CONCORD, Mass. -- Acton-Boxborough lacrosse trailed by four goals with less than six minutes to play in Thursday’s Dual County League rivalry game against Concord-Carlisle.
The Colonials attack was snuffed out for the great parts of three quarters before breaking off a string of three goals within a minute and nine second to get themselves within a goal. A-B parlayed the momentum into the game-tying goal, scored by T.J. Kelly with 2:34 remaining in regulation. After playing through one overtime period, Scott Rogers (2G, 1 A) made it a happy bus ride home, scoring the game-winner at the 3:14 mark of overtime No. 2.
As for the sudden change in the Colonials’ attack? A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia swears he had nothing to do with it.
“This is word for word,” Ammendolia said, emphatically gesturing with his hands. “I told them that I’m not good enough a coach to get them out of it [the deficit]. Fact, that’s verbatim.”
There was no magic wand that cured all of the Colonials’ ill from the first half. Instead, A-B (9-1) began doing the little things. The decided ground ball advantage the Patriots (5-5) enjoyed in the first half diminished in the fourth. Colonials face-off extraordinaire Joe Cormier won draws – directly or indirectly – setting up their string of three-straight goals from 5:16 to 4:07.
And then, there was the matter of patience on the attack.
“All season, we’ve been averaging pretty high in terms of scoring,” Rogers said. “We were shut down pretty much the whole game and we kept forcing plays, trying to do everything ourselves. We just needed to play as a team and move the ball around, dodge, throw it back, re-dodge.”
MASTER OF THE X
Cormier had as big a hand as any in the Colonials’ comeback with a key stretch of five straight face-off wins in the fourth quarter. It’s a performance that Ammendolia has come to expect.
“He’s excellent,” he said of Cormier. “He was great for us again today. He’s guy that we can count on and usually that’s at 75-, 80-percent [won faceoffs] each game. He’s meticulous and he’s really technical.
“But he’s a hell of a complete player, not just a face-off guy.”
PLAYING TO PACE
C-C did its best to control the pace of the game throughout the first half. Although the Colonials attack didn’t do themselves any favors at times, the Patriots pressed the issue and won nearly every ground ball that was to be had behind long-stick midfielder Nick Brozowski, who scooped up five ground balls in the first half alone.
Cognizant of C-C’s willingness to grind down a high-flying A-B attack, which had scored 102 goals in nine games entering Thursday’s action, the Colonials sought to respond with a bit of the same.
“They like to hold the ball on offense,” Rogers said of C-C. “So we wanted to counter and get it the offensive zone and hold it. Again, we really weren’t doing that. We were forcing plays, taking shots that weren’t there.”