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Cougars looking up at DIII

  • ConVal’s Hunter Gullage — all 5’4” of him — does battle with massive Monadnock goalie Phil Martino. Gullage scored twice in the game, but Martino was a wall, and ConVal lost 10-4. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal’s Danny Parker fires a shot just wide against Monadnock Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal boys' lacrosse team hosted Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' lacrosse team hosted Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' lacrosse team hosted Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' lacrosse team hosted Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' lacrosse team hosted Monadnock on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:6PM

ConVal entered Tuesday’s lacrosse game with Monadnock on a roll. The Cougar boys had knocked off their past five opponents by a combined 69-23, beating up on lesser schools like Belmont and Inter-Lakes. But as has been the case time after time, when a top team came to town, ConVal couldn’t get it done.

“That’s always our problem,” said forward Hunter Gullage after the game, a 10-4 Monadnock win. “We just need to find it in ourselves to get out there and play hard.”

ConVal is now 6-0 against teams with losing records, but just 1-5 against teams above .500. The loss bumped ConVal down to the eighth and final spot in the Division III playoff seedings with just two games left. If that stands, the Cougars would have to open up at still-undefeated Hopkinton. The Hawks beat ConVal 12-4 in April.

“We could have used that win,” said head coach Jon Gullage. “That’s going to put us in a tough spot.”

The Huskies exercised patience, cycling the ball through the offensive zone before attacking, and, despite the best efforts of ConVal goalie Pat Laroche, scoring. Hayden Goodenough put in a game-high five goals.

On the other end, the Cougars dropped a slew of passes and seemed to rush through the offense, shooting early and often. But beating Husky goalie Pat Martino was no easy task.

“Monadnock’s possessing the ball, running our defense into the ground and we come down and shoot immediately instead of giving them a minute to get a little cardiac recovery,” coach Gullage said. “Those are mistakes that we can get away with when every shot goes in, but when they’re stopping them, we can’t afford that.”

ConVal got two goals from Hunter Gullage and one each from Danny Parker and Jimmy Stewart, but it wasn’t enough.

“You’re able to dominate against these weaker teams, but these small mistakes that you’re able to overcome against weaker teams, you’re not able to overcome those,” coach Gullage said.

Now with a 7-5 record, ConVal is tied with Pelham for the eighth seed. But, the Pythons had to play this same Monadnock team last night after press time, while ConVal had Campbell (1-9) on Senior Night. The Cougars are just on the fringe, but coach Gullage thinks they can make the leap.

“I think we’re right on the bubble of A, playoffs, and B, coming together as a solid team,” he said. “I think we’re there and they just need to believe.”

The younger Gullage agreed.

“Once we start playing as a team, everything will come together and we’ll make a good run in the playoffs,” Hunter said. “We have a Senior Night and that will give us some energy if we can pull out a win, which we have a good shot at doing. We’ll get some energy and go on a roll.”

ConVal travels to Bishop Brady (7-4) Friday at 7 p.m.