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Pirates sunk in season opener
RR Boys Lacrosse
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- Rocky River opened its season with a 15-3 setback against St. Edward Friday.

A taut defensive tussle through one period turned into a rout over the middle frames of the evening contest at Rocky River Stadium. The Eagles (1-0) leveraged a 17-3 mark on faceoffs and put 21 shots on frame to the Pirates' 10. Senior attackman Dillon McKeigue tallied seven goals in the game.

For St. Edward, the win marked its second in a row in a series that dates back to 2006. Both sides now claim six victories across 12 all-time meetings. The west-side neighbors have opened against each other every season since 2014.

Friday's game opened with each side landing a goal over the first 11 minutes. The fine defense on display included Rocky River (0-1) killing off a two-minute cross-checking penalty. The Eagles, however, got their offense cranked up in a decisive second period. McKeigue's second goal of the game came in the second minute of that second stanza. That score would send the visitors on run that didn't let up until halftime. With McKeigue scoring four times, the Eagles outscored the Pirates 7-0 in the second. St. Edward went into halftime leading 9-1.

The third quarter played out in a similar fashion, with the Eagles scoring six goals to River's one.

The fourth quarter saw the home side get one goal back in a running-clock end-game period.

Junior goalkeeper Carter Smith was solid for Rocky River. Though frequently under duress, Smith finished with six saves. More than a couple of those were of the grade-A variety. River's three goals were scored by Ryan Hildebrand, junior Wes Bennett, and sophomore Rowan McDougal.


Rocky River will be on the road at Avon Tuesday. That tilt against the Eagles will mark the beginning of Northern Ohio Lacrosse League play. The Pirates went 9-0 in NOLL play a year ago, winning the circuit crown in what marked the league's inaugural season.

AT THE HELM: Friday's game marked the head coaching debut for Griffin Vehar, who was previously an assistant for a successful Hudson Explorers program. Vehar's staff is comprised of defensive coordinator Mike Poe, offensive coordinators Jack Gerlack and Conor Regin, and goalkeeper coach Chris Welch.

PIRATE CAPTAINS: The captains for the 2022 Double-R squad are senior defenseman Kai Delventhal, junior midfielder Ryan Hildebrand, senior defenseman Robby Lang, and junior midfielder Mack Massad.

by Skip Snow

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