Tyler Gagne chases down a loose ball during action at John Stark on Friday, April 27. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 30, 2012WEARE — It wasn't pretty, but the Plymouth boys' lacrosse team remained perfect on the season with a 9-2 win over John Stark on Friday, April 27.
"The boys played hard and there are a couple of good things to take away from it," coach Glenn Mausolf said. "The defense really stepped up when the offense was a bit off."
With winds whipping through the Weare campus, the Bobcats and Generals both had to deal with adverse conditions and it took a little while before the scoreboard got warmed up too, as neither team scored for more than nine minutes of the game.
Plymouth certainly had the best chances early on, as Mac Bird, Kyle Reisert, Brandon Toomey and Hans Weber all had looks at the net, but the ball stayed out and the game remained scoreless.
John Stark had a couple of bids at the other end, but the ball sailed wide on both occasions.
A series of penalties found the Bobcats down a player for a short chunk of time, but keeper Dylan McIntosh kept the one John Stark chance during the power play out of the net and Plymouth killed off the advantage.
With just 2:27 to go in the first quarter, the Bobcats finally got on the board, as Brandon Goodale rifled a pass to Bird, who was stationed right in front of the net and he fired it home for a 1-0 lead.
Tom Provencher found Colin McDonough with a good chance moments later, but the General goalie made the stop. Plymouth went on the power play with 1:36 to go in the quarter and needed just six seconds of advantage to capitalize, as Bird fired the ball home for a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats got another man advantage in the final seconds of the first quarter and it carried over into the second with the score 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Weber, Jared Kuehl, Dylan Hand and Bird all had chances in the early minutes of the second quarter, but the ball stayed out of the net for the first 1:59.
However, with 10:01 to play in the half, Plymouth put together some great passes, with Weber hitting Bird, who fired to Hand, who in turn put the ball in the net for a 3-0 lead.
John Stark came back with a couple of chances, but one sailed wide and McIntosh made the stop on the other. The Plymouth defense also stepped up with some strong play to stop another rush.
Hand was turned away in close on one chances and Provencher also had a shot stopped, while Goodale sent one wide of the net.
With 4:12 to go in the half, Hand buried a shot in the top of the net to up the lead to 4-0 and just more than a minute later, Hand found McDonough, who buried the shot for a 5-0 lead with just more than three minutes to play in the half.
Plymouth had a few more chances in the half, but the two teams went to the break with the Bobcats up by the 5-0 score.
The two teams played through a scoreless third quarter. Weber had a couple bids on net and Bird and Hand also had looks, but the Bobcats couldn't put the ball in the net despite some solid control in the offensive zone. The Generals had a couple of chances late in the quarter but couldn't convert and the score remained 5-0 after three.
Less than a minute into the fourth, Hand made a great pass to Weber, who put the ball in the net for a 6-0 lead. Less than 30 seconds later, Weber tallied again to up the lead to 7-1.
John Stark finally got on the board with 8:07 to play in the game after some great passes, but right off the ensuing faceoff, Goodale found the net again and the lead was 8-1.
The two teams went back and forth, with Kuehl, Hand and Weber getting chances on the offensive end and the Generals unable to solve McIntosh at the other end.
With 47 seconds to go, John Stark scored again to cut the lead to 8-2, but McDonough finished off the scoring with a diving goal with 12 seconds to play to seal the 9-2 win.
"The defense definitely played well," Mausolf said. "There was great effort by Dylan (McIntosh) and our defensive core of Brian Woolfenden, Ryan Farina, Woody Hedberg and Ian McKinnon."
The Bobcat coach admitted that things were certainly not going in his team's favor heading into the game, but he was glad the kids toughed it out.
"It's vacation week, we haven't played in a week, we're on the road, there's a bunch of things working against us," he said. "We just weren't clicking on all cylinders today.
"Some days you just have to work through it and keep going until you hit your stride," he added.
The team's other game on the week, slated for April 24 against Pembroke, was postponed to May 3, meaning the Bobcats had Lebanon, Derryfield and the Spartans in the same week.
"That's a big week," Mausolf said. "We have some good tests. We're looking forward to it."
The Bobcats will visit Derryfield on Friday, May 4, for a 6 p.m. contest. On Monday, May 7, they host Milford at 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 9, they visit Gilford for a 4:30 p.m. game.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126