Lake Mary overpowers Viera in second half to hand Hawks 12-3 loss

Viera High's Gavin Wessel takes a shot on goal during Friday night's game against Lake Mary. Wessel would score one of his team's three goals on the night, but it was Lake Mary who pulled away for a 12-3 victory.

It was a rough night for the Viera High boys lacrosse team.

The Lake Mary Rams, one of the state’s top teams, used a big second half to pull away from the Hawks and win Friday’s non-district matchup 12-3.

Viera (11-3), which took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by senior Jared Weiss, had all kinds of problems against the Rams (12-1), who came into the matchup ranked No. 6 in the state by MaxPreps.

On this night, the Rams were faster, more aggressive and much more physical. Lake Mary also did a good job of spreading out the Viera defense and penetrating the interior while the Hawks had a hard time getting any kind of offense going.

Freshman Kyle Fischer and senior Gavin Wessel also scored for Viera. Sophomore goalie Maguire Pedrick had a very good individual effort against Lake Mary’s offensive onslaught, stopping 27 shots.

It was the kind of game the Hawks will need to learn from if they hope to go far in the postseason.

“The first lesson is … I have six seniors. They have to decide if they’re willing to carry the team,” Viera coach Bo Bartlett said. “A few of them tonight just didn’t bring the effort that a couple of the others did. Seniors need to have each other’s backs and tonight, they didn’t have each other’s backs.

“They kind of let down their fellow teammates. The effort just wasn’t there. I’m not sure exactly why. I don’t know if they’re just tired. It’s been a long season. It’s our 14th game. But we’ve got to figure it out. It will be a good film to watch.”

Viera certainly hung with the Rams early on, taking the early 1-0 lead. Even after Lake Mary started to assert itself and go up 3-1, Viera got a long pass from defenseman Hunter Levi to Weiss, who was able to find Fischer to make it a 3-2 game.

However, Lake Mary was able to score twice more before halftime and then completely dominated the second half.

“They definitely have several middie lines and we essentially have one right now,” Bartlett said. “We’ve been joking all season about playing chess with checker pieces. We’re really down on defense as far as injuries go.

“We’re kind of a MASH unit. But that would be an excuse. You play with what you’ve got, right? We just ran out of gas. It was (5-2) at the half. We had some opportunities and we just shot ourselves in the foot. It’s going to happen. You have to play a good-to-perfect game against a really good team.”

The Hawks have three more home games to close out the regular season. Edgewood is scheduled to come in on Tuesday, followed by West Shore on Thursday and Oviedo on Friday before heading to the district tournament.

“We went undefeated in the district, so we’re the No. 1 in districts,” Bartlett said. “We’ve positioned ourselves well for the district playoffs. We’ll see what happens.”