Because of rain and spring break, most area lacrosse teams are getting a late jump on the 2002 season. That will change to a degree Thursday night, but one intriguing rematch has been pushed back.
Last year, Gar-Field’s boys finished third in the eight-team Cardinal District while Stonewall Jackson finished second. But the Indians upset Stonewall in the postseason and advanced to the Northwest Region tournament.
Though the Raiders have moved to the new Cedar Run District, those teams remain two of the best in Prince William County. Their lone regular-season matchup, originally planned for Thursday night, now will be played May 6 at Stonewall.
Gar-Field coach Pat Hogan said the teams hoped to play early in the season. As of Tuesday, the schedule at laxpower.com had Stonewall playing at Gar-Field tomorrow, but the Indians have a home soccer doubleheader against Hylton on the same night.
Hogan said the change was a bit to his disliking, but his team will get to return to action next Tuesday at home against Hylton. The Bulldogs feature a young attack, but they have most of their defense back from a competitive 6-8 team.
Meanwhile, Gar-Field went 12-6 in a year in which it beat Woodbridge for the first time.
“Our biggest win last year was beating Woodbridge because we’d never beaten them,” Hogan said. “That was the cake; beating Stonewall was the frosting.”
Now, the Osbourn Park at Woodbridge game tops Thursday night’s boys slate. On the girls side, Woodbridge plays at Osbourn Park in a season-opening matchup featuring two of the area’s highest ranked teams.
NOTHING BUT NET
The lacrosse scene features some of the best prep Websites in the area. Not only does gar-field.org do an excellent job of keeping up with the Indians’ exploits, but laxpower.com assembles scores and rankings for the whole nation.
The site uses strength of schedule and won-lost record to rank 283 boys lacrosse teams from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. This county, newer to the sport than many parts of Maryland, D.C. and Central Virginia, has no team ranked higher than No. 42 Gar-Field. Colonial Forge, at No. 95, is the only other team in the top 100.
One major reason for the low rankings is that the 13 teams in the Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger coverage area have hardly played. While No. 1 Landon (Md.) has sprinted off to a 7-0 start and No. 3 Georgetown (D.C.) Prep is 11-0 with wins over teams from four states and the district, the local teams have combined to play 10 games.
Gar-Field (1-0) owns a 10-4 win over Colonial Forge (1-1), which later beat Stafford 10-2. The rest of the area, through Monday, is 0-8 in games played against teams outside the area. Stonewall (0-1) opened its season with an 11-3 loss to Marshall High School of Falls Church. Hylton and Forest Park each lost two games in a tournament in Maryland, with Forest Park nearly pulling out a win in a 10-9 loss to Poolesville.
Only one of the area’s girls lacrosse teams had reported any scores. Hylton (1-3) played four games in a tournament March 22-23, pulling out a 5-4 win over Herndon in its final showing.
Lacy Lusk covers lacrosse for the Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger. Reach him via e-mail or at (703) 878-8059.