Auburn TigersLacrosseLacrosse 18 - MenVestavia Hills Rebels
Auburn, AL – The Auburn High School varsity boy’s lacrosse team downed the perennial power Vestavia Hills Rebels 13-9 in a highly competitive contest Saturday at Duck Samford Stadium. The win over Vestavia was the exclamation point on Auburn’s first-ever undefeated season and puts head coach Ben Hunt’s squad in the Alabama high school lacrosse playoffs as the overall No. 1 seed for the first time in program history. The top ranked Tigers draw a first round bye and will host the winner of the Homewood-John Carroll Catholic first round matchup on Sunday.
Auburn welcomed Vestavia to a rain-soaked Duck Samford Stadium and the squad from Birmingham proved to be every bit of the formidable opponent that the Tigers anticipated. The Rebels lit up the scoreboard first and the two teams swapped goals in the first quarter, which ended in a 2-2 draw. In the second quarter, the rainy skies opened and so did Auburn’s offense. A quick flurry of goals gave Auburn a commanding 8-5 lead at halftime.
After the break, Vestavia made it interesting with two quick scores, but the Tigers answered, and the Rebels were never able to seriously threaten again. Auburn head coach Ben Hunt noted afterward that “We didn’t play our best, but we played well in all phases of the game, at certain times and that was good enough……”
Auburn continues to feature a multi-dimensional offensive attack. Six Auburn players contributed to the scoring column, including Joey McGinty with three goals, Gabe Forthofer and Sam Snyder added two, while Ryan Torres and Harrison Waid pitched in one goal apiece. It was a flashy, attention-getting bounce pass from senior Gabe Forthofer to fellow attackman Preston Cole that seemed to ignite the Tigers. Forthofer was Auburn’s assist leader for the game and Cole finished with four goals, three assisted by Forthofer.
Another bright spot for Auburn was possessing the ball more than their opponents by winning faceoffs and picking up ground balls. As a team, Auburn picked up 44 ground balls against the second ranked Rebels but the Tigers were also plagued by self-inflicted wounds with 19 turnovers.
Vestavia enters the varsity lacrosse post season as the No. 3 seed and will face-off against No. 14 Helena Thursday night at the Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex.
The Tigers will find out who they will be hosting in the second round of the GBYLA playoffs after the No. 8 seed John Carroll Catholic Cavaliers take on the ninth ranked Homewood Patriots Wednesday night. Game time for Auburn’s first postseason matchup is to be announced. Admission and parking at Duck Samford will be free of charge.