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Eagles best Knights for first time ever

by Joshua Spaulding
Editor - The Baysider

KENNETT’S Kevin Murphy tries to drive past Kingswood’s Mike Garabedian during action April 26 in Wolfeboro. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 30, 2012
WOLFEBORO — For the first time ever, the Kennett boys' lacrosse team was able to pick up a win against Carroll County rival Kingswood.

The Eagles used a 10-goal attack in the second half to pull away from the Knights with a 16-10 victory at Kingswood's Alumni Field on Thursday, April 26.

"It's Kingswood, so we put a little more dedication into the practices and they were focused on the bus ride and in the locker room," Kennett coach Jared Doherty said of his team's intensity heading in. "And we just kept playing the way we've been playing."

"That was not what we were looking for," Kingswood coach Bill Tappan said. "We were a little flat-footed, we didn't have our feet. That's kind of a recipe for disaster."

The Eagles came out of the gate with immediate pressure on Kingswood keeper Mike Bernier, as Gabe Lee and Jesse Wheeler had shots in the opening minutes of play, but they sailed wide of Bernier's net.

However, Anthony LaRusso found the back of the net just 1:39 into the game, getting the Eagles on the board first.

Kingswood came back quickly, with Cam Whitcomb testing Eagle keeper Dylan Carney on a couple of occasions. Bernier also stopped a shot by LaRusso at the other end of the field.

Adam Fritchy leaped in front of a Kennett pass and found Mackenzie Tetreault with a quick pass. The Knight junior fired the ball home and the game was tied with 8:37 to go in the first quarter.

The Eagles didn't let the tie last long, however, as Kevin Murphy fired home a shot just 32 seconds later to give the visitors the lead back.

Both teams had chances in the offensive zone, as Mitch Tappan was stopped by Carney at one end and Wheeler and LaRusso were denied at the other end by Bernier. Kennett's Tucker Paven also had a good stop in the defensive zone.

The Eagles slowed the pace down a bit in the final five minutes of the quarter and capitalized on the good ball control, as Murphy fired home a shot with 4:05 to go for a 3-1 lead.

LaRusso upped the lead to 4-1 with 2:32 to go and the two teams traded chances down the stretch of the first quarter, with Lee and Murphy getting looks for Kennett and Tetreault and Whitcomb doing the same for the Knights. However, neither team scored again and the score remained 4-1 after one period.

Less than a minute into the second quarter, Wheeler found LaRusso on a great cut and the Eagles upped the lead to 5-1.

Kingswood didn't back down, however, as the Knights scored the next three goals.

Thirty seconds after the Kennett goal, Tappan hit Tetreault with a nice pass and he buried the ball in the net to cut the lead to 5-2.

Tappan had a couple more chances that sailed wide, but with the Knights on a man advantage with 9:20 to go, Fritchy fired the ball home from the point to cut the lead to 5-3.

Just 26 seconds later, Tetreault made it a one-goal game.

Kennett battled back, with LaRusso and Lee peppering the net, but Bernier held strong. The Knights weren't able to capitalize on a power play midway through the frame, though Connor Diamond, Fritchy and Luke Batchelder had chances in the zone.

Kennett's Andrew Casella fired a shot on net with 4:59 to go and Bernier made the save. However, a Knight defender mistakenly fired the ball back in the net, giving the Eagles a 6-4 lead.

Tappan and Whitcomb had numerous chances in the final few minutes of the half, but Carney stood strong and the score remained 6-4 at halftime.

Kennett's Tom Donovan scored just 15 seconds into the second half to up the lead to 7-4 and the Eagles kept pressuring, with Donovan, Lee, Murphy and LaRusso all getting great looks at the net, but they weren't able to put anything past Bernier.

With 6:01 to play, the Eagles were able to capitalize, as Donovan found Wheeler for an 8-4 lead.

Tetreault, Zach McKenzie and Tappan had chances for the Knights in the offensive zone on a man advantage, but Carney and his defense stood strong, helping to kill off the penalty.

With 4:32 to go in the period, Tetreault took a nice feed from Diamond and buried it in the net, cutting the lead to 8-5.

Kennett answered less than a minute later, with Murphy feeding Brad Canavari in close on Bernier for a 9-5 lead.

A minute later, Donovan fired a shot to the top of the net for a 10-5 lead and with 47 seconds to go in the period, LaRusso put in a shot in the lower portion of the net for an 11-5 lead for the Eagles after three.

LaRusso upped the lead to 12-5 just 32 seconds into the fourth quarter and Donovan pushed it to 13-5 just more than a minute later.

Tappan answered for Kingswood with 7:50 to go, but Donovan found Murphy right off the ensuing faceoff and the Eagles led 15-6.

Thirty seconds later, Tappan took the ball after a hard-fought faceoff win by Nick Dore and buried it in the net, cutting the lead to 14-7.

Murphy pushed it to 15-7 with 6:07 to play and Canavari lifted the score to 16-7 with 5:44 to go in the game.

Kingswood came back with some offense in the final three minutes, as Fritchy, Diamond and Tappan all scored to cut the lead to 16-10, but the Knights were unable to get any closer and the Eagles snagged the win.

"The skills stuff, ground balls, passing and catching, you're going to make those mistakes and I don't have a problem with that," Tappan said. "But what I do have a problem with is headwork errors."

He noted that the Knights have worked on numerous offensive and defensive sets in practices, yet they don't translate into the games.

"We didn't do the things we do in practice every day," Tappan continued.

Doherty said his team particularly enjoys playing on the Kingswood turf.

"We're always excited to play on this field," the second-year coach said. "We're a fast team and that comes out even more on turf."

The Eagle mentor also praised Carney for his strong work in the Eagle goal.

"He had a great game," Doherty said, noting that Carney was hoping to avoid letting in early goals, which was the team's demise at Trinity the previous week.

The two teams will play again on Tuesday, May 8, in North Conway at 4 p.m. Kennett also plays Friday, May 4, at Pembroke at 4 p.m. The Knights also play on Friday, May 4, at 6 p.m. against Stevens and Thursday, May 10, at 4 p.m. against Laconia.

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

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