Hubs leave Cougars behind

March 29, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |
  • North's Brandon Brown fires a shot past Catoctin's Bobby Youngblood in the first quarter Tuesday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Brandon Brown and Zach Eppard each scored three goals and North Hagerstown’s boys lacrosse team pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 9-5 victory over Catoctin in an MVAL Antietam game Tuesday.

“Both players aim for excellence in everything they do, in practice and on the field, and it shows up in the games,” Hubs coach Dave Tallant said.

On another day, North (1-1, 1-0) may have put away Catoctin (0-2, 0-1) in the first half. The Hubs outshot the Cougars 29-11 in the half, but managed only two goals while hitting the iron three times and failing to convert on what was briefly a rarely seen four-man advantage.

“A lot of times, our players focus on the post or the goalie, and I tell them to focus on a part of the net itself,” Tallant said. “We want to score on 30 percent of our shots, at least. We were finding the looks, we just had to put them in the net.”

Hubs senior Bryan Wills opened the scoring on a 15-yard shot from out front with 6:03 left in the first quarter — the only goal of the period.

Catoctin tied the game on Joey O’Neil’s goal from the slot after getting a short pass from Kris Lowery with 9:40 left in the first half. North responded two minutes later when Wills found Tyler Smith in the slot, and the Hubs took the 2-1 lead into halftime.

Goals came much easier in the third quarter — after the teams scored three goals in 40 shots in the first half, they scored seven goals in 18 shots in the third. Eppard scored twice and Brown and Caleb Mittel also found the net for the Hubs. Lowery, Josh Keller and J.D. Wilhelm tallied for the Cougars, and North took a 6-4 lead into the fourth.

Lowery went right up the middle off the opening faceoff and scored to bring Catoctin within a goal at 6-5 with 11:46 left. But North’s defense tightened up and didn’t allow another goal despite being a man down three times. Brown scored twice and Eppard added a goal as the Hubs finished strong.

“I was pleased to see we could pick up the pace all the way into the fourth quarter,” Tallant said. “We have great chemistry with our three defenders, Cody Dewald, Charlie Warner and Matthew Hetzer. I’m very confident in their abilities.”

North finished with a 47-25 edge in shots, and Daved Paddack made six saves. Eric Gosnell made 13 saves for Catoctin.

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