Patient Black Knights Top Mustangs

Patient Black Knights top Mustangs

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It seemed like an eternity that Charlottesville had the ball to open its district clash with Monticello Friday night. An eternity.

“We try and be aggressive on offense but they have some really good defenders and we have the maturity this year to be patient instead of trying to force it,” said Charlottesville coach Drew Craft.

After that long opening possession, the Black Knights’ Casey Devine finished off a goal and that quickly became the theme of the night as a patient, deliberate Charlottesville squad knocked off picked apart Monticello 9-5 to win both squads’ district opener.

Charlottesville's boys lacrosse squad celebrates a goal against Monticello High Friday night.

“One of the things we looked at going into this game was taking our clears seriously and unfortunately when one of those fails it allows a team to hold the ball longer than you’d ever feel comfortable,” said Monticello coach Matt Hicks. “Our possessions were so sporadic that it was hard for us to get into a rhythm.”

The two programs that both sport a lot of young talent and are currently on the upswing battled back and forth most of the night, with the Mustangs closing the Charlottesville lead to just a single goal in the opening seconds of the second half on a Drew Gaffney goal. But Charlottesville scored four unanswered over the rest of the third and fourth quarters to secure the victory.

“Our teams know each other so well, I’ve coached a lot of their kids and their coach has coached a lot of our kids,” said Charlottesville coach Drew Craft. “They’re very similar to us, a lot of great kids and a lot of great families in that program. It makes it easier to prepare, but it makes it tougher to lose to a team that you know that well. I’m glad we won.”

The Black Knights’ defense helped hold Chase Phillips, Gaffney and the rest of a dynamic Monticello offense in check throughout with freshman goalie Austin Hall posting a fantastic, nine-save effort. Those nine saves included a few tough ones from point blank range.

Phillips managed to score a pair of goals while Spencer Van Dyke and Michael Darby also got in on the scoring act.

Devine finished with a hat trick to lead the way for Charlottesville, scoring from a variety of angles and in tough spots.

“Casey has come everyday to practice ready to work and get better,” Craft said. “His stick skills keep getting better and better.”

Lucas Levine and Willis Bocock each finished with two goals and an assist while Jack McCarthy dished out two assists to go with a goal.

Charlottesville takes on Fluvanna County Tuesday night while Monticello goes toe-to-toe with cross-county rival Albemarle Thursday night.

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