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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Tigers pounce past Wildcats

Millard West lacrosse ends season in quarter final defeat
Sam Whittaker
In the offensive half, senior attacker Kaden Sellmeyer navigates past a defender. Despite their eventual loss, the Cats displayed resilience in the final quarter, with key attackers like Sellmeyer contributing crucial goals. “The biggest thing that they knew was our primary offensive plays and our primary scorers,” Sellmeyer said. “Their goalie was also making some pretty impressive saves. Not to mention David being knocked out of the game due to injury made it harder for us to get the offense going.”

To kick off the start of playoff lacrosse, the West Des Moines Tigers hosted the Millard West Wildcats on Friday, May 10 at Wildcat Field.

In the previous matchup just days before, the Wildcats struggled early. Throughout the next half, the Wildcats would come back to defeat the Tigers by a final score of 8-7 which secured a rematch of these two sides in the playoffs.

As the first quarter got underway, Millard West seemed to lack any bite. The Tigers would ultimately capitalize multiple times throughout the opening frame spearheading themselves to a 3-0 lead after 12 minutes of play. 

“I was caught a little off guard early on,” junior defender Jack Fedde said. “We knew they were the same we’d played less than a week ago. We just did not click this time around against them, whereas they stepped up a lot.”

The second quarter began with the Wildcats still having trouble generating any clean looks on goal. As a result, the Tigers would add two more goals and would carry this to the midway point of the second. In the final three minutes of the half, the Wildcats would get one back thanks to junior attacker David Finnestad. After a cut from behind the net to the far side of the crease, Finnestad would fire and score while falling to make it 5-1 Tigers. 

As the first half came to a close, the one apparent thing the Wildcats lacked was offensive zone time. 

Entering the next half of action, the Tigers continued to dominate and forced West to play at their pace. Two quick goals from the Tigers grew the lead to 7-1 in the opening three minutes. The Wildcats would respond but only once in the quarter as West Des Moines continued to outshine them. As the third quarter came to a close, the Tigers had built a 9-2 lead and were just twelve minutes away from moving on.

“My mind was racing throughout that fourth quarter,” senior attacker Reece Straley said. “The message going into the fourth quarter was to leave everything out there. We knew we were down big but we needed to play as hard as we could and keep going.”

Finally in the fourth quarter, West would battle back. Following a man down situation, a counter attacking rush by junior Luke White opened up space down field. A cross-crease pass from White to his classmate Thomas Massara found the back of the net. Senior attacker Kaden Sellmeyer would add another with a bullet from the left wing. 

The Tigers responded by posting two more goals of their own, making it a 11-4 game with just a tad over halfway to go. Straley would gain possession off the ensuing faceoff and score after shoving off two Tigers. He would win the next two faceoffs in a row resulting in two goals from himself and Massara to cut the lead down to 11-7.

Junior Aaron Newmyer would then take over in the faceoff circle. The Tigers would gain possession and ultimately melt the final minutes off the clock to put a close on the Wildcats 2024 season.

“The key thing is building off of this year and creating a culture,” head coach Nick Brown said. “Over the first couple of months with the team, I learned pretty quickly that we had a tight knit group of guys. That’s something I think is very important to the success of a program so with having players that enjoy being around one another, made it easy for our new coaching staff to build off that.”

As the emotions ran high following this defeat, the Wildcats wrapped up their 2024 season with a 7-8 record. Despite the ups and downs of this year, the team has their sights set on a promising 2025 season with considerable talent still at their disposal.

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About the Contributor
Sam Whittaker
Sam Whittaker, Staff Reporter
Also known as the voice of Millard West Hockey, Sam is a junior at Millard West beginning his first full year on the Catalyst Staff. He spent the summer working alongside Logan Moseley for the Corn Belt League gaining valuable broadcasting experience. In his free time, Sam cheers on the Tennessee Volunteers and Nashville Predators whenever he isn’t broadcasting or photographing Millard West sports.

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