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Lacrosse: Barlag, Duerk hit milestones as South Forsyth tops Creekview
South Forsyth juniors Grayson Knight, left, and Brendan Lightsey celebrate Thursday after Knight's goal during the War Eagles' 6-5 win against Creekview. - photo by David Roberts

By Derrick Richemond

It was a historic night for South Forsyth's boys lacrosse team Thursday during a 6-5 win against Creekview.

Senior Ethan Duerk won his 500th career face-off and senior goalkeeper Ethan Barlag racked up his 200th save of the season.

“It’s just a product of all the work, all the practices, all the extra reps shooting at the field. It's rewarding,” Barlag said. 

“You know, it feels good but there’s always more work to do,” Duerk said. “Gotta get at it at practice. We have spring break next week, so come back on that Monday and get after it, get to work and climb to the next milestone.”

Creekview knocked on the door first when Chris Aiello came around the corner to Gage Mugge, who was surrounded by War Eagles but still managed to get the ball into the net.

In the final stages of the first quarter, Luke Specker did an imitation of a similar move by coming around the corner, but as he was turning he was pushed by a Creekview defender that sent him in the air. While mid-air Specker shot the ball, which fell into the net for the tie.

Will Hussa provided an answer when he sprinted from the left side of the goal, angled his shot and scored to retake the lead.

Clay Walsh scored his first of three goals after being pushed by two Creekview players as he was running toward goal, but still managed to score.

Within 25 seconds, Creekview's Jacob Kiefer scored, but it didn't take South long to tie the game 3-3 with Walsh's second goal just before halftime.

In the third quarter, Walsh found Grayson Knight running down the middle and fed him in stride, and Knight did the rest by scoring his first varsity goal to take the lead. 

Then, with fewer than two minutes to go in the third quarter, Carter Peterson scooped up a ground ball and accelerates down the middle of the field. As he drew closer to the goal, Creekview took their eyes off Walsh who completed the hat trick with his final goal.

South [10-4, 4-0 Area 6, Class 7A-6A] improved its home record 6-1. Three of those wins snapped an opponent's winning streak: West Forsyth [5 games], Johns Creek [4 games] and Creekview [10 games].

“We have 45 guys in our program and 24 have four or more A’s, which translate to their effort and everything else they do on the field,” War Eagles’ head coach Adrian Antonini said. “One of the greatest compliments I could give to Ethan Barlag is that I have four daughters. I wouldn’t mind if somebody like Ethan Barlag dated or married my daughter. I wouldn’t mind."

The War Eagles will travel to Forsyth Central April 12 before a showdown with top-ranked Lambert April 14 at War Eagle Stadium.