DR. PHILLIPS — After starting its 2015 campaign with a 1-4 record, the Dr. Phillips boys lacrosse team has now won seven of its last eight games and is rising quickly up the ranks in Central Florida and the state.
The Panthers (8-5) only have lost to Seminole, 10-9, in March and have defeated the likes of Windermere Prep, West Orange and Oviedo during their hot streak.
“We just came together as a team, honestly,” head coach Charlie Battaglini said. “They started to click. … We’ve played some pretty top-tier talent, and we’ve hung with everybody.”
Indeed, four of Dr. Phillips’ losses have come by a combined five goals, with the sole outlier being a 16-6 defeat at the hands of Lake Mary on Feb. 17. With the team now rolling along, though, senior attacker Ian Decker said the losses may have helped the squad along in the long run.
“We learned (from the losses) what we do need to make improvements,” Decker said. “Looking back, we had opportunities to win those games, and I think if we played them now, we would.”
Decker, who recently scored five goals in a win over Freedom and another four goals in a win over West Orange, is the team’s leading scorer for a second consecutive season.
“He was our leading scorer last year and, of course, this year he stepped up as well,” Battaglini said, noting that Jason Sullivan and Mikey Sesay have been impressive, also.
The Panthers played games against Olympia March 17 and Ocoee March 18 after press time before taking time off for spring break.
Dr. Phillips will return to action at 7:30 p.m. March 30, at Apopka, with the Panthers’ next home game set for 6 p.m. April 1, against Wekiva.