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Friday, April 18, 2014
Recap: No. 4 Lincoln-Sudbury 11, No. 5 A-B 6

By Mike Abelson

ACTON, Mass. -- It started as a battle between two of the top teams in Massachusetts, but in the end it was a statement win for Lincoln-Sudbury.

The Warriors racked up eight second-half goals, and cruised past Dual County League rival Acton-Boxborough, 11-6, Thursday afternoon.

“I'm happy we won,” Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Brian Vona said. “[They’re a] very good team. We're going to play them again and probably again after that in the playoffs.”

A-B led 4-2 early in the third quarter before the Warriors’ motor hit sixth gear and took off.

Eric Holden scored all three of his goals in the second half. Greg Roder, in his first game back from injury, scored two of his three goals in the second half.

“It just felt good coming back,” Roder said. “We had a slow first half, but at halftime we had a reality check and it opened up on the offensive end.

“We got a lot of goals in transition; that's how we like to play. We want to make sure that when we bring it over that's when we want to attack. We don't want to play six-on-six offense. We want to go when there's less guys to slide; we like to dodge and shoot. That's what we ended up doing in the second half and I think that's what led to our success today.”

The Warriors attacked in bursts. L-S had four pairs of goals scored less than a minute apart.

The turning point in the game came late in the third quarter when Holden put on a successful ride deep in the Colonials’ end that forced a bad pass that turned into an own goal. The goal put L-S up, 7-5, and took the wind out of A-B's sails.

“An own goal there is tough to swallow,” A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia said. “It happens and you can't dwell on those types of mistakes. I think we tried to, but it just didn't quite work. I thought our effort was there throughout the game. They just outplayed us in the second half.

A-B forced the action early and brought physicality to the game. Hunter Arnold stepped up for the Colonials with a hat trick. Arnold's first two goals put the Colonials ahead going into halftime.

“Hunter's a great player,” Ammendolia said. “[He’s a] three-sport captain, and he's been with us for three years and he's gotten progressively better as an athlete every year we've had him.”

Long possessions and key ground ball wins kept L-S on the attack for long stretches. Faceoffs and ground balls were even, and each team was able to put shots on cage regularly. However it came down to sliding on the defensive end, the Warriors held A-B scoreless for a 13:57 stretch of the second half, and solid goaltending.

When the Colonials responded Jack McCready was there. McCready continued his stretch of solid play with an 11-save performance.

“Jack made a few good saves today,” Vona said. “He's been steady for us; he's been that way all year for us. I thought he played great.”