matched up with Eagles sophomore Julius Binder. Sahm was filling in for freshman Ishe Makoni, who was not feeling well moments before the match. One would have to think that the record heat in the Southeast played a role in Makoni’s health. Binder eventually went on to beat Sahm 8-1.

“I felt surprised that Ishe was not playing. Missing two players really can change the course of the match. It changed how I played; I was trying to keep the ball in play as much as possible since I was playing someone better than me. I did this because I knew my opponent would make a couple of errors, so I tried to win as many points as possible,” Sahm explained.

The doubles matches were played after the five singles matches, and they did not go much better. In the first match, Liberzon and Gruner were defeated by Hartman and Ferreira. The Eagles overwhelmed the Bucs, 8-4.

In the second match, Atkins and Davis could not come away with a win against Lessen and Stein. This doubles match was closer, including a near 6-1 comeback that fell short. The Eagles went on to win, 8-6.

In other news, Bucs star senior Darian Salehi missed his second straight match yesterday with a groin injury. Salehi says he is feeling better but wants another week of rest before returning to the court.

The boys’ next home match is on Tues., Feb. 28, vs. The Pine School, as the Bucs look for their first home victory of the young season.