Posted: Feb 22, 2019
The Bears Varsity Boys lacrosse team bounced back from its opening game with a solid team win against a scrappy Dunwoody Wildcats team 11-8, Friday, Feb. 15th.
Ensuring not to have a slow start, the offense made several fast plays to get an early lead. Junior Captain, Chase DuMond, opened the game with a goal on an assist from fellow attackman, Bryson Hawkins. Hawkins distributed another great pass to fellow Junior, Ian Oblen, to give the Bears the quick 2-0 lead. It was a defensive play by Junior Captain, Reese Pieroni, on a defensive ride that led to a Wildcat turnover and another goal by DuMond. Showing some early fight, the Wildcats hung tough as the Bears made every possession a challenge for the visitors. Reese Pieroni delivered a lefty laser shot into the net early in the 2nd quarter to bring the lead back to 4-1. Pieroni's second straight goal, during a Bears man up possession, kept the cushion as the home team took a 5-2 lead into halftime. It was the combination of patient and high quality possessions, combined with solid team defense that helped the Bears to the first half dominance.
The Wildcats roared back after halftime scoring two quick goals to open the half on quick face off plays. Though momentum had begun to shift, the Bears defense---led by goalie Danny Dexter who secured five straight saves---played with determination while the Wildcat offense gained confidence. Turnovers and mental mistakes led to several poor offensive possessions by Cambridge, and as the 3rd quarter ticked down, the visitors tied the game at 5-5. With less than 10 seconds in the quarter, Junior Defenseman, Matthew Schnetzka, found Chase DuMond in the open just above the right side of the crease for a vital goal giving the team a 6-5 lead going into the 4thquarter. That goal proved to be a huge spark as the 4th quarter was owned by the Bears.
Face-off play was a key throughout the game. Junior Zach Ellington, who earned player of the game honors, secured several important face-offs early in the quarter leading to quick scores by the Bears. After one quick face off earned, Reese Pieroni looped around the back of the goal and zipped a perfect pass to a cutting Bryson Hawkins for key goal. Shiffman's athletic move and shot into the net, coming off a nice face-off win by Ellington, put the Wildcats in a bind as the Bears quickly expanded their 4th quarter lead to 8-5 leaving the visitors nearly hopeless for a comeback.
Ground ball play was a factor as the Bears achieved 28 ground balls throughout the game demonstrating strong effort and execution. As the Wildcats mounted an attempted comeback, Matthew Schnetzka owned one of the game's best highlights midway through the final quarter with a quick reaction and aggressive check of an open Wildcat attackman leading to a turnover. With the Bears controlling more possessions, the offense continued its solid play. Junior Captain, Reese Pieroni, who joined Chase DuMond with three goals on the night, delivered another impressive shot expanding the lead to 9-5. Minutes later Ian Dexter, who's play on both sides of the field came up huge for the team, found the net to make it 10-5. The highlights continued. With Dunwoody staggered, Junior Midfielder Joe DiPonzio delivered a highlight worthy offensive gem by losing two defenders and dodging from behind the net to drill his first ever varsity goal ensuring there would be no looking back on this night for the home team who secured their first win of the season. The Wildcats furious last few goals were well short as the Bears brought home the win taking their season record to 1-1.
The team welcomes Fellowship Christian to Cambridge Stadium on Thursday, February 21st.