There wasn’t a pleasant feeling leaving the lacrosse field Monday following a lopsided loss to undefeated Hackley and the Fieldston players couldn’t wait to get back Wednesday against rival Riverdale.
“It was a long day in school,” Fieldston senior middie Sam Healy said.
Healy and his teammates made sure it was a longer day for Riverdale as the Eagles won 11-4 in a pivotal Ivy League clash at Fieldston.
It was a rare blowout in a series dominated by tense, close clashes.
“No matter what our records are, it is usually a one or two-goal game,” Fieldston coach Keith Bergin said. “Last year they beat us three times, twice by one goal and another time by two. It’s not what I expected.”
As has been the case throughout the season, Fieldston (4-1), ranked No. 3 in New York City by MSG Varsity, received balanced scoring with five different players finding the back of the net. Healy led the way with three and Tanner Morris, Jake Schneider, Ben Pruzan and Grady Smith had two apiece.
“Our whole motto is share the rock,” Bergin said.
The Eagles also had a balanced effort throughout the field, from Dan Locker in the net to Healy dominating faceoffs and setting up an attack that was patient and lethal.
“We knew that we had the ability to score a lot of goals and our defense has the ability to keep the ball out of the net,” Smith said. “When we execute on both sides of the ball it feels pretty good.”
Fieldston raced out to a 5-1 halftime lead, but No. 2 Riverdale (3-2) pulled within 5-3 on goals by Tyler Deane-Krantz and Grant Perelman in the third quarter. Bergin called a timeout to regroup his squad.
“We have a track record of letting teams come back at the end of the game, they started scoring and I got that feeling in my stomach of ‘no, not again,’” Healy said. “Coach called a really clutch timeout, I thought, and brought us together. We have a really strong philosophy of being a family this year.”
Bergin said the Eagles lost their discipline, that they weren’t playing a team-game on attack.
“I told them to pull the ball out, work the ball around, settle, compose themselves and when the time is right and the opening is there, go for it,” he said.
They did just that with Healy winning yet another faceoff and sparking a fast break. Fieldston scored twice in the final 2:47 of the third on goals by Smith and Morris and again regained its four-goal lead.
The Eagles exploded for three more goals in a 1:45 span to break the game open in the fourth quarter.
“For us to come out like we did after that timeout and start scoring again and just shut them off to four [goals], I don’t think that’s happened yet [this season],” Healy said.
Healy was a big reason why.
“Healy was huge, he killed on the faceoffs,” Smith said. “[Riverdale’s Thomas] Higgins is a great faceoff guy, but Healy was dominating him today. On offense he was being really smart with the ball and creating for everybody else.”
While any win against neighborhood rival Riverdale is reason to rejoice, this win was even more satisfying for Fieldston considering it came after a disheartening loss. In the tight Ivy League standings, there’s no room for a losing streak.
The Eagles learned a valuable lesson Monday and carried that to the field against Riverdale two days later.
“We took from it that we’re not invincible,” Smith said. “We have a lot of flaws, but when we execute we have a lot of great players and we can beat pretty much anybody.”
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