Ryan Overbay scored with 8:50 left in the Lambert boys lacrosse team’s game against Centennial on Friday night, and the crowd cheered. Then another announcement came over the public address system, and they cheered even more.
That goal made the score 14-4 in the Longhorns’ favor, and the 10-goal margin, by rule, would result in a running clock. It was one of many signs of dominance for Lambert on Friday, as the Longhorns quickly took a decisive lead against the Knights, one of the top teams in Class 6-7A, and ended with a 15-4 victory.
Lambert’s players and coaches knew that Centennial was quality opposition heading into the game – the Knights were 7-0 and scored 15 or more goals in every game they’d played – but had a certain confidence that the Longhorns (8-0) were better.
“I like our team,” Lambert director of lacrosse Rich Wehman said with a chuckle. “I just like our team.”
And the margin the win wound up being by was no shock, either.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Longhorns junior Gerard Kane said. “We work our butts off.”
Lambert had a strong advantage in possession from the opening faceoff, and the Longhorns were up 4-0 by the end of the first quarter, with Kane accounting for three of those goals. Centennial netted two in the second quarter, but Lambert had five more to stake a 9-2 halftime lead. The Longhorns didn’t have a second-half surge like they had in their two games in North Carolina the previous weekend, but Centennial still couldn’t get within threatening distance.
This Longhorns team lost a few big names from last year’s state runner-up team – like Eric Overbay, now playing at Villanova, and Jaryd Jean-Felix, now at Rutgers – but is exceptionally deep, in a way that even a perennial state power like Lambert has rarely seen.
“We can go deep at a lot of positions,” Wehman said. “We can run two midfields out there, and they can both hurt you equally as much.”
Seven of the Longhorns’ 15 goals on Friday came off of assists, an abnormally high total. Kane netted a team-high six of those, and he was quick to credit his teammates for doing the bulk of the work in getting him the ball.
“They just did a good job of finding me,” Kane said. “I just thought that was it.”
Lambert certainly exulted in Friday’s win, cheering loudly multiple times and banging the lockers after the game, but it was also only the Longhorns’ eighth game of the season. They’re motivated by the loss to Lassiter in last year’s state championship game, and the team’s depth comes with chemistry developed from numerous years playing together.
There might be a slip-up in the Longhorns’ future, but it hasn’t happened yet.
“They’ve yet to have a bad game this year,” Wehman said.