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Nine-goal rally sparks Winter Park (Florida) lacrosse past Windermere

Coaches challenge Wildcats after trailing 4-3 midway through second quarter
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WINDERMERE, Florida –Bronson Dowdell scored four goals, and the Winter Park Wildcats scored nine goals in a row Tuesday to roll past Windermere 14-6 in a non-district boys lacrosse match.

Bennett Junod added three goals and three assists for Winter Park (10-1), which won its fourth in a row. The Wildcats play host to Lake Nona on Wednesday, then play vs. Bolles on Saturday.

After the game, Winter Park coaches challenged the Wildcats to strengthen their effort.

“We learned that we need to come out here ready to play, bring the intensity from the first face-off and finish with the same intensity throughout the game,” said Winter Park captain Parker Clem, a junior defenseman.

Windermere (8-4), which lost to Winter Park 14-0 in last year’s Region 2-2A final, gave the Wildcats much more of a challenge. Brendan Byrnes scored two second-quarter goals, and Asher Cowin scored off the goalkeeper to put the Wolverines up 4-3 with 9:38 left in the second quarter.

“The first quarter, we came out strong and locked them down on defense for a while,” Windermere coach Darren Fixler said. “Things got a little haywire in the third quarter, but all in all it was a good effort. We’ve got to learn to play 48 minutes. We’ve got to play strong the entire game instead of in spurts.”

Windermere’s effort challenged Winter Park in the first half. Clem said his team needed to improve its effort after the first quarter.

The Wildcats took that cue, going on a nine-goal rally. Dowdell took a pass from Carter Truesdell and scored from 10 yards out to tie the score 4-4 with 5:12 left in the second. That ignited the rally.

By the end of the run, Dowdell had four goals and Junod had a hat trick. Winter Park led 12-4 with 1:07 left in the third. That included a stretch of three goals in a 1:13 span late in the second quarter.

Paul Pilgrim finished with nine saves for the Wildcats.

“Paul’s always solid for us,” Clem said. “Our defense really depends on him to make big saves in games like these.”

Griffin Moore added three goals and Carter Truesdell and Chase Truesdell each had two goals for Winter Park. Chase Truesdell also had three assists.

Luke Briggs also scored two goals for the Wolverines, who play Friday at Boone.

Eddie Casademont had five saves for Windermere, including back-to-back point-blank saves a few seconds apart in the third quarter.

“The fourth quarter we fought better,” Fixler said. “That’s the most I can take out of this game.

“Offensively, our ball-handling was much better. We didn’t turn the ball over as easily as we could’ve. They’re a really good team, a good defense, a Top 5 team in the state. We’ve got to learn to get better and hopefully see them again.”