Eagle Valley boys lacrosse defeats Battle Mountain 16-8 Thursday night
Hasley and Petersens combine for 12 goals in road rivalry rout
Before you can drop the beat, you have to lay the beat down.
Entering the visitor’s locker room after Eagle Valley’s 16-8 win over Battle Mountain Thursday night in Edwards only required air traffic control-level noise protection because its inhabitants were justifiably raucous. Was the sound system brought in solely for the purpose of a rowdy, rap-filled post-game celebration?
“Pretty much,” answered senior Eric Hasley, the undeniably unstoppable, man-amongst-boys player of the game. The Devil tallied four goals and directly instigated several others, exerting his will all over the field. The combination of size, strength, speed and vision proved overwhelming for the Huskies.
“We just need to put two guys on him,” Battle Mountain coach Connor Compton stated with a smile afterward.
Compton’s crew controlled time-of-possession in a stale first quarter when Jaden Weiss struck first to put the home team up 1-0 with 1:43 remaining. Hasley led Eagle Valley’s all-too-easy response, setting up Julius Petersen, who found Nolan Miner for the score 20 seconds later. On the next possession, Hasley glided along the endzone before centering to Petersen for another goal. With 8.3 seconds to go, the 6’3″ Oklahoma State-bound attacker took it himself, taking flight from behind the net before stroking a beautiful fadeaway shot — putting his team up 3-1 — and nodding his head as if to say, “Yes sir, that’s how we end a quarter.”
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“Just kind of speed kills I guess,” Hasley identified as the fuel for his team’s run. “Getting teammates open, getting them the ball and they’ll finish.”
Asked if he felt he was the fastest on the field, the humble captain deferred to No. 18, Erich Petersen. The trio of Hasley and both Petersens combined for 12 goals.
“It’s super impressive. I’ve gotten to watch three and now the fourth Petersen boy coming in; it’s funny because it almost looks like backyard lacrosse sometimes,” commented coach Weston Gleiss.
“You can see all the time they’ve spent on the cage, just having fun in the backyard.”
In the second quarter, the triumvirate stretched the lead, accounting for every goal but one to put the Devils up 8-2 at halftime. Hasley intervened to end a lull midway through. With 4:06 to go in the quarter, he took the ball left from behind the goal, only to change direction, rip around the right post and score before anyone else knew what had happened.
“To be honest, as a coach, we wrestle with him more than any other guy,” Gleiss said.
“At midfield, he’ll stop anybody on defense. You’re like, ‘shoot man, what do we do?’ But when he’s scoring five goals a game from dumps on the crease, it’s hard not to leave him there.”
Gleiss said Hasley’s basketball sixth sense has transferred over to lacrosse seamlessly.
“He finds space really well,” Gleiss complimented.
“A lot of guys can get to the open spot, but they can’t find that lane for the ball, and he does that.”
His senior leader is emblematic of what Gleiss describes as Eagle Valley’s “blue-collar lacrosse” identity.
“The kid’s not afraid of anything. He’ll put his head down and make it happen,” he said.
“That’s what I mean when I think of blue-collar lacrosse. You got really talented kids with super high lax I.Q. and they know their part and they do their job and we’ve got kids who put in the work and get it done and do their job.”
Up 10-2 midway through the third quarter, Battle Mountain appeared satisfied settling for long-range shots. Finally, a beautiful fast-break sequence saw Nate Bishop feed P.J. Kessenich, who made the extra touch pass to Jack Pryor for the score. Colorado Mesa lacrosse recruit Erich Petersen answered via a pump fake to put the Devils up 11-3 and bring in Seth Bamford to the Huskies net. Bamford promptly made two beautiful saves, but eventually the offensive onslaught was too much for him, too.
“That’s a really disciplined team and we learned a lot from playing them,” said Compton. Battle Mountain traded goals with Eagle Valley the rest of the way, battling until the final buzzer.
“Eagle Valley’s a good team,” complimented Compton.
“It’s good benchmarking for us to figure out where we are and who the top team in the league is — and it’s them.”