Apr 05, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
No championship, or anything close to it, was earned Friday night when the East Syracuse-Minoa boys lacrosse team defeated Jamesville-DeWitt 11-10 on a wet and windy Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
It only felt that way to the giddy ESM players, who swarmed goalie Alec Miller near his cage moments after the defense stopped the Red Rams from forcing overtime in the waning seconds of regulation.
Years of one-sided neighborhood clashes where J-D toyed with the Spartans came to an end on this night as the hosts displayed plenty of skill to move out in front, and poise when it all threatened to fall apart.
What also helped ESM was that it had already played three times, winning them all. By contrast, the Red Rams had just one game (a lopsided 21-3 decision over Chittenango a week earlier) on its ledger, and that lack of action would lead to irregular play on this night.
To start with, the Spartans dominated in the face-off circle throughout the first half. Of the first 13 draws, 10 of them went to ESM as Andrew Messinger kept getting the ball, which led to a lot of time spent in the Rams’ end of the field.
Andrew Rosso gave ESM its first lead at 2-1 late in the first quarter. After Griffin Johnson tied it early in the second period, the Spartans, helped by those Messinger face-offs, notched three straight goals, two of them by Tom VanDeusen.
Rosso returned to complete a hat trick late in the half, the Spartans helped by J-D’s inability to settle itself on defense, a fact augmented by the absence of top back-line player Sam Mueller due to illness. At halftime, J-D found itself in a rare situation, trailing 7-3 and needing to step up.
And that’s exactly what happened in the third quarter. The Rams put Ryan Durkin on face-offs, and he won most of the draws in that period, leading to attacks and, eventually, some success.
With the score 7-4, Durkin, Griffin Feiner and Alex Dieroff notched three goals in a span of 1:10, tying the game at 7-7 and setting the stage for a tense fourth quarter.
Durkin’s third goal, 14 seconds into the period, got the Rams an 8-7 lead, but Jeremy Perry countered with his second tally to tie it again, 8-8, less than two minutes later.
VanDeusen returned to get his third goal off another J-D turnover when Rams goalie Joe Morgan was caught out of position to give ESM a 9-8 lead, but Durkin struck again for his fourth goal and, 32 seconds later, Grayson Burns found the net, and J-D had a 10-9 lead with less than six minutes left.
Somehow, ESM’s defense, led by Nick Sturick, Dan Lewis and Kyle Hesse, kept J-D from adding to that slim margin, and forced a turnover. Charging down the right side, Kollin Diedrickson’s shot fit just inside the left post with 2:42 left and again it was tied, 10-10.
J-D got a man-up opportunity, but again the Spartans stopped it. Then ESM patiently worked the ball around until Morgan made what looked like a clutch save in the final minute – but he could not hold on to the ball and, with 39.2 seconds to play, VanDeusen forced home the rebound for his fourth – and most important- goal of the night.
Still, the Rams had a chance to force overtime after winning the ensuing face-off. After a time-out, the Rams worked the ball around, but Miller made the important save, and his fellow defenders smothered the ball as the clock ran out.