Hyde School: 8 Gould Academy: 7 (OT)
Yesterday, the Boys Varsity Lacrosse team hosted Gould Academy for their third matchup of the year, in the semifinal game of the MAISAD tournament. The Phoenix took the first two games against the Huskies by scores of 9-8 (OT) and 9-7; it was clear from the start that it would be a battle, and it lived up to that billing the whole way. The game was played on Hyde’s turf in sunny and warm conditions.
Hyde took control early, jumping out to a 3-1 first quarter lead, en route to the 4-2 halftime score. While the first half was relatively controlled and marked by strong defensive efforts from the Hyde players, the game really came alive after the halftime intermission.
With a 6-3 lead in the 4th quarter, it looked like the Hyde team just needed to hang on to their lead to win, but that would prove more difficult than anticipated. Gould charged in the fourth quarter, scoring 4 straight goals over the final frame to pull ahead of the Phoenix with under 5 minutes to play.
With the momentum in their favor, it looked like the Huskies were going to pull off the upset as the clock wound towards zero. Midfielder Zack Hambleton ‘17 (1g) had something different in mind though, as he collected a pass and worked his way through the Husky defense in the closing moments, netting the tying goal with just one second left on the clock–just his second goal of the season.
At the start of the overtime period, Jason Filios ‘17 won the most important faceoff of the day to get Hyde the ball, at which point the coaching staff called a timeout. Out of the stoppage, Greg Kidger ‘17 (2g) took the ball, and with one hard dodge to his off hand, bounced a shot over the Gould keeper for the game winning goal, getting mobbed by his team in the process.
Offensively, the Phoenix were also helped by Stratton Karangelan ‘19 (2g, 1a), Brandon Nelson ‘17 (2g), Nick Simon ‘20 (1g), and Reese Norton ‘17 (1a). However, it was the defense that truly shined in this game, with no one coming up bigger than keeper McGehee Porter ‘17 (22 saves). He was aided in his efforts by Jared Durkin ‘18, Stephen Waddill ‘17, Stephen O’Brien ‘18, Parker Ward ‘17, and Dylan Budd ‘17, who returned from injury just in time to help the team to the victory.
Overall, this was the best team win of the season, and I’m incredibly proud of the boys. On a day when we couldn’t quite get our offense moving, our defense showed how much it’s improved over the course of the season despite drastic roster changes. In the end, the hero of the day proved to be Hambleton, as the first year lacrosse player put the team on his back and kept the season alive.
The team returns to action for the MAISAD Championship game this Saturday at 2:00pm at Hebron Academy. This will be the third straight year that the MAISAD season concludes with a Hyde vs. Hebron matchup, with the Phoenix taking the 2015 title and the Lumberjacks taking it last season. The teams have played twice this season with the Lumberjacks winning both matchups to the tune of 14-7 and 12-9. The Phoenix look to continue their fourth quarter spirit for just one more game.