SUWANEE — In the first two minutes of the opening quarter, Milton took more shots than Collins Hill would take the whole 12 minutes.
And the Eagles from Fulton County led 1-0.
That’s the way it went for Collins Hill’s boys lacrosse team facing the defending state champions and a program with a decade’s worth of experience. Collins Hill lost 9-1 in the program’s first home playoff game.
“They are a good program. We knew that,” Collins Hill coach Travis Pearre said. “That’s where we need to be.”
Despite Milton’s quick score, it led only 2-0 after the first quarter. Collins Hill goalie Alex Squires turned away the flurry of Milton attacks. Milton took 30 shots in the game and Squires racked up 14 saves.
“He kept us in the game,” Pearre said. “He kept us in a lot of games.”
The close score at the end of the first quarter didn’t keep in the second. Milton rattled off two quick goals to start the quarter and then scored a pair to end the quarter and take a 6-0 halftime lead. Milton’s Brandon Davis scored both of his goals in the first half.
But in the second half, Collins Hill showed some grit. The Eagles played to a 3-1 score over the final 24 minutes, getting their only goal from Connor Boston with 8:47 remaining in the game.
A.J. Canara scored a pair for Milton in the second half.
“Scoring a goal and everything, that was a big deal,” Pearre said. “The kids knew they were facing tough odds and they never quit.”
Even in the final minutes, Collins Hill players were dishing out physical licks to the time-killing Milton and put up nine shots in the final quarter.
The disappointment didn’t last long after the game. Coach and players understood this season was another step forward for a young program. And what they saw in their opponent is what they want, eventually for themselves.
“I like opportunities to play good teams because that is what makes you better,” Pearre said. “I am proud of the kids coming out and never, ever quitting and fighting as hard as they did.”