The Gulf Breeze High School boys’ lacrosse team ran away with the 16-2 win over West Florida High School in the inaugural District 1 Championship on Wednesday night.
The Dolphins were overpowering on the attack and showed real control whenever they were in front of the Jaguar goal. Clark Couget and Jasper Bowles were instrumental on the transition play in the first half and brought the ball forward on many occasions to set up the offense for a shot.
West Florida played much more physically than previous games this season and did well to fight for the ball and pressure the Gulf Breeze back line with some quick passing in front of goal. However, the Jaguars struggled to retain possession and could not muster a defensive response to Gulf Breeze’s incessant attack.
It took just 40 seconds for the Dolphins to break through West Florida’s back line, coming off of a lob pass from Nick Fraiser to T.J. Durst, who was on the top of the crease and fired a bounce shot between the legs of Jack Petit to put Gulf Breeze up 1-0. Noah Haas would double the lead three minutes into the game after intercepting a weak pass from Stephen Cochran, driving towards goal and beating the keeper in a one-on-one situation.
The Jaguars would score off of a nice counter attack near the end of the first quarter when Adam Levan wound up with the ball in front of the crease, got enough space for a shot and fired one past Cole Foster to ruin any hopes of a clean sheet and put his team on the board 3-1.
Gulf Breeze held West Florida to that single goal for the entire match until the final quarter when Jacob Knight drove toward the Dolphin goal and finished a nice solo effort, bouncing off of a Gulf Breeze defender and ignoring a slash from Ian Prestridge to slot an accurate ball behind Foster and into the back of the net to make it 15-2.
Couget scored the most goals on the night with six, while Haas, Durst, Harold Hill and Patrick Fisher each bagged two goals of their own. Gulf Breeze out-shot West Florida 50-15 and put around half of them on target.
Pensacola Catholic High School outscored Booker T. Washington High School 16-3 in the other semi-final match on Wednesday. Catholic advances to the first ever District 1 Final against Gulf Breeze tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“Catholic is going to be very aggressive, they always are,” Dorf said. “They can play good defense and they have some pretty good shooters from the outside … their goalie is phenomenal, [Jack] Bartkowski, he’s got the highest save percentage right now in the District.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but it’s going to be a good game – it’s going to be well worth the money for you when we show up Friday,” he said.