Ready, aim ... goal!


BUTLER TWP — Cody Bachman receives a pass from Tanner Kotch, cocks his crosse and flings a side-arm shot from 15 yards out that finds the top right corner of the net. 

It's another goal and assist in what has been a long parade of them this season for Bachman and Kotch, the two offensive leaders for the Butler boys lacrosse team. 

“When you have kids like this,” Kotch says, pointing at Bachman, “it makes my job easier when I get it to him.” 
Bachman and Kotch were at it again against Vincentian Academy at Art Bernardi Stadium Wednesday night. Bachman scored seven goals and Kotch found the net five times to go with four assists in an 18-3 Butler rout. 

Bachman scored his first goal just seven seconds into the game and his final goal of the evening made it 14-0 early in the third quarter. 
The Golden Tornado (8-2) led 16-0 after three quarters and 18-0 at one point in the fourth period. 

Bachman's sizzling shots had a lot to do with that. 
“He has a killer rip,” said Butler coach Brandon Hoskinson. “Even against some of the better teams we have faced, he's putting in three or four. I don't know if there is a goalie in the area who could have stopped some of those shots (Wednesday night).” 

On a good night, Bachman's shots scream toward the net at 90 mph. 
What makes him even more dangerous is the fact he can put it anywhere he wants. 
“We do a lot of shooting drills in practice,” Bachman said. “I've been playing since I was in the fourth grade. It's just hard work.” 
Bachman, a senior, said he and J.J. Raab, another attacker, would not be as good without the play of Kotch, a junior who plays the “X” position — standing right behind the goal to set up the offense. 
“Tanner understands what needs to be done and where the soft spots are going to be,” Hoskinson said. “That you can't teach as a coach. You just have to hope he picks up on it.” 
Setting up the offense sometimes means setting up himself. 
“Attack is supposed to score a lot of the goals in lacrosse, and the X, you are pretty much the QB,” Kotch said. 
Bachman is approaching 50 goals this season. Kotch eclipsed 40 goals against Vincentian (4-5) and is getting close to 40 assists this year as well. 
As a team, Butler now has scored 162 goals. 

And that's with one of its best offensive players from a season ago, Jake Whann, playing defense because of injuries. 
“I'm not surprised in the least,” Hoskinson said of Whann, who didn't balk at the move. “It's just the character that that guy brings. He's turning into one of the best defenders we have.” 
Then there's Raab, who also has a knack for scoring goals at the most important times. 
“J.J. has been our best player in the big games,” Hoskinson said. “I don't know whose shot is the hardest, J.J.'s or Cody's.” 
With that much talent, Butler has turned many of its games against Division II opponents into laughers. 

That has give Hoskinson a while new set of challenges this season. 
“It's very, very difficult to stay focused,” Hoskinson said. “You get into some bad habits and those bad habits carry over into the close games you play. If we can clean up some of the things we saw tonight, we'll be fine. It can only be detrimental if you let it.” 
Next year, Butler will move out of Division II and into Division II. The Golden Tornado are 2-2 against Division I teams this season. 

Their only losses have came by four goals to North Allegheny and by five goals to Bethel Park. 

Bachman just wishes he could get a taste of Division I with Butler next season. 

“I think it's a good move going to Division I next year,” Bachman said. “We are definitely ready.”