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Knights roll to win over Merrimack Valley

Kingswood lacrosse boys win three on the week

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

OWEN GONYA corrals a ball in action against Merrimack Valley on May 8. Gonya had five goals to lead the Knights to the win. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 12, 2014
WOLFEBORO — The Kingswood lacrosse boys rolled to a 20-10 win over Merrimack Valley on Thursday, May 8, the third win of the week for the Knights. Kingswood outscored Bishop Brady, Pembroke and Merrimack Valley by a 48-24 margin in that stretch.

"That was a good effort today," said assistant coach Matt Tetreault.

"Solid effort the whole game," echoed fellow assistant coach Mike Manning. Manning and Tetreault were filling in for head coach Bill Tappan on the day.

"Today they really listened," Tetreault added. "We try to keep it simple when Bill's not here and they did that today and that's what got us the goals."

While the Knights had a couple early chances from Chris Pollini and Mitch Tappan, it was Tom McCullough who got the Knights on the board, as he fired in a bounce shot for a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the game.

Owen Gonya and Tappan continued the offensive pressure and Rory Coughlin and Peter Marshall turned in strong defensive performances.

However, it was the Pride who got the next goal, scoring from the side of the net with 6:18 to go in the period.

Kingswood responded less than a minute later, as Madison Tetreault fired home a shot on an assist from Connor Diamond for a 2-1 lead and followed that up just more than a minute later for another for a 3-1 lead for the Knights.

Diamond made a great feed to Gonya, who in turn fired the ball home for a 4-1 lead with 3:24 to go in the first period. Gonya, Tetreault and Pollini continued the attack in the offensive end, but keeper Brian Ferguson was the star of the final few minutes, making a couple of late saves to send the game to the second period with Kingswood up 4-1.

The Pride beat Ferguson with a shot 1:04 into the second quarter, but less than a minute later, Diamond found Jordan Uyeno, who fired the ball home from 10 yards out for a 5-2 lead. Uyeno finished off a pass from Tappan less than a minute later and less than a minute after that, it was Gonya firing home a shot from seven yards out on a feed from Austin Chasse for a 7-2 lead.

Uyeno netted his third goal with 7:01 to go in the half on a feed from Diamond to make it 8-2 and the Knights continued to pressure, with Gonya and Pollini sending shots wide. The Pride scored on the man advantage with 3:35 to go, but Kingswood answered, scoring the final three goals of the half. Tetreault bounced one home with 1:57 to go, Gonay finished off a Diamond pass 23 seconds later and Diamond ripped one in with 52 seconds to go to send Kingswood to the half with an 11-3 lead.

Diamond finished off a pass from Gonya just 38 seconds into the third quarter, only to see MV bounce back with a bounce shot in a minute later and then put in another goal just more than a minute after that to cut the lead to 12-5. The lead was cut to 12-6 with 8:40 to go, but Kingswood responded in a big way.

Gonya finished off a pass from Tappan with 8:11 to go, then Tetreault found Diamond for a nice goal in traffic with 6:43 to go and Tappan came from behind and beat the MV keeper low with 6:18 to go for a 15-6 lead.

Kingswood continued to attack after Diamond fired one off the post, with Tappan netting two in a row for a 17-6 lead. MV scored one before the end of the third to make it 17-7 heading to the final quarter after Ferguson turned away a couple of late bids.

The Knights had some early chances in the fourth, with Tetreault, Jake Vatalaro and Dylan Heath getting looks. MV scored with 7:22 to go, but Uyeno answered less than two minutes later and Gonya fired one home less than a minute later for a 19-8 lead. After another MV goal, Tetreault scored Kingswood's final goal of the day. MV netted the final goal for the 20-10 final.

Gonya finished with five goals, while Uyeno and Tetreault each added four and Diamond put in six assists.

"They were following the script, which is tough to get high school kids do sometimes," Tetreault said. "When they see it works, they buy in."

The Knight coach praised the work of McCullough on faceoffs as being key for the win.

"Him winning the faceoffs got us off to a good start," Tetreault said of the first-year player. "I think he found his calling.

"They really get it," the Knight coach continued. "They're developing the smart part of the game, which is a big relief for Bill and I and Mike."

The Knights opened the week with a 12-7 win over Bishop Brady and a 16-7 win over Pembroke Academy.

Kingswood will be in action at Kennett on Friday, May 16, at 4p.m., at Gilford on Monday, May 19, at 3:30 p.m. and at Laconia on Tuesday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com

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