The second Athens Drive-Cary boys lacrosse match started out much like the first meeting a month ago when the Jaguars won at home by eight goals.
Athens Drive opened the rematch scoring six unanswered first-period goals to take a five-point lead heading into the second quarter. But the rest of the way it was essentially an even match that Athens Drive held on to win 11-7 on Tuesday night at Cooper Field.
“We played well in the first quarter, but after that we let up,” said Athens Drive coach Tom Weatherby said. “I think we lost some of our focus. First quarter we took it to them and then we relaxed. .... We’re more than capable of doing that (six unanswered goals) in a 48-minute game. But right now we’re young. We’re learning and hopefully that mental toughness will come around.”
Athens Drive improved to 7-7 overall and 7-6 in conference play; Cary dropped to 4-11 and 2-10.
Before Athens Drive heated up in the first period, Cary struck first with a goal from Thomas Vetter midway through the first period. But then Athens Drive’s Cade Maganini, Bobby Padden and Reid Koonce each scored two times in a five-minute stretch.
The Imps may be overmatched, but they didn’t roll over. Tanner Orr and Phillip Blackley scored back-to-back goals to trim the deficit to 6-3 late in the second.
“I think the difference is we’re playing a lot harder,” said Cary junior Phillip Blackley, who scored three goals. “When you play harder you’re going to have closer games.”
Cary goalie David Bunting kept the score close with 10 saves.
Koonce led Athens Drive with four goals and Padden added three. Cade Magnanini added two goals. Nate Randolph and Alex Waller added goals.
For Cary, Vetter also had multiple with two. Other Imps scoring were Ian Armstrong and Greg Wycoff.