Lambert’s boys appeared headed for a shootout after jumping ahead of Walton 2-1 less than three minutes into the game. But by the time the Longhorns entered the third quarter still nursing the same 2-1 lead, it was clear that scoring was going to be in short supply.
Senior attacker Ryan Fendt scored three goals and sophomore goalie Garrett Gomez stopped 16 of 19 shots on goal as the No. 4-ranked Longhorns did just enough to earn a 5-3 victory over No. 11 Walton on Tuesday at The Horn in a contest where neither team scored for a span of more than 24 minutes of game time.
The matchup marked only the third time in program history that the Longhorns (5-2) had been held to fewer than seven goals and the first time since April 28, 2010.
"We were very disappointed tonight with the way our offense played," Lambert director of lacrosse Rich Wehman said. "We spent a lot of time putting things in, wanting the kids to execute, and they just got away from it early. It was just not a good effort. We found a way to win [despite] not [playing] well, so that’s good, but we have to learn that if we play like that we’re not going to reach our goals."
Fendt put the Longhorns ahead 1-0 after only 1:19 had ticked off the clock in the opening period, and teammate Matt Geran scored the first of his two goals 25 seconds later to make the score 2-0. Kip Jones responded for Walton (5-2) just over a minute later, marking the last time either scored until the second half.
The Longhorns finally broke the drought when Geran scored off an assist from Spencer Wilson with 9:02 remaining in the third quarter. Fendt tacked on his second goal with six minutes remaining in the period to give Lambert its first breathing room of the night.
Jones answered for Walton three minutes before the end of the period, beginning another scoring drought that lasted more than 13 minutes.
"I thought our defense played really well. We didn’t give up a lot of good looks," Wehman said.
"The [second goal by Walton], I think the coaches can take responsibility because we told the kid that the guy was open in the center of the field, and he threw it and it was intercepted.
"Garrett [Gomez] had another good game. He’s been good game in and game out.
"I thought Mitchell Gargosh on defense tonight played with a lot of engergy whereas a lot of people were missing it."
Fendt tacked on an insurance goal for Lambert with 1:50 remaining and the Raiders added their final goal with 22.9 seconds on the clock.
Christian Shepard won eight of 11 faceoffs for the Longhorns, who came out on top 30-22 in ground balls.
Lambert is scheduled to host Lovett on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Lambert (girls) 17, Decatur 6
Lambert’s girls picked up their third consecutive win with a comfortable victory over Decatur on Tuesday at The Horn.
Nine different players scored for the Lady Longhorns. Danielle Dollar led the team with five goals, while Gabby Case added four.
The Lady Longhorns (3-1) entered the 2013 season fresh off a mixed 2012 campaign. Lambert made its first state playoff appearance last year but also lost seven of its final eight games.
Head coach Kate Sedgwick believes the team is mentally tougher this season.
"On the field and off the field, the morale is so much higher than it was," Sedgwick said. "We got down ... last season and basically it kind of took over in some of the game and debilitated us from being able to play the way that we know how to play."
Sedgwick said one key for Lambert this season is the transition of senior Grace Sisserson to a new position.
"She’s played ... strictly defense [in the past]," Sedgwick said. "I’ve taken her stick skills and her athleticism and placed her in the center midfield and she’s excelled in that position."
The Lady Longhorns are scheduled to face North Forsyth on Friday at 6 p.m.