ZIONSVILLE — The Zionsville boys lacrosse team knew there was little room for error Wednesday night against third-ranked Hamilton Southeastern.
Unfortunately, the Eagles dug themselves a big hole and, after getting close, saw the Royals pull away in the second half in an 18-9 loss.
“It was a long game for us,” Zionsville head coach James Rundle said. “Their depth showed in the later parts of the game. Hats off to them, they were gritty and very athletic. We have shown time and time again that we have potential, and we are definitely growing as a team, but the first hot weather game of the season wasn’t nice to us tonight.”
The Eagles took the lead a minute into the game on a goal from Jack Swenberg, but the Royals scored the next seven goals to take a 7-1 lead early in the second quarter.
Back-to-back goals by Swenberg cut the deficit to 7-3, and when Duncan McCourt scored with 7:00 left in the first half, the Eagles were within three.
Kai Takesue and Aidan Oberweiser scored to bring the Eagles within one at 7-6 with 3:13 left in the first half, and the Eagles ultimately trailed 9-7 at the break.
Rundle said the second quarter showed the potential of the Eagles.
“We are going to build off that quarter like crazy,” Rundle said. “We will probably see these guys again in about a week or so in hopefully the second round of the playoffs. But that builds our confidence. The first half of this game, and the Culver game show that we are ready to compete with those top-4 teams.”
Things didn’t go well for the Eagles in the second half, as they battled cramping of some of their players and the depth of the Royals, who won the state championship a year ago.
McCourt scored to make it 11-8 with 5:45 left in the third, but by the time the Eagles got another goal from Eric Schwarz with 10:00 to play, it was 14-9 and the Eagles got no closer.
Before the game, the Eagles honored their nine seniors — Bennet Chambers, Jack Swenberg, Eric Schwarz, John Farley, Cole Wesley, Kai Takesue, Jason Carr, Luke Paul and Jacob Zimpfer.
“This group of seniors and their parents have been amazing,” Rundle said. “Every younger player in our locker room looks up to all of them, there are no outcasts and they are all family. They have really connected and brought a great bond to the team. We are going to miss some hopefully all-state players next season, but with the leadership and motivation they have shown, we are building block-by-block, brick-by-brick every day.”