Myrtle Beach junior Roger Chandler is a newcomer to the sport of lacrosse.
He played like a veteran on Friday night, though.
Chandler had a hat trick and was the hero as he scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to lead the Myrtle Beach boys to a 5-4 victory over St. James at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.
“Just the hard work the kids have been putting in has been coming together,” said Seahawks coach Jim O’Neil, whose team was coming off a 12-1 loss to Waccamaw on Thursday. “This is not an easy game to win or conquer or learn but they’re getting better. Two evenly-matched teams, two first-year programs. They played great, we played great. We had a few more athletes maybe, but we earned this win. It was a solid team effort all the way.”
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Chandler scored a goal with about five minutes left to go to put the Seahawks ahead 4-3. St. James’ Jacob Leechman knotted the game up, scoring with a little over two minutes left to make it 4-all. With 38 seconds left, Chandler had a shot on goal but it bounced up and just barely missed the net.
Then, a little over two minutes into double overtime, Chandler shut the door for Myrtle Beach.
“Roger has never played lacrosse before. He came out and learned [the game] and has been dedicated,” O’Neil said. “He’s a hustler, he’s fast and he’s got grip. This is a new sport and we’re working really hard."
Sophomore Todd Woodard and junior Johnny Newell also scored for the Seahawks. With the season off to a good start, O’Neil has confidence in his squad.
“Their confidence boosts, this is their first win and they’re going to feel good tonight,” O’Neil said. “We’re just going to keep working at practice, keep working on little things but we’re picking it up and learning the game. The city should get excited about this. We’re gonna to keep going; we’re not stopping. Lacrosse has hit the beach.”