Folsom United high school lacrosse teams ready for postseason playBy: Staff Report
All the Folsom United Lacrosse high school teams will be heading to playoffs.
The following is a recap of the team’s recent accomplishments.
The Folsom United varsity have an 11-4 record, as they finished the regular season with a pair of wins over Pleasant Grove, 13-8, and Stockton, 22-0. The United are the second-seed in the conference and are ranked fifth in Northern California out of 22 teams.
The United has established itself as a tough and fast-moving team that strikes quickly with focused ball movement from middies Nathan Whitfield, Brayden Shouse and Bailey Laolagi. Backing them up are Kyle Guilliams, Nick Haglan and Cole Thompson, who have been solid throughout the season.
The team’s middies and attack have seamlessly learned to integrate multiple offensive looks and have brought speed and accuracy to their shot selection. Guiding offense at “X attack” throughout the season has been co-captain Ben Sheskier and through his leadership, fellow attack players Ryan Dulinski, Tim Bonnington, Colin Whitney, Jeremy Sommers and Garrett Slater have been able to shoot on goal from a variety of scoring positions.
The offense has been complemented with solid defensive lines, anchored by team defensive co-captain Francis Wilson, along with Landon Feltsen, Connor Schaal, Carson Leonhardt, Austin Ibanez and Chaz Arnold. Standing tall in the goal is Chris Cudney, who has courageously stood in front of everything opponents have thrown at him.
The varsity team has scored more than 200 goals this season and has one of the lowest scored on percentages in the league, while having one of the most challenging schedules. Assisted by Keith Schaal and Parker Ferguson, head coach Stephen Royal has no reservations about his pride in the team.
“They have played bigger teams with more depth and impressive statistics all season long, but statistics are on paper, lacrosse is played on a field, and there’s no stat for the heart a team plays with,” Royal said. “To say that they have had a good season would be an understatement. Folsom Lacrosse is excellently situated for strength and success for the coming years in the fastest growing sport on two feet.”
The varsity girls’ United squad has an 8-4 record and sit in third place in their conference with one home game remaining Saturday.
Last weekend the girls lost to an undefeated team from Redding, 13-4, but beat Chico, 13-8. Key players included Sidney Knudsen on attack, Hannah Meyers in the midfield and Katy Gough on defense.
“The girls are looking forward to finishing out the season with playoffs followed by a trip to championships in the Bay Area,” United varsity coach Becca Hintz said.
The JV boys finished the regular season with a 14-8 win over Pleasant Grove. Ten players scored points in the game, including Eric Nelson who had two goals and three assists, while Tyler Crandall added three goals and an assist.
Daniel Whitfield scored twice and added two assists, while Drew Gai also had two goals and one assist, while also playing strong defense. Jarod Hansen showed aggressive play by retrieving multiple groundballs, while also scoring once and dishing out two assists. Reilly Donahoo also had a goal and two assist and played inspired defense and despite playing a new position, Gavin Wenell still managed to score a goal.
The defense, backed by goalie Kyle Olson, stopped Pleasant Grove’s offense. Austin Rothrock and Alan Padilla showed a knack for stopping the attacking player.
The JV squad finished the regular season with a 13-2 record and as the top-seeded team in California for the second straight season, the United will have home games throughout the playoffs.