Jennings Kleeman says it takes a little insanity to play goalie in lacrosse. A little craziness is required to strap on a limited number of pads and stand in front of the goal while players labeled as "attackmen" whip a solid rubber ball at him from a short distance.
And if Kleeman is right -- if it does take insanity -- then Bishop England's goalie was certifiably good Tuesday night.
Kleeman saved 12 shots -- several from point-blank range -- to lead the Bishops to an 8-4 upset win at Bluffton High School, giving the program just its third win over the past two seasons.
"Those ones from close up, that was luck, I think," Kleeman said. "I wasn't supposed to save those ones."
The Bobcats peppered Kleeman, a sophomore, with nine shots in the first half, but trailed 4-1 after two quarters.
Chris Ratzel scored the Bobcats' lone goal of the half with two minutes left in the first quarter to give Bluffton a 1-0 lead, but Jon Dudash responded one minute later with the first of his game-high four goals to tie it.
Simon Johnson gave the Bishops (1-1) the lead for the good four minutes later. Christian Reinhardt, Matt Durney and Will Hennesy also scored one goal each for Bishop England.
"Once we avoided that early rush, it really got everyone going, especially me," Kleeman said. "We needed that momentum."
And it seemed to deflate the Bobcats, whose offense was out of sorts for much of the second half.
Taylor McDonnell scored a pair of goals in the second half, and B.J. Baker scored one with 50 seconds left in the game, but the Bobcats trailed by multiple goals for the entire half.
T.J. Ratzel made five saves in goal for Bluffton.
"Their goalie stopped everything early, and that pretty much made us rush the ball on offense," McDonnell said. "Best goalie we've played all year. But I still thought this was a game we could've won."
Instead, the Bobcats dropped to 0-4. They will take their next crack at the season's first victory when they host Socastee on Saturday afternoon.
"We'll just concentrate on working a little bit harder and making sure our passes are a little more crisp," Bobcats coach Gene McCune said. "Our goal is to improve every day and let our work speak for itself."
BISHOP ENGLAND (1-1) John Dudash 4, Will Hennesy 1, Christian Reinhardt 1, Matt Durney 1, Simon Johnson 1.
BLUFFTON (0-4) Taylor McDonnell 2, B.J. Baker 1, Chris Ratzel 1.