John Jay-Cross River downs Suffern, 13-7
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SUFFERN, N.Y. — John Jay-Cross River delivered a vicious second-quarter knockout punch in Thursday's Westchester vs. Rockland showdown at Suffern.
The Indians, who fell into an early 3-1 first-quarter hole, outscored the Mounties 7-0 in the second quarter en route to a convincing 13-7 victory.
“Our defense and middies were having trouble with mental mistakes in the first quarter,” said John Jay-CR goalie Tom Branca, who made eight saves. “We cleaned it up with a whole new attitude in the second quarter because we knew we couldn't keep making those mistakes.”
John Jay-CR's suffocating ride was the ultimate difference-maker in the second-quarter surge. Suffern (2-1) struggled to clear the ball and was hit with two failure to advance calls. The Indians (2-1), who also cashed in on a pair of man-up goals during the stretch, ran wild in transition and pinned corners at will.
“The attack is brutal in our riding,” Branca said. “Transition is something we like to capitalize on. It creates momentum when we score goals off their mistakes.”
Junior middie Frazier Bostwick (1G) sparked the seven-goal run at the 11:15 mark, converting on an extra-man opportunity off a feed from Brandon Lee (1A) to trim the deficit to 3-2. Andrew Duffy (1G) scored the equalizer at 10:11 and Tom Beck ripped the go-ahead on an extra-man opportunity at 6:46.
“We came out slow but we brought it in the second quarter,” said Beck, who notched a team-high three goals. “We set up our offense and did what we were supposed to do.”
The Indians went into overdrive inside the final two minutes and 37 seconds of the half, scoring four quick goals to stretch the lead to 8-3 at the break. Dan Lobosco (2G) triggered it on the ride, intercepting a pass and then depositing it into an empty net. University of North Carolina-bound long-stick middie Jack Lambert (1G) cranked a goal 10 seconds later off the ensuing draw. Doug Brown (1G) and Beck bookended the epic second quarter run with a goal apiece.
“We've never seen anything like their ride before,” said Suffern senior middie Kevin McNally, who scored two goals. “We worked on it in practice, but John Jay's a very good team. We don't have the caliber of guys to [to simulate that] during practice.”
And it didn't help that Suffern wasn't exactly challenged in its first two games. The Mounties cruised to a pair of lopsided victories over Warwick and Pine Bush to open the season.
“Coming off two blowouts, we didn't get a lot of chances to work on offense and defense,” McNally said.
Still, the Mounties managed to get off to a pretty impressive start. McNally, Peter Sharp (2G) and Tom Sharp (1G, 1A) netted a goal apiece to help Suffern jump out to an early lead. According to McNally, the Mounties had some extra motivation.
“Anyone that comes over from Westchester thinks it's just another Rockland County team because we aren't known for being a powerhouse in Section 1,” he said. “But I think we stuck it to them a little bit and came out strong. But they got used to us. We were working the ball around but then let it slip.”
John Jay-CR picked up where it left from at the start of the third quarter, outscoring the Mounties 4-1 to boost its lead to 12-4 heading into the fourth. Senior attackman Matt Ferentini (2G, 3A) did the bulk of his damage during the quarter with two goals and two assists. Ryan Andrews and Ryan Lee rounded out the scoring for the Indians with one goal apiece.
Tom Vaccari added two goals for Suffern and Al Emmett notched two assists. Goalie Kevin Haggerty made nine saves.
Once again, the Indians turned in a well-balanced offensive performance. A total of nine different players scored and three others notched an assist. The Indians have made a habit of sharing the rock this season. Nine different players also scored in their season-opening win over Arlington.
“In the past years we've had great individual talent, but this year we decided we had to really come together and play as a team,” Beck said. “And that's why we came out with the win.”
It has certainly been working for the Indians, who entered the season without too many expectations. A narrow 8-6 loss to powerhouse Yorktown — ranked No. 8 in the MSG Varsity's Tri-State boys lacrosse Top 14 — proved they will challenge the Huskers for Class B supremacy.
“Yorktown was a disappointment, but at the same time it's good to know we can run with anybody,” Branca said. “I think it shows the section we are a force to be reckoned with.”
John Jay-CR will host Rye in its next game on April 7. The Mounties (2-1) face Fox Lane next at home on April 10.
GAME NOTES: Tom Beck, who was forced to sit out last year after dislocating both of his shoulders during football season, has scored a team-high six goals this year. Teammate Matt Ferentini, a 6-3 senior who was also a star this past winter on the basketball court, has totaled a team-high nine points (4G, 5A) … Kevin McNally leads Suffern with 12 points (7G, 5A).
John Jay-CR: 13/24
John Jay-CR: 16
John Jay-CR: 41
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass