Varied scoring key for boys lacrosse win vs. Urban

Branson attacker Jackson Hoeveler passes the ball during the game against Urban on March 29, 2023. Branson boys lacrosse defeated non-league Urban 12-5.

By Saylor Mullarkey

Wednesday marked a decisive win for Branson boys varsity lacrosse at home as the Bulls cruised to a 12-5 victory over Urban. 

Head coach George Morris attributed the Bulls’ success to an increasingly strong team dynamic. “We’ve got more guys contributing and scoring,” he said.

Indeed, the team’s 12 goals came from six different players: Junior Callahan Green and freshman Charlie Crump each added one goal. Seniors Jackson Hoeveler, Zach Olrich and Nathan Kwei chipped in two goals apiece. Junior Oliver Broek tallied a whopping four goals.

A quick goal from Hoeveler combined with a series of strong face-offs by Kwei, turning the momentum of the game in Branson’s direction from the start. In a surprising switch up, Morris placed senior Nick Pfendler at long stick middle and Hoeveler at attack, balancing the Bulls’ offense.

“With Nick at LSM and Jackson at attack, we were able to pick up a lot more ground balls and keep them in play,” Morris said.

The diverse contributions behind the win marked a turning point in the eyes of many members of the team. 

“We got the gears turning better than we have all season,” Pfendler said. “It meant a lot to us to win our first game as this sort of new and improved Branson lacrosse.” 

Wednesday’s win came on the heels of tough losses against both Marin Catholic and Novato last week. 

“MC was a tough game with tough weather and Novato was a heartbreaking loss,” Pfendler added.

However, initial difficulties have proved motivating for the Bulls as they look forward to matches in their immediate future.

“We have some tough games coming up with Tam and Redwood,” Green said. “We are hoping to give them a good run and play hard as we always do.”

A number of players are stepping into new roles and embracing the hard work required. 

“This season so far has been both exciting and difficult,” senior Ben Boas said. “It’s my first year starting as goalie, so getting used to that has been interesting. The opportunity to play with so many of my friends has made that adjustment much easier.”

Boas powered a critical part of Branson’s victory over Urban. His saves against a volley of attacks by Urban kept Branson afloat on the scoreboard during the second quarter. That 4-3 lead soon grew.

The win over Urban, according to Coach Morris, paved the road for what the Bulls hope will be a successful stretch of Branson lacrosse. 

“That’s the momentum we carry into the next four games of the season.”