Central Catholic Raiders Boys Lacrosse '08

Mon, May 12, 2008 04:00 PM @ Triton
Team Final
Central Catholic 8
Triton 4

Triton's tourney hopes suffer blow with loss to Central Catholic

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Tuesday, May, 13 By Evan Mugford
Staff writer

Just when you thought it was safe to put on your sandals, this spring's frigid off-shore breeze has decided to thwart any possibility of a sunny River Rival lacrosse game.

 Most teams tend not to blame the weather for their performances, and yesterday was no exception for the Triton boys lacrosse team.

Triton (5-7), looking to snap a two-game losing streak, fell to Merrimack Valley Conference foe Central Catholic, 8-4.

Though the Vikings have appeared to be one of the more well-rounded teams in the River Rival Region, their efforts yesterday were outmatched all game long. The Raiders brought the defense, a balanced attack, and overall, seemed to be the team least affected by the draining and cumbersome wind chill.

Raiders coach Matt Velasquez explained that weather is usually not an ally of Central Catholic.

"I think we were pretty fortunate to leave with the win," said Velasquez. "It seems like whenever the weather is as bad as it was today, we have a real difficult time either getting up for the game, or executing.

"Though, we weren't exactly crisp," said Velasquez. "The kids tried hard, and put forth enough effort for the victory."

The first quarter opened with the Raiders scoring quickly, almost catching the Vikings off guard. After the score, both teams struggled to find any offensive flow, a pattern that Triton would suffer from for the remainder of the game.

Despite the lackluster offensive showing, the Viking defense had bright | albeit brief | moments. However, the chances to shine on defense were certainly anted up due to the Raiders owning the majority of the game's ball control.

With the Vikings a man up, a recurring trend of missed opportunities seemed to spell doom for the Vikings early on.

Similar to the start of the first quarter, the Raiders scored quickly once the second began. But unlike the first quarter, the Viking defense lost some concentration and allowed a follow-up goal just a minute later, pushing the Raiders' lead to 3-0.

Carson True made some important saves in the second in order to keep the game respectable. After some nice Viking defense, the Triton transition game suddenly surfaced. After some effective passing, Craig White found Chris LeSage for the score with 2:02 to go in the half. The Vikings lost another opportunity to cut the Raider lead, but at the half, the lead remained 3-1.

The Raiders gave themselves breathing room after the break.

The Triton defense seemed tight as the half began, but a tenacious Raider offense did not relent. The visitors found the ground balls, ran faster, pushed harder, and lastly, made the plays.

The Raiders scored four unanswered goals, coming off a variety of easy passes and snipe shots, to balloon the lead to 7-1. Central Catholic was able to run off this sequence of goals for a few reasons: they dominated the face-offs, ran a patient offense, and used subtle aggression to surprise the Viking defenders.

Still showing a fighting spirit, Triton put together their own mini-run toward the end of the third quarter with back-to-back goals. The first was at 4:32 when LeSage found Caleb Woodworth, and the second was 17 seconds later when Woodworth found the back of the net again.

Unfortunately, the next time the Vikings did not score again until the final seconds, when Caleb Noble found Paul Bishop. Joe McCarthy led Central Catholic with three goals. Nick Mann and Connor Murphy tallied two each. Chris Noyes scored one.

The Vikings suffered their third straight defeat, and now need to win their next two games to remain eligible for tourney play.

Vikings coach Donna Andersen was confused by her team's sub-par play.

"We just didn't have it," said Andersen. "I'm not sure what it was. The energy wasn't there, the intensity, the focus. Maybe they were still shaking off the weekend.

"This isn't how the team plays," explained Andersen. "We're better than this. We can play with the North Andovers, and the Mascos, and the Central Catholics. We just need to bring our game plan and execute it."

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