A bad three quarters of play against a Rochester High School team more than a month ago was enough of a wake up call to jolt the Oxford varsity lacrosse team back from the dead because the Wildcats almost pulled the contest out after going down 8-0 and battled back to lose by two. But the result of the fourth quarter of that game turned the 2017 season around as the Wildcats have won nine-of-ten games since including six in a row, which includes Monday’s nights blasting of visiting Royal Oak 16-4 to earn the OAA Blue Lacrosse championship.
The win earned the Wildcats their second league title in three years.
“You have to be happy with the win and certainly the league title. We did get started a little late against Royal Oak, but we haven’t played a game in more than 10 days because of some scheduling issues, but I thought the kids really played hard and I am hoping this is just the beginning of what these kids can accomplish,” said Greg Normand, Oxford head coach.
Normand noted that ranked opponents like Midland and No. 3 ranked Hartland are coming to Oxford next week for the MHSAA regional championships.
“I am not going to predict anything, but I can tell you we are going to be overlooked by both of those teams and right now Oxford is not a team you want to take lightly,” he said.
Oxford’s win Monday night was sparked by Spencer Petoskey’s eight goals and a five point performance (2 goals, 3 assists) from Dryden Calcaterra. Collin Grzanka added two goals and the balanced Wildcat offense was supported by one-goal scorers in Gavin Fritz (2 assists), Ethan Cutler, Sam Urban, and Matt Pullman. Garrett Stuk had three assists.
Oxford’s defensive was again led by goalie Giovanni DeBlasi, who won his 11th game. DeBlasi stopped 19 shots and gave up only four goals. The defensive lineup of Adam Bell, Hunter Lowe and Tyler Jenks is again proving to be one of the best trios in the state.
Oxford won the ground ball battle 19-15, and dominated face-offs 14-6. The Wildcats only gave up 13 turnovers.
The win moves Oxford’s record to 11-3 overall and 5-1 in OAA play, which is enough to win the 2017 league title. Oxford plays Ann Arbor Green Hills Tuesday night at 7 pm in Wildcat Stadium.