The celebrations were muted, if present at all, even though the Lambert boys lacrosse team was completely dominating, blitzing towards easy goals after winning faceoffs and sequestering Parkview in its own half.
The final score was 22-0 in favor of the Longhorns (17-1), and the defending state champions were expecting a result like that, facing a relatively new program in a sport with a particularly wide disparity of quality between teams.
So Lambert director of lacrosse Rich Wehman kept his goals modest: Get a lead as quickly as possible, get the starters off the field and make sure nobody got hurt.
And although senior midfielder Eric Overbay said the Longhorns “came out a little bit slow,” partly due to the game’s start time being moved up from 7:00 to 5:15, they still poured in 10 goals within the first eight minutes.
During that part of the game, the atmosphere on the
sidelines was subdued. When a group of players was chatting on the sidelines
after the Longhorns’ fourth goal, another player yelled at them to quiet down.
“We definitely talk to them about showing the proper amount of emotion,” Wehman said. “When our kids celebrate, they celebrate, but they don’t overdo it.”
When the game was well in hand and the starters were on the sidelines, Lambert let more emotion show. At the beginning of the second half, defensive midfielder Tyler Jubard fought through the whacks and pushes of three Parkview defenders to retain possession and start a move up the field, drawing cheers from the sideline.
There were more whoops when Jubard scored with 2:08 left in the third quarter, the junior’s first goal of the year and a rare accomplishment in the first place for someone at his position.
“We told them at halftime: When you go in, I want to see you doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” Wehman said. “I want to make sure you’re in the right spot (and) you’re executing … this is your chance to show us that you know what you’re doing.”
And Overbay, who spent much of the game watching after doing his part to help the Longhorns put it away early, was keeping an eye on the players who will succeed him in the program.
“We really always like to stay on them, just never let a mistake go, even if we’re up by 15 goals,” Overbay said. “Everything matters. Those guys are going to be coming up through the system, and a year or two years from now, they’re going to be playing. We like to keep the tradition strong.”