Needed Spark: Western bounces back from Atlee loss to drop Monticello


Coming off a tough loss to Atlee Wednesday night, Western Albemarle needed a spark against Monticello Thursday. Throw in a few key injuries and that meant a green light for Jake Wilson and Jack Lesemann, long poles who are both capable of creating in transition.


“We have a bunch of guys injured and coach (Alex Whitten) told me and Lesemann before the game that we were going to have to step up on offense with poles and get ready,” Wilson said.


They got ready. Wilson delivered two goals and an assist and Leseman chipped in another. With junior Jack Reichert catching absolute fire with five goals and five assists, that was enough offense to lift the Warriors past the Mustangs 13-7.


Reichert assisted on both Wilson’s tallies.


“Jack found me on both shots and they were perfect passes, right at the stick and easy to finish,” Wilson said. “He’s a great feeder, they were perfect passes.”


While the offense heated up and Reichert put together a dominant complete game, Will Stalfort was locked in in the cage with 13 saves on the night. Monticello had solid success in transition, with Hanley Hauser notching a hat trick while Buddy Wilson had two goals and a pair of assists.


But Western played well in 6v6, with turnovers and stops allowing Jeffrey Wilson and Lesemann to help kickstart the transition game going the other way. Smith Callaghan got a boost from that effort too and had an explosive four goals for the Warriors — he was one of the players who had to step into the lineup with five offensive players including Alex Williamson out with injuries.


“This was a huge win for us, a team win,” Whitten said. “Younger guys, newer guys, less experienced guys got huge important minutes. It wasn’t that our starters got way up, those guys played solid minutes the whole game.”


Wilson and Widener each picked up five ground balls while Callahan picked up four and Leseman snagged three. Andrew Krese also scored to round out the offensive effort


Nicholas Garrett had 12 saves for the Mustangs. Cooper Hauser picked up six ground balls for Monticello.


Western will travel to take on Albemarle in the second installment of that rivalry Tuesday while Monticello travels to Charlottesville the same night.