The DeSales High School boys lacrosse team had a conversation between the first and second quarters of the Division II state final June 2 against Toledo Ottawa Hills.
To be specific, Stallions coach Matt Triplet had a one-way chat with his players as they trailed the Green Bears 3-2 despite outshooting them 11-5 and winning five of six faceoffs.
“We had to push the ball on transition when we had it and settle down,” midfielder Mason Rickens said. “We had been really antsy for a while, but we calmed down and that’s when we were able to get into our sets on offense. We focused on defense as well to do what we were able to do.
“(Triplet) said, ‘Guys, we’ve got to reset,’ and we said, ‘Yes, sir.’”
Rickens had three goals and three assists and Carter Hilleary had three goals and two assists as DeSales used a 6-0 second-quarter surge to pull away to a 13-5 win at Ohio Wesleyan and its second state championship.
Tommy Clayton also scored three goals for the Stallions, who finished 19-3 and also won the 2012 state title in their only previous trip to the final.
Hilleary tied the game at 3 a little more than a minute into the second quarter, Rickens gave DeSales a 4-3 lead 26 seconds after that and the Stallions’ defense kept the Green Bears scoreless for an 11-minute, 50-second span to take an 8-4 lead into halftime.
“We had not been playing within ourselves. We were making a lot of dumb mistakes,” Triplet said. “Guys were trying to play outside themselves and forcing things, but the defense held like they were supposed to do and the offense held. We started hitting the cage and spreading the defense out so we got more assists and goals.”
Peter Boice had two goals to lead Ottawa Hills, which finished 21-2 and was making its first state final appearance. The Green Bears began play as a club team in 2008.
Stallions goalkeeper Connor Thune made 10 saves.
“They were a much tougher team than we thought they were,” Thune said. “They came out and pushed us early and we had to shove harder. Second half, we came out even harder.”