Bears-10 vs. Alpharetta-7, Tuesday, March 5
The Cambridge Boys Lacrosse team played on the road against local rival, the Alpharetta Raiders, on Tuesday, March 5th winning 10-7 bringing their record to 3-3 for the season. Despite the Raiders nabbing the opening possession off face-off, the Bears defense clamped down causing an early turnover on a play that Junior, Will Eales, scooped a ground ball and raced up field for a nice clear to the offense. Showing good ball movement and spacing early, the Bears got a quick score from Junior midfielder, Ian Oblen, and a well-timed pass from Oblen's cut towards the goal by Reese Pieroni. The Bears offense continued its quality execution on the next possession as Zach Shiffman found Chase DuMond, who made a speedy move from behind a few defenders, to shoot a catch and score early in the first quarter. With an early 2-0 lead, the Bears had grabbed quick momentum. The home team Raiders didn't fold so fast as Alpharetta made up ground on a few high-quality shots to even the score midway through the first quarter. A key component to the win during the game was several timely ground balls. Bryson Hawkins secured an important ground ball in the first quarter, the first of four for the game he collected, to ensure the Bears kept offensive possession. Zach Shiffman put the Bears back on top with a double fake and inside dodge to keep the Bears out front 3-2. By end of the 1st quarter, the Raiders had scored to tie the game at 3-3.
The Raiders came out hot to start the 2nd quarter with several quick passes and fast cuts leading to on target goals. With only two minutes gone by in the 2nd, Alpharetta had taken a 5-3 lead. At that point, the Cambridge defense clamped down and showed true determination led by goalie Danny Dexter, who secured 12 saves for the night. After a few empty possessions, Junior Captain, Chase DuMond, split a double team on the right side of the goal and drove forward past the defense for a clean shot into the net to bring the team to within one point. The Raiders remained scoreless due to a suffocating defense aided by Junior, Matthew Schnetzka's four ground balls and effective coverage. The highlight of the game came with just seconds left in the first half as Senior Captain, McGregor Rowland, put a power stick check on a Raider player at midfield dislodging the ball. Rowland urgently scooped the ball and delivered it to Bryson Hawkins who sped past his only defender and shot the ball right into our offensive goal with only one second left in the first half. Tied at 5-5, the Bears had gained the momentum.
After halftime, Cambridge proved it was the better team on the night. Pieroni regained the lead on a fast cut and feed from Zach Shiffman. Shiffman's three assists to go along with his goal were among his great contributions earning him Player of the Game honors. Shortly into the 3rd quarter, Zach Shiffman disrupted an attempted defensive clear by causing a turnover leading to another Bears score as Reese Pieroni connected on his 2nd straight point. With a 7-5 lead, the transition game showed strength as Zach Ellington, handling face-off duties, secured the next exchange and brought the ball into the offensive zone where Shiffman found Bryson Hawkins for a terrific fast break score. The three goal cushion allowed the defense to play aggressive and continue its solid effort leading to a scoreless quarter for the Raiders.
The Bears entered the 4th quarter with an 8-5 lead that was cut to two after a few minutes on Alpharetta's first goal in almost two full quarters. After several back and forth possessions, Ian Oblen secured a defensive loose ball and sped up field finding Hawkins. The Junior Attackman drove the ball well up field finding DuMond who took a few steps into the open and drilled a laser into the net for his 3rd goal of the game and a game-clinching goal for the Bears. The frustrated Raiders could only manage one more point on Danny Dexter and the defense as Cambridge held Alpharetta to only two goals for nearly three quarters of play. Ian Dexter put an exclamation point on the night with a nice dodge and score as the clock ticked to it's end.
With the 10-7 win, Cambridge moved to 3-3 on the season and will now travel to Milton for a key rivalry game on Friday, March 8th.
Bears-7 vs. Lassiter-12, Tuesday, Feb. 26
The Cambridge Boys Lacrosse team played on the road against traditional power, the Lassiter Trojans, on Tuesday, February 26th losing 12-7 to last year's state finalist. The Trojans got off to a fast start minutes into the game scoring a pair of opening quarter goals despite several early blocked shots by goalie, Danny Dexter. The defensive starting trio of Matthew Schnetzka, Jake McIlvain, and Ethan Landry were tested early and often as the home team collected several early face offs and maintained possession after a few successful rides caused multiple Bear turnovers. The Trojans made possession changes difficult as the Bears only managed 50% on clears for the game, well below their season average. Down 3-0, Junior Attackman, Zach Shiffman put the Bears on the board with an impressive dodge move and shot coming off a rare fast break opportunity started off by a Dexter save and pass across the field by defenseman, Ethan Landry. A bright spot during the game was the team's ability to get face-offs against this top local opponent. Sophomore, Cole Gabriel, secured several face-offs which aided the Bears allowing the team to stay within striking distance. Down 3-1, the Bears scored again on a man-up play as Shiffman fed Junior Attackman, Bryson Hawkins, pulling the Bears within one just prior to the end of the first quarter. Lassiter added another goal prior to quarter end to make it 4-2 in favor of the Trojans.
The speedy attacker, Zach Shiffman, delivered again soon into the 2nd to close to within one again. Down 4-3, the team fell prey to a few turnovers and ineffective possessions giving an opening to Lassiter, who put three more goals on the board before Shiffman delivered one of the game's best highlights. Bringing the ball into play after a time-out, while playing man-down on offense, Shiffman sped past two defenders and made a fast move to the goal driving the ball into the net for his third goal of the half and a rare "man-down" team goal. A pair of Juniors got into the act just before halftime as Reese Pieroni delivered one of his snap right handers on a feed from Chase DuMond to inch the Bears closer at 5-7.
The momentum gained before half disappeared as the Trojans put up three goals in Q3. A key for the home Trojans was the amount of shots on goal they took compared to Cambridge. Lassiter shot 42 shots on goal for the game compared to only 19 by the Bears. While effective at shooting, the amount of turnovers for the game became too difficult to overcome. With 14 unforced turnovers for the game, Cambridge was simply unable to keep pace with Lassiter.
Down 10-5 in the fourth quarter, several Bears showed determination. Freshman, Tyler Morris, had several key plays to give the team some new energy. Morris, delivered the team's sixth goal during a man up play on a perfect pass from midfielder, Ian Dexter. Minutes later, Morris and Junior Attackman Jagger Bose double-teamed one of the Lassiter middies causing a turnover during one of the few successful rides by the offense. As the final minutes ticked down, a pair of Freshman delivered another of the game's highlights. Moving the ball with urgency, Freshman Daniel Fazzari drilled a laser into Tyler Morris's stick. Morris's shot was true to form scoring his second goal in the quarter. The Trojans closed with one final goal leading to the game's ending score of 12-7.
Cambridge takes on region rival, Alpharetta, on March 5th with the mission to get back into the win column.