For the first time this season the Key West High boys lacrosse team won back-to-back games, with a 9-4 victory against Coral Shores on Friday, April 2, followed by an 8-5 triumph on Tuesday, April 6, at North Broward Prep — and Conchs coach Alberto Piceno hopes it’s a sign his team is peaking at the right point of the season — with just two games left before beginning the postseason push.
“I want to believe it’s us and not the competition level,” said Piceno. “I was hoping North Broward was going to be a bit harder of a game, but at the same time my guys were able to figure out things and get a little work in so we continue to get ready for the playoffs.”
During this first win streak of the season Key West has not trailed, taking a 3-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter in both victories.
That three-goal difference was reflected in the final score against North Broward, as Key West held a 4-1 lead at halftime and then both teams score four goals in the second half.
“The guys are starting to find the back on the net, for sure, but they have always had the ability so it’s nice to see it coming together at the right time,” said Piceno.
Conchs senior Dylan Olive rippled the twine four times against the Eagles, while Paul Crespo had a trio of scores and Tyler Wish added one. Key West was without several of its underclassmen, who were in testing, including starters Reese Holtkamp and Mack Hill.
“It was a close game, so we knew we needed to keep the older players in there so I’m not sure the freshmen would have been able to play in the game anyway,” said Piceno. “It was a little challenging but nothing they couldn’t handle.”
Conchs goalie Jarvis More collected nine saves against the Eagles and 10 against the Hurricanes, with Quinn Donnelly scoring both for the Hurricanes on assists from Clayton Conley and Dominic Gonzalez, while Olive had three goals for the Conchs, as did Egan Cunningham, while Justin Hall and Holtkamp both scored once and Wish, who the coach highly praised, had a pair of goals.
“Tyler has been working hard all season long and he was not only our captain for the game against Coral Shores but he also got the game ball,” said Piceno. “He’s the only faceoff guy we have had consistently and he just continues to do whatever needs to be done. Going forward this season we are going to look to work off more of him during the games and see what he’s able to do.”
Having now won strung together consecutive wins for the first time this season, Piceno also said he hopes this will help build the confidence of the team as they head into the home finale on Thursday, April 8, at 5 p.m. before closing out the season two days later, April 10, on the road at Miami Country Day. Key West will open the playoffs against Coral Shores in the district tournament on Monday, April 12.
“We want to win those two final games, obviously, and go into districts on a run,” said Piceno. “These 17 games have gone by fast, for sure, and I’m just glad the boys have not had any games canceled so we can continue to grow as a team and be ready for this point of the season.”