The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide


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Rockets conquer Titans to win Regional Championship

Ryan Aguilar
The RM boys lacrosse team celebrates with the regional championship trophy.

In Greek mythology, the Titans were the pre-olympian gods. Friday night, they were just another opponent on the Rockets’ quest for state glory. Boys lacrosse traveled into Einstein’s arena and claimed the regional trophy for the first time in program history with a 9-6 win. The Rockets advanced to the state tournament, looking to add to this season’s trophy cabinet.

“This is history right here,” Coach Steve Puhl said. “I’m just proud of the boys.”

Freshman goalie Charlie Finnegan missed games earlier in the regular season because of a finger injury, but his late-season return helped carry the Rockets’ solid performance. 

“Finnegan was incredible,” Puhl said. “I mean for a freshman to have that composure and make some huge saves.”

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Again, the Rockets started hot by scoring four goals in the first quarter. Juniors Coby Ritter and Kian Rajabtavousi both started their multi-goal games in the first quarter. The Rockets found offensive success using junior Charlie Maust behind the net to distribute the ball. Maust saved several plays and allowed attackers to make plays in front of the net.

However, penalties and faceoffs allowed the Titans to shift the momentum. Rockets freshman Gavin Kraft has stepped up this season as the faceoff man, but tonight he struggled late in the game after playing well in the first three quarters. This gave Einstein possession of the ball which created shots at Finnegan. Also, the Rockets were penalized for offside calls and talking back to the referee. Finnegan was forced to make two big saves before the halftime break.

“I just go out there and try to save everything and that’s what I think I did tonight,” Finnegan said.

The Titans would not go out without a fight, especially in a regional final at home. They came into the second half with a clear hunger for victory. The Rockets could not stop their early barrage of shots and the Titans scored two goals within two minutes. A Rocket timeout allowed for players to regroup, and the Rockets responded with three goals from Ritter, Maust, and Rajabtavousi.

This back-and-forth tempo continued throughout the second half. Einstein continued to play physically and scored a goal with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter. Junior defenseman Michael Hemmig took a big hit behind the net causing Finnegan to make a save. Senior defenseman Daniel Tofig matched the physicality and dismantled opposing players running towards the net.

“I just try to listen to music before games and lock in,” Tofig said.

In the fourth quarter, the Titans illegally checked the Rockets twice in the head leading to a two-man advantage for the Rockets. They capitalized on a goal from junior midfielder Dylan Kraft. The Rockets possessed the ball and it looked like they would kill off the remaining time. However, Einstein scored with 5:35 left, and junior midfielder Charlie West took a penalty. West talked back to the referee and was ejected for the rest of the game. West is also disqualified to play in the state quarterfinal game.

Just as it seemed the Rockets could hold the trophy, the Titans made one final push scoring two goals in nine seconds with only two minutes remaining. Hemmig made a big defensive play to feed senior Cooper Dunn the ball and kill off the remaining time. However, the Titans did not have time on their side and the clock expired. RM lacrosse made history in the Titan’s kingdom and the Rockets emerged as the one problem Einstein could not solve.

The team will play Churchill in the state quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 15, in a rematch of a regular season matchup in which the Bulldogs squeezed out a 9-7 win over RM.

“We just want to continue to have intense practices and focus on the game ahead,” senior defenseman Peter Kim said.


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About the Contributor
Jacob Swibel
Jacob Swibel, Sports Writer