The Flucos lead wire to wire in beating Liberty (Bealeton) 9-8 Tuesday night.
“You saw the first five minutes of the game, that’s how it should be played especially when they are at that caliber. We need to be at that focus level the whole entire game,” said FCHS head coach Matt Taylor.
It wasn’t all easy going for Fluvanna. Up 8-3 heading into the final frame, the Eagles went on a run. LHS scored its third power play goal of the game with just over nine minutes left, then added two more goals in the next three minutes. FCHS frantically bunkered down on defense and even had two shots, including Jake Mooney’s successful attempt pushing the lead to 9-6 with 1:51 left.
Liberty would score again with a minute left then bring it within one with 31 seconds remaining. A fruitless FCHS offensive possession almost created a LHS fastbreak opportunity but a steal by senior Josh Carmack at midfield sealed the Fluvanna victory.
“I saw [a Liberty player] going down[field]. As the goalie threw it, he under threw it and I got lucky and snagged it. We got back on offense real quick,” said Carmack.
Fluvanna stormed out to an early lead. Austin Early, Matt Fragola and two James Byram goals gave FCHS a 4-1 lead after the first period.
A Mooney goal and two more Fragola scores lengthen the lead to 7-3 at the break. Early added another in the third before the frantic fourth quarter.
“I’ve got to give it up to our goalie, John,” said Carmack. “He really saved us in some slick situations.”
Between the pipes, John Marshall continued his dominance shown last year. The senior stopped seven LHS opportunities.
The win completes a major step for the second-year FCHS boys’ lacrosse program.
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“It is phenomenal to have our first ever victory, especially at home at Phil Browning Field,” said Carmack.
The team is much improved, stringing together passes and creating defensive stops better than last year. Still with things to work on, the program is making strides.
“It is a lot better than last year. We still have improvements sharing the ball, finding the open man and stuff like that. We are trying to make it a team offense instead of relying on a handful of guys because that’ll end up failing you as the year progresses,” said Taylor.
The win also marks the first for Taylor in just his first game. This year Taylor stepped up from the junior varsity squad to take over for Richard Little who guided the program in the first year. Taylor said he would contact Little to celebrate the victory.
Next up for FCHS (1-0) is Culpeper on March 18. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. in Culpeper.