MORGANTOWN — When it comes to lacrosse, Preston coach Jeff Dreisbach has been around the block.
He’s been referred to by fellow coaches as the godfather of West Virginia lacrosse, and has likely forgotten more about the sport than the average fan will ever learn.
There’s one thing, however, he hasn’t done. That’s lead PHS to victory against University. That pattern didn’t change May 2, as the Hawks nabbed a 17-5 victory over the Knights.
Mathias Turner netted three goals, and Nate Gibson and Quin Napolillo contributed three assists apiece to power the Hawks.
Dakota Holt tallied twice for the Knights.
“We didn’t play up to our standards. We’re better than this. But we bring the guys down here, we’ve never beat UHS, and so they’re intimidated,” Dreisbach said. “We had lost the game before we had even stepped onto the field. We have to change that.”
Dreisbach has answers for what his team needs to do to fight the intimidation factor, but it’s not something he can rectify with a quick lesson during practice. It requires years of work, building and perfecting a system that sets players up to succeed.
“They just need to play more years. The thing about our team now is, all the best players are the ones that played in middle school,” he said. “What I’m finding is, in high school, a lot of guys don’t want to put in the work.”
According to UHS coach Brian Houk, his team’s near-flawless execution across the field secured the win for the Hawks.
“I was really happy. We played our transition game really well, our sub game was really clean, and we were executing on offense,” Houk said. “We just executed our stuff really well finally, and I was happy about that.”
Houk was happy with the team aspect of the victory, highlighting teamwork as a deciding factor in the game.
“It was a balanced team effort. There was a lot of good team work.”
Dreisbach was not hopeful of much regarding his team’s performance, but looks for his squad to learn from its miscues and improve from there.
“There wasn’t much to build upon. I just hope they realize their mistakes. A lot of the time they’ll come to the sidelines and get on each other and be critical. I don’t like that,” he said. “I just hope we can get away from that and let each guy play his own game. We just got to quit making the mistakes.”
Houk hopes his players will keep their eye on the prize following the win, and not let it distract from the bigger picture — a showdown with cross-town rival and powerhouse Morgantown, followed by the postseason tournament.
“We just have to keep executing,” he said. “We have Morgantown on Saturday, and that’s a really important game. We just can’t play up and down like we do sometimes. Every game we have to be focused, executing. We showed it tonight, and I hope we can show it moving forward too.”