Saturday - Central and The Valley

- Hudson Valley played 36.5 minutes of lacrosse better then Central. They were smarter, more focused and more controlled. However, as with most sports, 3.5 minutes of a lack of concentration can be the difference between winning and loosing. Central scored five goals in 3:29, including three man-up goals and in the end that gave them the win and a chance for the gold medal.

Central started the scoring with a goal from Mike Poppleton (assisted by John Greeley). Hudson Valley responded with their own goal two minutes later. John Ranagan intercepted a pass on a clear attempt and took a shot on the cage. It missed, but Connor Brown grabbed the quick ground ball and put the shot in the back of the net. Poppleton scored again with a feed from behind the cage from Tom Grimm.

cen-hvAgain, less then two minutes later, Valley tied the score again. Tyler Perrelle scored the next goal after a scramble in front of the crease. Central scored the last goal of the quarter with 1:38 remaining. Greeley fought for the ground ball behind the cage, and after picking up the ball, found Jake Silberlicht on the crease for the goal. As the first quarter ended Central was leading 3-2.

When the second quarter was about to begin, there was a thunder in the distance. Fans and participants were required to leave the stadium area wait for the weather to clear. The first strike was at 7:17. After just over two hours, the game was restarted at 9:29.

In the second quarter, Central was held scoreless. With 2:14 remaining, Hudson Valley scored the tying goal. Joe Marasco scored the goal with a drive from behind the crease. As he turned the corner, he was pushed into the crease and after scoring he landed within the goal. The goal counted but the penalty was waved off. The score was tied as the second quarter expired.

cen-hvHudson Valley scored the first goal of the third quarter with 8:31 remaining as Perrelle scored his second goal with an inside drive. This led the way to the 3.5 minutes that cost Valley the game.

With 5:54 remaining Hudson Valley's John Fennessy received a slashing call. Eighteen seconds later the ball was on the ground in front of the goal and Matt Taylor capitalized on the situation and put the ball in the back of the net. There was a lot of commotion in front of the goal, and a flag went flying into the air. The penalty was an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Michael Bonitatibus, Valley's goalie. Luke Haggerty was forced to come into the game. Twenty-nine seconds into the penalty Greeley scored from an assist from Torin Varn, to take the two goal lead.

As the penalty was non-releasable, a man-down face-off occurred. Central got control of the ball and 0:14 after the goal was scored, Valley's face-off man, Cole McCormack, was called for a push with possession. Soon after, Bonitatibus' penalty was released and then Varn scored his first of three consecutive goals while still in man-up for McCormack's push. Within 1:02 three goals were scored and each of which was scored during a different EMO for Central.

Varn scored the next two goals, in 2:27. The first was scored when during a fast-break the goalie came out of the net to try and stop the play but Varn scored on the open net. His second goal (3:29 after the first goal) was a force of will goal where he came from the top right and dodged his way to the crease where he scored.

cen-hvHudson Valley did not score a goal in the entire quarter. Central led after three quarters 8-4. During the break between quarters it was obvious that the Hudson Valley coaches were trying to keep their athletes enthusiasm up. Hudson Valley scored the only three goals of the fourth quarter, holding Central scoreless. However, Valley was unable to catch up all four goals.

Rob Santangelo scored with a dodge straight towards the goal. Santangelo's goal was 1:41 into the quarter. Joe Marasco scored the last two goals of the game. The first was scored with 5:15 remaining on a drive from the right. As the game started to come to an end, Central called time out and Coach Pope obviously told his players to hold the ball.

Valley was able to take the ball a number of times, but couldn't get into the offensive end of the field or capitalize on the opportunity. With around 0:20 remaining Valley moved the ball up into their offensive end of the field, but threw it out of bounds. On the ensuing Central clear, Perrelle knocked down the ball and Santangelo picked up the loose ball. The goalie was out of the cage, but instead of shooting Santangelo passed the ball to Perrelle who was not expecting the pass. The ball went down and although Valley recovered the ball and eventually got the ball to Marasco who scored with 0:03, it was too little and not enough time remaining.

Ranagan won the face-off for Valley and was able to get a shot off, but it was off the mark.

All of Valley's seven goals were unassisted. They took 27 shots while Central took 25. Central won ground balls 28-20. cen-hvLeading the ground ball effort for Central were Chris Nourse and Matt Pratt who each had 6 ground balls. Nourse also added three takes. Bonitatibus and Ranagan each had four ground balls for Hudson Valley. John Fennessy had three takes for Western.

Poppleton was 10/16 at the face-offs, of his six losses five came on technician losses. Cole McCormack, who has been dominating face-offs all weekend, had a disappointing day at 4/13.

In the cage, Bonitatibus finished with 6s/6ga and Haggerty finished with two goals against. Central split their goalies at the half. Alex Fiore played the first half and had 3s/3ga. Steve Mahle played the second half and finished with 7s/4ga (64%).

Scoring for Central were Varn (3g-1a), Greeley (1g-2a), Poppleton (2g), Silberlicht (1g), Taylor (1g), Lasda (1a), Grimm (1a).

Scoring for Hudson Valley were Marasco (3g), Perrelle (2g), Santangelo (1g) and Brown (1g).