Faceoff Domination Leads American Heritage-Plantation to 17-3 Win Over Martin County

thanks to Jinho Anderson for submitting these pictures!


Fans of different levels of lacrosse know what a difference maker a dominant faceoff specialist is.  Trevor Baptiste of Denver, Greg Gurenlian of the NY Lizards, etc., show what happens when you get into a ‘make it, take it’ (or the other way around . . . kind of like that old chicken and egg argument) situation in a game.  A lot of fun if you are on the dominating side but pretty heartbreaking if not.

American Heritage-Plantation freshman Dan Haimes lost the first faceoff of the game and then led AH-P to reeling off the next 18 and that’s pretty much the story of the game.  I don’t keep time of possession but 85% or so sounds about right to me.  All that time on offense eventually translated into 10 goals between Ryan Marek and Zach Bitar and five more goal scorers combining for the other 7, and that’s the sum total of this game.

Usually I look for an underlying story for the game but the bigger underlying story might well be what the heck is happening in District 23?  Hate to be blunt about it but St. Edwards is the only competitive program this year.  Vero Beach is a complete mess right now, due to how the school board up there handled some incidents in the past (and I don’t downplay what happened, just that destroying a former Top 10 program seems to have been a strange way to fix the problem . . . ).  Jensen Beach is completely overhauling itself with youth and their scores reflect the growing pains.  Martin’s three losses are by a combined 48-6.  There are plenty of seniors on the team.  Last year, in their 11-7 record, is included a one goal loss to Top 20 West Orange, a 5-goal loss to Top 10 Saint Andrews and a 3-goal loss to Top 10 Jupiter.  What’s happened in one year to make this swing?  When I look on LaxPower under South Fork I see two forfeits in their last two games.

Just THREE YEARS AGO, in my final Media Poll, Vero Beach finished #8 and Jensen Beach #17 . . . This is not a good sign for the area and I hope that this is just a bad year for the district and things get back on track next year.

There’s issues that need to be addressed . . .



For a change I’ll start off with the Team Statistics, which tell the story easily;

Faceoffs:  AH/P 18-1

Shots:  AH/P 42-13

Shots on Goal:  AH/P 28-6

Turnovers:  MC 12-9

Penalties:  MC 8-5


1st Quarter

6:49 – AHP 1-0 – Marek unassisted on a face dodge from the left wing, beating the defender to the net

6:09 – AHP 2-0 – Marek unassisted curling from left behind and the high short side shot

4:58 – AHP 3-0 – Grant Sizemore from Zach Bitar, left wing feed from left behind and the right hand high

4:07 – AHP 4-0 – Bitar curling from behind left, splitting two defenders with a low shot in front

0:37 – AHP 5-0 – Ethan Heim unassisted, penalty killed off left wing dodge to the front and the high shot


2nd Quarter

5:40 – MC 5-1 – on EMO, Cole Proctor right wing dodge to the left, hitting the top middle of the cage

5:15 – AHP 6-1 – Dante Cloutier taking the feed in the middle for the right hand low

4:12 – AHP 7-1 – Bitar finding Marek on the left crease from right behind for the quick stick

2:11 – AHP 8-1 – on EMO, Marek with the up top step down from Haimes on the top right

0:06 – AHP 9-1 – Bitar with the fluke deflection of the Ryan Robins feed from top left



3rd Quarter

11:05 – AHP 10-1 – Bitar taking the Haimes left wing pass all alone on the low left

4:06 – MC 10-2 – Donovan Deignan with the up top step down on the right wing feed from Proctor

3:58 – AHP 11-2 – Bitar from Cloutier all alone on the right crease

2:32 – AHP 12-2 – Sizemore down the right alley with the low right hand shot

0:46 – MC 12-3 – on EMO, Parker Fischer with the step down from up top after walking in

0:03 – AHP 13-3 – Marek working from behind, up the left alley and face dodging to the front


4th Quarter

8:35 – AHP 14-3 – Marek unassisted, curling from behind left and a split dodge to the middle

7:48 – AHP 15-3 – Robins taking the right GLE feed from Bitar in the middle

7:00 – AHP 16-3 – on EMO, Cloutier taking the Marek feed on the top left for the step down

6:01 – AHP 17-3 – Heim curling left to the front and hitting the open net on the goalie double team


American Heritage-Plantation is back in action on Friday, travelling to Jensen Beach while Martin County looks to be off for awhile on spring break.



Individual Statistics



Ryan Marek  6G/1A

Zach Bitar  4G/3A

Dante Cloutier  2G/1A

Grant Sizemore  2G

Dan Haimes  1G/2A

Ryan Robins  1G/1A

Ethan Heim  1G

Jake Marek and Hunter Chang combined for 3 saves



Cole Proctor  1G/1A

Donovan Deignan and Parker Fischer  1G each

James Crichton with 11 saves


Thanks to Coach Moore and Coach Connor for talking to me before and after the game