KINGSWOOD’S ALEX BOUCHER is sandwiched between two Kennett Eagles during action May 8. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 14, 2012NORTH CONWAY — Kennett boys' lacrosse coach Jared Doherty noted when his Eagles traveled to Wolfeboro and defeated Kingswood for the first time ever on April 26, that his team really enjoys playing on turf.
On Tuesday, May 8, the two teams met in North Conway for a rematch and the conditions were far from the turf that Doherty's team liked.
With rain falling all day and throughout the game, the field was quite muddy and slippery as the two teams battled for the second time this season.
Kingswood's Alex Boucher, in his first game back from an injury, scored the first goal of the game just 25 seconds in, as he fired home a shot past Kennett keeper Dylan Carney.
The Eagles answered in a big way, as they scored the next seven goals to open up a 7-1 lead and bring back memories of just a few weeks earlier.
Matt Halupowski scored Kennett's first goal just 41 seconds after Boucher's goal got the Knights on the board and Carney picked up an assist on the goal.
After Kingswood keeper Mike Bernier made a save, Anthony LaRusso found Gabe Lee for the second goal of the game with 10:02 to go in the first quarter.
Mackenzie Tetreault had an offensive bid for the Knights, but the Kennett defense shut him down. LaRusso had a couple of quick bids at the other end, but Bernier stepped up and made a couple of good saves to keep his team in the game.
Kennett's Andrew Casella had a bid go wide and LaRusso had another stopped by Bernier as the Eagles worked through a man advantage.
With 6:28 to go in the quarter, LaRusso picked up a loose ball and ran into the zone and fired it home for a 3-1 lead. Less than a minute later, Casella fired home a shot on a feed from LaRusso for a 4-1 lead.
Kennett went on the advantage with 3:50 to go in the quarter and needed just eight seconds to get on the board again, as Lee took a feed from Tom Donovan for a 5-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, LaRusso scored on an assist from Donovan for a 6-1 lead and 30 seconds later, LaRusso scored again to up the lead to 7-1.
Tetreault took a feed from Mitch Tappan with 1:53 to go in the qurter cut the lead to 7-2 and Tetreault scored again with two seconds to go in the frame to make it 7-3 after one quarter.
The Knights used the momentum from the late scoring binge to get off to a quick start, scoring the first five goals of the quarter, turning a 7-3 deficit into an 8-7 lead.
Boucher made some nice moves to beat the defense and fired a shot home just 54 seconds into the period and three minutes later Tappan took a feed from Tetreault to cut the lead to 7-5.
With 6:38 to go in the period, Connor Diamond fed Tetreault to cut the lead to 7-6 and with 5:27 to go, Kingswood scored on a man advantage, as John Vatalaro put the ball in the net on a feed from Tetreault, tying the game at seven.
Tetreault scored on a feed from Tappan with 4:40 to go to give Kingswood an 8-7 lead, but Lee answered for the Eagles less than a minute later, tying the game at eight.
Carney and Bernier exchanged saves as the two teams battled back and forth and with 2:43 to go, Tappan gave Kingswood the lead again on a feed from Tetreault. Boucher finished off the first half scoring with a tally on a feed from Tappan with 1:47 to go for a 10-8 lead for the Knights at the halftime break.
Tappan and Tetreault both scored in the first two minutes of the third quarter to push the lead to 12-8. Carney made a couple of solid saves for the Eagles, but Kingswood got another goal, this one from Tetreault on an assist from Diamond for a 13-8 lead.
LaRusso finally got the Eagles back on the board with a tally with 4:10 to go to cut the lead to 13-9.
Carney and Bernier again exchanged solid saves and both teams had shots miss the net.
The Knights got a man advantage tally with six seconds to go in the third, as Cam Whitcomb fired home a shot on an assist from Diamond for a 14-9 lead heading to the final 12 minutes.
The Knights did a nice job controlling the ball in the fourth quarter, finally scoring with 3:29 to go, as Whitcomb fired the ball home while falling down for a 15-9 lead.
Casella scored on an assist from Brad Canavari with 2:20 to go and LaRusso scored on an assist from Chris King with 1:49 to go to close out the scoring and the 15-11 final.
"We have a tendency to show up after a bus ride a little out of it," Kingswood coach Bill Tappan said. "So we took a time out and figured it out."
Out of the timeout, Tappan admitted the Knights seemed a bit more focused and ready to go after it.
"They run their offense differently, so we made adjustments to our slide package," Tappan said. "After that we seemed to work well."
He noted that the ground balls got better as the game went on, which was a good sign, as the team had been working on them a lot in the previous week.
Tappan was also happy to add Boucher back into the mix.
"It was like he hadn't lost a step," Tappan said. "He's really a fantastic player."
"I think we got a little too relaxed with a big lead," Kennett coach Jared Doherty said, noting that the footing wasn't helpful for his team, which likes to utilize its solid team speed.
"We played with heart and that's all I can ask them to play with," the Eagle coach said.
Kennett's lone other game of the week came on Friday, May 11, as they dropped an 18-6 decision at Merrimack Valley.
Kennett will be at Plymouth on Friday, May 18, at 4 p.m. On Monday, May 21, the boys host Hopkinton at 4 p.m. and on Tuesday, May 22, they host Kearsarge at 4 p.m. The final game of the season is Wednesday, May 23, at home against Gilford at 4 p.m.
Kingswood had two other games on the week. They knocked off Laconia by a 19-6 score on Thursday, May 10, under the lights at Alumni Field and then defeated Gilford 12-11 on Friday, May 11.
The Knights will be at Lebanon on Friday, May 18, at 4:30 p.m. and will be hosting Hopkinton at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. On Monday, May 21, the Knights host Merrimack Valley at 6:30 p.m. and they finish the season at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at Pembroke.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at email@example.com or 569-3126