Posted: 11:01 am Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
By Jodie Wagner
Benjamin will make its second straight appearance in the boys lacrosse state semifinals this weekend in Bradenton.
The Bucs, who beat Boca Raton 9-7 Tuesday in a third-round play-in game at Benjamin, will face Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas at 7 p.m. Friday at IMG Academy.
The winner will play defending champion Orlando-Lake Highland Prep or Ponte Vedra on Saturday for the state championship. The Highlanders and Sharks play their semifinal Friday at 5 p.m.
Benjamin (14-5), which lost to St. Andrew’s in the state semifinals last season, had their hands full with the Bobcats Tuesday.
The Bucs jumped out quickly against Boca Raton (17-4) and held a 7-3 lead at halftime before the Bobcats stormed back in the second half.
Boca cut the Bucs’ lead to 8-7 before Will Nicklaus’ fourth-quarter score iced the game.
“They controlled the ball a lot in the second half,” Benjamin coach Shane Rye said of the Bobcats, who were playing in their first-ever third round play-in game. “Their goalie got hot.”
St. Thomas Aquinas is a familiar opponent for the Bucs. The teams played March 7, with Benjamin winning 10-9 in overtime.
Rye expects another close game Friday.
“They have a big roster of athletic kids,” he said of the Raiders. “They play hard. We know what we’re going to get.”