KINGWOOD — Behind a pair of hat tricks by Jaron Summers and Dakota Holt, the Preston High boys’ lacrosse team beat Harrison County, 9-8, May 9, in the quarterfinals of the WVSLA Division 2 state playoffs.
With less than five minutes to play, the Knights (8-8) advanced in the playoffs behind two quick goals, by Holt and Matt Allen.
“It’s a big game in general just for the program,” Summers said. “We work so hard. We didn’t have the greatest season that we thought, but just to work as a team and win as a team to make it to the next round and see where we go from there means a lot.”
Summers and Holt led the team with three goals apiece. Allen’s game-winning goal was his sole score and he added one assist. Tucker Knisell scored one goal and had an assist, as well. Austin Casteel scored one goal, and David Reckart had one assist.
“It was exciting, but we could have played better,” Preston head coach Jeff Dreisbach said.
The Bruins (5-7) drew first blood nearly five minutes into the first quarter, when midfielder Ryan LaAsmar found the back of the net.
Summers responded for the Knights with a couple of goals to secure a 2-1 Preston lead at the end of the first quarter.
Holt and Casteel scored goals in the second quarter to give PHS a 4-1 lead at halftime.
Harrison County came out swinging in the second half, winning the opening faceoff and scoring immediately. The Bruins outscored the Knights, 4-2, in the third quarter (the two PHS goals coming from Holt and Knisell) to hold Preston to only a 6-5 lead.
A minute and a half into the fourth quarter, Harrison County attackman Bubba LaAsmar scored to make the score 6-6.
Summers took the lead back for the Knights with his third goal, three minutes later. The Bruins responded with a pair of goals, by attackman Matt Strange and Ryan LaAsmar, to make it an 8-7, Harrison County.
Holt tied the game with 3 1/2 minutes to play, then Allen scored a minute later to give the Knights the decisive lead.
Preston goalie Jeremy Hovatter had 13 saves.
“He had a heck of a game,” Summers said. “Whenever he has a heck of a game, we know we’re going to do what we can do. He’s what holds us together as a team. He’s probably the best goalie in the state.”
The Knights will now head to Moundsville to face John Marshall at noon Saturday, in the semifinals of the state playoffs. Preston beat the Monarchs. 8-5, in the regular season. behind four goals by Holt.
“We beat them, and they’re the number-one seed,” Dreisbach said.