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Prep Lacrosse Notepad: Wildcats are setting their goals high in 2012

Knowing that Mountain View has only once had a winning season—in 2010, when it won its first district playoff game—second-year coach Ross Baker issued a simple challenge to his players.

“Do you want to try to step it up a notch and see how far we can get this going?” Baker recalled telling them before the season began.

The Wildcats have responded with an emphatic yes, cruising to a 6–3 record just past the halfway mark of the season and scoring at least 10 goals in each of their victories.

The post-spring break schedule should be easier. While five of Mountain View’s first seven games were at home, they’ll start the stretch run tonight at Stafford with five games over a three-week span.

“I think the early games gave our defense an opportunity to grow and get into the system that we were going to run,” Baker said. “I think the biggest thing in the early games was to try some midfield combinations, because we didn’t have one set up front, and I think that gave us a great opportunity to get us set up front.”

Senior Johnny Tellez has been the leader of the Wildcats’ midfield and “in four of the last five games has pretty much carried the team,” Baker said. Nick Gray and Corey Ohlin have led the attack, with Jake Murtha and Jansen Doyle rotating in, and Kyle Brennan, a converted defenseman, has adjusted to his new role in goal.

The Wildcats were 9–7 in 2010, when they lost to Albemarle in the Commonwealth District tournament, and could set a mark for the most wins in program history with a strong finish.

“I think the district, from that standpoint, is very well balanced this year,” Baker said. “I think our kids have just had a problem finishing in some close games. We’ve just got to be able to not get in trouble early against some of the better teams, and I think we have a good opportunity.”

—Zac Boyer