Risk, Dockser lead Churchill past Sherwood in boys' lacrosse

By Christian Swezey
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, April 8, 2010; 2:30 PM

According to the game program, Churchill seniors Matt Risk and Jake Dockser play attack and defense, respectively. But the pair played just about everywhere in a 9-7 victory over visiting Sherwood on Wednesday night in Potomac.

Risk finished with three goals and one assist while playing attack, midfield and as a wing on faceoffs. Dockser added three assists while playing close defense and as a wing on faceoffs.

The pair's work on faceoffs proved almost as crucial as their offensive outputs. They helped the Bulldogs (2-0) win 14 of 19 faceoffs.

"They aren't a defenseman and an attackman," Churchill Coach Jeff Fritz said of the pair. "They're lacrosse players. They eat, dream, think and play lacrosse year-round. They bring that savviness to make plays. That's why I want them on the wings. . . . This is the biggest win we've had around here in a while."

The Warriors (0-2) entered a little shorthanded. Senior attackmen Kevin Laskin (50-plus points each of the last two years) and Scott Fricke (31 points last year) did not play after missing a practice while returning home from spring break. Laskin and Fricke will play on Friday night against Magruder (2-0).

In an 11-7 loss to Good Counsel in the season opener, Fricke had two goals and Laskin had two assists.

Meantime, junior midfielder Michael Begley, an Under Armour underclassmen All-American last year, left the game for good early in the third quarter with a cut above his eye. Begley had 54 points last year.

And senior Josh Hertz, a top defenseman, is likely out for the year with a knee injury.

Churchill went on a 3-0 run and led 6-2 following a goal by Risk which Dockser assisted. The Warriors closed to two goals twice but got no closer.

"We played together all summer long," Risk said of he and Dockser. "On that goal, I have no idea how he made the pass. I had guys all around me but he put it where I could get it and shoot."

Junior Brian Hack scored three goals and classmate Chris Wykoff added a goal and two assists for Sherwood.

"Churchill had better effort in all the important categories," Sherwood Coach Chip Steel said. "Faceoffs, groundballs, they beat us in the middle of the field. I'm very impressed with their effort. They showed a lot of heart, even when things started to swing our way in the third quarter they regrouped."

Seniors Matt Bank and Jon Thibau each had two goals and one assist and junior Will Ellis won 12 of 15 faceoffs for the Bulldogs.

Last night's game marked the first in a tough three-game stretch for the Bulldogs. They face Wootton on Saturday and Whitman on Tuesday.

With Risk and Dockser in the fold, anything is possible. Risk is one of the top players in Montgomery County -- he has signed to play for Lehigh. Thus far this year, Dockser has a goal and three assists despite playing with a longstick.

"Matt Risk is our undisputed leader," Dockser said. "We will go as far as he takes us."

New decade, new outlook

In the previous decade, Episcopal went 74-91 (a .448 winning pct.), according to the lacrosse database LaxPower.com.

The new decade has started a little better. Entering a showdown at No. 2 Landon on Friday, the Maroon (7-0) are ranked No. 10 and sporting a little bit of confidence.

"We're excited about the start to our season," Coach Scott Conklin said. "But we know the schedule is about to get tougher."

The Maroon have a pair of juniors leading the way offensively. Attackman Connor Gallegos has 32 goals and 9 assists and midfielder Nick Weeden has 10 goals and 13 assists.

Meantime, senior midfielder Hunter DeButts, one of the top players in the area, has 10 goals and 9 assists. DeButts is headed to Princeton -- the alma mater of both of his parents and Conklin and the school at which his older sister is a sophomore.

DeButts is the fourth generation of his family to attend Episcopal.

And the defense is led by a pair of seniors: Will Kalaris (Georgetown) and Patrick Ristau (Saint Joseph's).

Landon (8-2) has rebounded after back-to-back losses last month. It defeated No. 5 DeMatha, 6-2, on Wednesday behind three goals from junior Patrick Keena and nine saves from senior goalie Will Joyce.

Joyce had made 17 saves in a 6-5 victory over Gilman (Md.) on Saturday; it was the first victory for the Bears at Gilman in Coach Rob Bordley's 30 seasons. Joyce's father played lacrosse with DeButts's father at Princeton in the late-1970s.

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