By Zach Shugan
ROSWELL, Ga. — If the GHSA is pondering the idea of a mercy rule in lacrosse, it needs to look no further than the result of a playoff game between Roswell and Carrollton.
To be clear, there are no reports of a mercy rule being implemented, let alone considered by officials. But after seeing what the Hornets did to the Trojans in the first round of the 6A-7A state playoffs, the powers that be might want to look into a rule change.
One-seed Roswell dismantled four-seed Carrollton, 23-2, on a cool Wednesday night at Ray Manus Stadium. With Roswell leading by 13 goals after two quarters, the second half was merely a formality as the Hornets punched their ticket to the Sweet 16.
“New season, new approach,” Roswell director of lacrosse Bryan Wallace said. “Everybody is 0-0. It’s win and move on or lose and go home. Obviously our goal is to win every quarter we play, and that’s going to put us in a spot where we can continue to contend and move on.”
Roswell took the lead early on Carrollton and quickly built it into a comfortable advantage on the scoreboard. The Hornets led 6-1 after one quarter and extended their lead to 15-2 by halftime.
Over half of the Hornets’ goals in the first half came from the duo of Alex Lobel and Evan Plunkett. The sophomore Lobel posted a team-high five goals, which all came in the opening half, and the senior Plunkett added three scores of his own in the first half and four total on the night. The Army signee Plunkett also led the team with four assists.
In the second half, Roswell held Carrollton to zero goals while adding eight scores to its lead, including a hat trick by Myles Quandt.
Roswell (15-4, 6-0) will host crosstown rival Centennial (8-6, 4-2) next week in the Sweet 16. This will be the third meeting between the two teams in the past four state tournaments. Centennial won the last two contests in 2017 and 2019 when Wallace was the Knights’ head coach.
Wallace has been with the Hornets for two seasons, with this season being his first at the helm of the program. When Roswell and Centennial met up a couple weeks ago on Apr. 14, the Hornets won 14-6. This time around, the stakes will be raised, as a trip to the Elite 8 will be on the line.
“I know the program well and put a lot of time in over there,” Wallace said. “I’m excited to be here and like our matchup. We got to square off earlier in the year, and that favored us. We’re going to be ready, and I know they’ll be ready. It’ll be a great atmosphere.”