Apr 06, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now the Corcoran boys lacrosse team understands that, at its best, it can hang right with the best in the Section III Class A ranks.
Led by James Cathers and Derek Eccles, the Cougars withstood squandering a four-goal lead to reigning Class A champion West Genesee late in regulation and won, 12-11, in overtime Tuesday night in front of a loud, appreciative home crowd.
Cathers and Eccles each finished with five goals, carrying Corcoran’s attack, so it was fitting that they would team up for the winning goal 32 seconds into overtime.
The Cougars won the faceoff in OT. Defying conventional strategy, head coach Shaun Smith did not call a time-out, saying that he would prefer the game to be in his top players’ hands.
Sure enough, Eccles ended up with possession of the ball. He drew two WG defenders, then passed it to Cathers, standing next to the net, who easily flicked the ball past Wildcat goalie Tim Birchler.
So ended an exciting contest where Corcoran, coming off a season-opening win over Binghamton April 1 where Cathers had eight goals and two assists, led most of the way, only to fall victim to a furious West Genesee rally.
Going in, Corcoran knew that it had a great chance to get a rare win over WG. While the Cougars return most of its starters from 2009, the Wildcats have eight new starters and had fought hard to earn a 2-1 start, which included a 16-8 season-opening loss to Jamesville-DeWitt.
In the first quarter, the Cougars, up 3-1, squandered that edge. Goals by Chris Murphy, Jim Cordon and John Glesener had WG in a 4-3 lead by the time the period was done.
After Eccles tied it 4-4, Cathers unleashed two goals in a span of 35 seconds, then hit again for a fourth goal three minutes later. Eccles returned for his third goal, and the Cougars took an 8-5 lead to the half.
The two sides spent most of the third quarter sparring and exchanging stops. That played to the Cougars’ advantage, and when Edmund Cathers converted with 9.6 seconds left in the period, Corcoran led 11-7.
That did not last long WG scored twice in man-up situations early in the fourth quarter to cut the margin in half. Glesener made it 11-10 with 8:50 left and, when Bob Gasparini ripped in a shot from the point with 3:09 to play, the game was tied.
Despite all this, Cougars goalie Jon Boehm made a fair share of point-blank stops on his way to 16 saves. None were bigger than when he thwarted WG’s Corey Herrington from putting in a possible game-winner in the final seconds of regulation – setting up the success in overtime.
One bad aspect of both opening wins, according to Smith, was the rash of turnovers the Cougars committed, something that had to be fixed long-term if it wanted to make a title run.
Corcoran played back-to-back games on the weekend and won them both, routing Nottingham 19-1 on Friday and jumping all over Union-Endicott Saturday night in a 16-10 decision.
Against the crosstown rival Bulldogs, Corcoran steadily built its one-sided margin while still giving every player on its roster a chance to take the field.
Edmund Cathers led with four goals and one assist, with Eccles and Dylan Smith each scoring three times. James Cathers had two goals and four assists as Quon Green, Dillon Brown and Brandon Britton each produced a pair of tallies.
A night later, at U-E, the start could not have possibly been better, as the Cougars jumped all over the Tigers with eight unanswered goals in the first quarter. Corcoran kept adding to the margin, making it 14-3 by the fourth quarter before the reserves came in.
Eccles, Smith and James Cathers each put up four goals, with Cathers adding three assists and Eccles two assists. Brown had four assists, joining Kevin Sexton, Logan Tousaw and Edmund Cathers in the single-goal column.