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Boys Lacrosse

Cougars hang on for 9-7 victory

After blowing four-goal lead, ConVal scores final two goals to defeat Stevens

  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys lacrosse team defeated Stevens 9-7 on Friday, April 26, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

ConVal boys lacrosse coach Pete Ketchum knew his team had a chance in Friday’s meeting with Stevens.

While it would be an uphill battle without the services of senior defender RJ Carney and midfielders Riordan McCole, a junior, and sophomore Stephen Twitchell, Ketchum felt it was a game the Cougars needed to win.

And it didn’t get any easier with senior defender Shawn Broderick going down in the first half with a broken right forearm. But the Cougars battled — even after allowing a comfortable third quarter lead slip away — and scored the final two goals for a 9-7 victory.

“This is the first game we’ve played two halves of lacrosse and the boys can see the difference,” said Ketchum.”It was a big win.”

Early on, it looked as though ConVal had the clear upper hand. They built up a four-goal lead in the third quarter and looked to be on their way to an easy win. Then, in less than a minute, the Cardinals scored three times to pull within one.

By the 11-minute mark of the fourth, the game was tied at seven. At that point, Ketchum challenged his team. It was one of those times in the season where he wanted to see what his team was made of.

And ConVal passed with flying colors.

“The boys dug down. They didn’t quit when the game got tied and in the end, they found a way to win and that’s exactly what we have to do,” said Ketchum. “We have to find ways to win and know that we can win.”

With 5:58 left in the fourth, junior Isaiah Tayl0r found Clay Lyons for the go-ahead goal and Taylor added his fourth of the game about 30 seconds later as the Cougars grabbed their first home win of 2013 and improved to 2-3 overall.

“This will keep us in the playoff run,” said Taylor. “This is one of the games we needed to win.”

Stevens struck first less than three minutes into the game, but it did not take long for ConVal to gain control.

JT Clough evened the score at one and Taylor scored his first to give ConVal a lead that it would hold on to until early in the fourth. Mike Palazzola made it two-goal edge with a power play tally and Nick Phillips added a goal to make it 4-1 at the end of the first quarter.

Taylor scored his second just before the midway point of the second, sandwiched around a pair of Stevens’ goals, as ConVal took a 5-3 advantage into the half.

Palazzola and Taylor each scored in the first four minutes of the third to give ConVal what looked to be a comfortable 7-3 edge.

But Stevens would not go away, netting three goals in 49 seconds to make it a 7-6 game with seven minutes left in the third. It would stay that way until early in the fourth when the Cardinals finally pulled even.

“We tend to, once we get the lead, to back off a little bit,” said Taylor, who had his second straight four-goal game.

But the Cougars did not fold. Junior goalie Sean Stinehour made three big saves with the game tied at seven and the offense took care of the rest.

On the go-ahead score, Taylor beat his defender on the right side and had a clear shot at the net, but instead made the extra pass to Lyons on the far side that caught the Cardinals by surprise.

“I was just trying to look for a window of opportunity. We really needed to score right there,” said Taylor.

Stinehour finished with 12 saves and none bigger than his three straight with the game tied at seven.

“Sean has really made some incredible saves and he has kept us in games,” said Ketchum.

ConVal travels to Lebanon today.

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