No. 5-ranked Lambert’s quest for a three-peat couldn’t have started much better.
The No. 3-seed Longhorns continued their season-best five game winning streak with a 14-1 victory over No. 2-seed Hillgrove in the first round of the Class 6A boys lacrosse playoffs on Wednesday at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs.
Lambert’s win marked its ninth consecutive playoff victory, including back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012, and gave Hillgrove (11-5) its worst loss of the season.
"Our kids are playing well down the stretch," Lambert director of lacrosse Rich Wehman said. "We played a solid game. I think we felt like if we took care of business and played a solid game, we’d have a positive outcome, and that’s what we did.
"We jumped on them early and got a nice lead. And what was nice about tonight…was that we were able to rotate a lot of our guys through and a lot of our guys were continuing to produce, which is great for us."
Lambert (13-6) junior Sean Carruthers boasted a game-high five goals, while teammates Mitchell Pearson, Hunter Shepherd and Spencer Wilson tallied two apiece. Ryan Fendt, Peyton Smith and Matt Geran, who led the team with three assists, each had a goal.
"You never really expect to score five goals, but I’m not necessarily surprised," Carruthers said. "You just go out there and work hard and see what happens and play as a team and I guess it just went our way today.
"I think our team is starting to mesh together well, especially the offense. …Everything is just starting to go our way. We’re definitely playing good lacrosse now. I think we’ll probably surprise a lot of people because we’re not one of the favorites."
The defense was just as potent as the offense. Goalie Garret Gomez saved 9-of-10 shots, as he captained the group.
"I think our defense is playing the best that they’ve played all year," Wehman said. "I think in the middle of the year we were a little bit out of sorts back there, and we have a terrific goalie and anchor back there."
The Longhorns will now face No. 3 Milton, a team that defeated Lambert 9-7 in early March, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Milton High School.