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Bellevue vs Skyline - Game Recap

The Bellevue Wolverines hold on to an early lead in a 9-7 victory over the Skyline Spartans in a championship caliber game last Friday night. Story by Michael Thornbloom.

Since the restructuring of the divisions to 1A/2A, 3A, 4A and Private in the 2017 season, the opportunity for multiple state champions became a reality. This brought a unique match-up this year where the 3A state champion and 4A state champion could face each other in a regular season game. This one started out in Skyline’s favor ending the first quarter 2-1, but Bellevue’s speed a mobility put their defense on their heels immediately into the second.

The Spartans were struggling to get into a rhythm against their KingCo rivals for a majority of this game. They had issues maintaining possession for the most part, as Bellevue was making it difficult for the Spartans to get their defense set before they put up a few goals. Skyline was down 8-4 coming into the fourth quarter and the pressure was building to close the gap.

The Wolverines defense was incredibly aggressive and riding the Spartans hard, disrupting their movement and forcing turnovers. Skyline found an impressive three-goal run in the final quarter but the early lead proved too difficult to come back from as the game closed up 9-7, Bellevue.

Wolverine senior attackman Paul Johnson had a great night pulling in four goals with three of them unassisted. He will need to keep up the trend this season due to star senior midfielder Matt Marino suffering another torn ACL from a previous game. Skyline may have lost their first game of the season, but they ended this game with six different players scoring a goal demonstrating some real depth in their talent.

Bellevue head coach Nick Welton took over as varsity coach for the Wolverines late in their season last year, and immediately took them to a 3A State Championship. Now he has the chance to really mold this team around his own philosophies and further the greatness that is the Bellevue Wolverine lacrosse team. This game against Skyline was a true test of what he will get out of his team this year and their defense really carried the weight. Not only are these kids tough but they are smart players as well.

“They’re always communicating.” Said Welton shortly after their victory. “All of our long poles have a strong lacrosse IQ. They are tough inside players and they work together as a unit.” This was apparent against a Skyline team that didn’t have any issues last year putting up over 10 goals in any given game. Welton understood that if they overlook this Spartan team it could spell danger for his team.

“Getting a good understanding of our opponent and making sure that we have prepared in a way that makes us successful.” Said Welton. “I know that they have some strong athletes and I know they are a gritty team and we saw that tonight.”

Bellevue starts the season off with a winning record as they move to 1-0 as they prepare to host Juanita (0-1) on March 20th. Skyline moves to 0-1 and gears up for a pair of non-league matchups against Nanaimo (B.C.) on March 24th and Grant (OR) on March 25 in this years Northwest Invitational.

Story by Michael Thornbloom

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