The Maclay boys lacrosse team defeated the Gulf Breeze Dolphins in the first round of the 1A State Championship tournament at their last home game of the season. Maclay scored a combined 18 goals, while holding the Dolphins to only nine goals. The game was hosted at Frank Shaw Field on Friday, Apr. 23.

“We focused on doing what we do well, but executing at a higher level than the first time we played them,” coach Justin VanTassel said. “If we limit our own mistakes then we feel confident against anyone we play. We moved the ball really well and played very unselfishly, but we had a lot of penalties, so we need to fix that to keep advancing.” 

The Marauders faced Gulf Breeze in the first game of the season; however, Maclay barely beat Gulf Breeze then, winning by only one goal. Unfortunately for the Marauders, they were missing starting goaltender, junior Tucker Hicks, for that first game. Luckly, Hicks was back for the regional semi-final where he played an outstanding game. Hicks saved 13 shots and had a .619 save percentage. 

“I just went out there and tried to do my job as best as I could, and thankfully the offense did their job,” junior Hicks said. “We practiced really hard to prepare for this game, especially since all Gulf Breeze wanted to do this year was end our season and they kept saying it will be a close game. But we showed them what Maclay actually can do when we play at our best.” 

The Marauders dominated Gulf Breeze during the first two quarters of the game. Maclay scored six goals in the first quarter and then seven in the second. They only allowed Gulf Breeze to score one goal in the first quarter and one more in the second quarter. Maclay lost some intensity in the last two quarters, but their early performance allowed them to see the game through and secure the win. 

“We were clicking on basically everything,” senior captain defenseman Garrett Donahue said. “We executed the game plan really well and played really unselfish lacrosse. It felt really good to beat Gulf Breeze a second time because we worked so hard for it and because of all the trash they were talking before the game.” 

Maclay’s next game is the Regional Finals at The Bolles School. The Marauders will travel to Jacksonville on Friday, Apr. 30 in hopes to continue their season and be contenders for a state championship. Maclay faced Bolles earlier in the season and beat them by a score of 11 to 10. 

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