good competition going into the playoffs,” Bucs head coach Davey Jones said. “We came out a little lackadaisical in the first half. We weren’t talking on defense. We weren’t playing the game that we usually play. It took us to halftime. At halftime, instead of talking to them, we got them into some 4 v. 3s and then from there on out we were good.”
The Clippers opened the game with a 2-0 lead. Tanner Farro netted a lefthander at 10:56 after circling from the crease and Braden Grushakow slung in a right-hander off a feed from Westley Ingersoll at 9:50. But the Bucs countered with three straight goals. Brandon Galloway fired in a right-hander from directly in front of the goal from 14 yards out at 8:58, and D.J. Galloway angled in a left-hander from the left side of the goal area at 8:06. Brandon Galloway then scored high off an assist from Jackson Kratovil (three assists) to make it 3-2 with 7:17 remaining.
The Clippers, making their first Bayside Conference title game appearance in boys’ lacrosse, didn’t fold.
Ingersoll beat Chaney (eight saves) with a low shot to the left side of the cage at 5:43 to tie the game at 3-3. After collecting a pass from Alex Sewell, a wide open Luke Nestor slung in a high left-hander for a 4-3 lead at 1:27, which ended the first-quarter scoring.
Kent Island’s Smith, after grabbing a pass from Dixon, scored from eight yards out in front of the cage to tie the game at 4-4 with 10:03 left in the second quarter. The Bucs took a 5-4 lead with 6:35 remaining in the quarter when Mooney slung in a submarine shot high into the net from nine yards out.
“I don’t think we were used to getting behind like that,” Mooney said, “but when we do get behind like that we have to come together as a team and get each other’s backs and come out fired up for the next quarter, try to get one goal at a time. Our defense played fabulous the second, third, fourth quarter, and Josh played very well. Austin Ryan played well, Mike Scott, D.J., Paul, Quinn.”
With just 29 seconds left in the half, Nestor scored on a fast break off a pass from Farro, tying the game at 5-5, but that was the end of the Clippers’ scoring.
D.J. Galloway was flagged for two penalties, a slash and a hold, 16 seconds into the second half. But instead of the Clippers gaining an advantage, Kent Island’s defense dominated with Ryan picking off a pass to gain possession. And the Bucs’ momentum grew from there.
“We’ve had a lot of penalties this year,” Ryan said. “We’ve been two-men down a lot this season and we just know how to play. We know how to jump passes and read the offense.”
“We have a really stout, aggressive defense,” Jones said. “The downside of that is you occasionally find yourself in the penalty box. But our mandown defense did a great job today. We were able to get the ball back. We were able to burn all the penalties that we had in the second half. It’s definitely something we’ll be talking to the guys about, playing a little bit more disciplined defense. But definitely in the second half, I’ll take that tradeoff of getting aggressive and getting after it.”
Mooney scored high again after collecting a missed shot to put Kent Island ahead 6-5 with 7:40 left in the third quarter. Tubman bounced in a shot after a feed from Mooney to make it 7-5 at 6:11 in the third.
Dixon scored the last goal with 9:26 left in the game. He caught a pass from Smith and fired the ball past Clippers goalie Ian Hoisington. Hoisington played well, finishing the game with 13 saves, although the Bucs’ shooting could have been better, according to Jones.
“We could have done a better job shooting today,” Jones said. “I think we hit the goalie a couple times, so definitely some work to do there.” Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at firstname.lastname@example.org