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Western Alamance works to extend lacrosse success beyond in-county rivalries

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Western Alamance wants to go fast and that has allowed the Warriors to speed ahead of the boys’ lacrosse competition in Alamance County.

“We’re up this year,” coach Trey Andrews said. “But we’re not immune to some things. We’ve got some growing up to do.”

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Western has pretty much dominated its in-county rivals, but extending that to more success outside of the immediate area is something the Warriors are striving to accomplish.

“We need to keep our heads on,” Western senior Tanner Stout said. “We’ve looked really good, but we have to do those things all the time.”

The Warriors want to get out and run. They’re capable of going from end-to-end in a hurry when their transition attack is clicking.

“We’ve been practicing transition a lot,” Stout said.

Last week, the Warriors defeated visiting Williams 15-4 and later rolled in a 21-7 victory at Eastern Alamance for two-game season sweeps of both teams. Add in a non-conference romp past Southern Alamance, the Warriors have outscored in-county rivals by a combined 103-25 in five games.

“They’re big for our team because they’re the closest to us and we have friends who play on those teams and we’ve played with them (on recreation teams),” defender Gavin Dent said. “It’s feeling good. We’re looking to build on that.”

Gavin Dent

Western has swept all games against Alamance County opponents for the first time in 11 years.

“They’re very good offensively, and they’re very solid everywhere else,” Eastern Alamance coach Conley Balltzglier said.

Thursday’s game against Greensboro Day School was postponed, so the Warriors are off until April 18. They’re 9-5 overall and 6-3 in the Central/Mid-Carolina Conference.

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Andrews, a Williams graduate who’s in his fifth season with the Western program and his second season as head coach, said the final weeks of the regular season will be critical.

“We’ve shown that we can play with anybody,” Andrews said. “It’s just penalties. We’ve got to piece it all together before playoffs.”

The Warriors have seen how strong they can be when things go well, winning seven games by a dozen or more goals.

“It’s cleaning up small things,” Dent said. “We know our strengths. If we get it right, nobody is better than us in conference.”

Indeed, the Warriors are capable of executing just like they draw ‘em up.

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“Transition goals are what can separate us,” Andrews said. “When we click, we click.”

The Warriors, who hold a three-game winning streak, count on lots of offensive sources. Stout has racked up 50 goals and 55 assists.

Evan Kuehnel, who’s the quarterback for the football team, is an accomplished player supplying offense on the lacrosse field by averaging a team-high 4.1 goals per game with 57 total goals.

Matt White (44 goals) and Joey Leupold (38) have scored at rapid paces. Twins Chazz May and Zeke May rotate as face-off specialists. White, a transfer from Williams, has fit in well for his only season with Western, Andrews said.

Still, there’s tidying up to address defense on the field.

“We’ve got to get the defense more confident when we play man-to-man,” Andrews said.

The Warriors are feeling good about goalie Will Foster, a junior in his first season at that position. He has made a good conversion.

So it’s a matter of taking the county domination to another level.

“We just need a win against a team like us or better than us,” Andrews said.

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