The Pinecrest boys lacrosse picked up a confidence boosting win at Cary Tuesday night. After being unable to pull away by more than two goals against the relentless Imps, the Patriots exploded for five goals in the final 10 minutes of the game to leave 10-6 winners.
The teams combined for only nine goals in the first three quarters, but scored eight in the fourth.
“We played Green Hope last night and played them really well in the fourth quarter. I was hoping we would do the same thing today and we did. We outplayed these guys when it mattered most,” Pinecrest coach Andrew Socha said.
Thomas Dean, Jonathan Schlaff, Justin Ryder and Jeffery Jensen scored for the Patriots (1-1, 1-1).
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Mistakes typical of a team just starting off the year plagued the Imps (0-1, 0-1).
“First-game jitters got us there,” Cary coach Scott Gordon said. “I think a lot of our mental mistakes that didn’t seem as big at the time, they capitalized on. Blown clear, bad pass, miss, they capitalized. Our guys leave knowing those things add up.”
Tanner Orr, Chris Leder, Hunter Hamrick and Greg Wycoff scored for the Imps.
Thomas Dean assisted Jonathan Schlaff for a time-and-room shot with 5:11 to go in the game to give the Patriots a 7-4 lead. Schlaff scored twice in the ensuing 54 seconds to put the game to bed.
“At halftime it was getting kind of close and I decided to take matters into my own hands and get it done,” Schlaff said. “Coaches lit a fire under our butts, but it’s on the players to get it going.”
They said it
“This is huge, last year we had a couple of rough losses to these guys so it’s always nice to come out here and get a win,” Schlaff said.
Three to know
Justin Smith, Pinecrest: Smith won 11 of his 14 faceoffs to help the Patriots control possession and set their own pace for the game.
“Smith was a man in the faceoff circle,” Socha commented.
Thomas Dean, Pinecrest: In a first half that was lacking in terms of offensive production, Dean was able to sneak in shots from the goal line extended twice in the first half to keep the offense afloat. Dean finished with three goals and an assist.
Tanner Orr, Cary: Orr kept the score close with three goals and an assist, including a right handed rip that nipped the top corner in the final period.
With 8:22 to go in the first half, Ryder made a pinpoint pass to Schlaff while falling back from a big hit that set the Patriots up for an easy goal.
By the numbers
8: Saves from Pinecrest’s Anire Egbe.
“We we were getting some shots and things we wanted to do on offense but their keeper was always in the right spot,” Gordon said.
7: Saves from Cary’s David Bunting, who faced a plethora of point-blank shots from right on the crease.
6:09: Span in which the Patriots scored their five fourth quarter goals.
2-for-10: Conversion rate on man-up opportunities for Pinecrest.
2: Man-down goals scored by the Imps.