Assistant Sports Editor
BENNINGTON -- If Mount Anthony Union High School rallied to win Monday's season-opener against Burr and Burton Academy with its collective heart, the last beat pumped through goalkeeper Ben Faller from head to toe.
Pivoting to his right as the Bulldogs reversed the ball to Bennett Timmerman just off the left post, Faller (nine saves) jumped out in front of the point-blank shot with less than 10 seconds to play. His leaping stop deflected the ball out of bounds, sealing the Patriots' 8-7 boys lacrosse win on Friday
"That was with his whole body," said MAU coach Paul Reif. "It was just a great athletic play on his part. I thought that was in for sure."
The play capped a game that saw the Patriots (1-0) erase a 4-0 BBA lead in the first half and a one-goal deficit in the fourth quarter. Junior attacker Avery Peck (three goals) notched the game-winner off a feed from junior Layne Trafton (three assists) with 4:46 remaining in the contest.
"I harp every day about character and that's what won it. The kids have bought in," Reif said. "They just, they don't quit."
Burr and Burton (1-0) surged in front late in the first quarter, pouncing on a string of Mount Anthony penalties as the Patriots struggled to gain a foothold after senior Jeremiah Colbath left with an injury in the opening minutes.
With 5:08 remaining in the first quarter, Timmerman, posted up on the low left side, grabbed the first goal of the season off the first of Sean Paradis's four assists.
Henry Buckley then fired in the next three goals for the Bulldogs, each a side-armed rocket from the left side.
But Mount Anthony started to claw back midway through the frame. The hosts scored five times in a little more than five minutes to nose in front, 5-4, with 1:57 left in the half, their break-out game beginning to wear down BBA.
"Overall, the transition game killed us. They were transitioning much, much better than us," said BBA coach Kevin Morrison. "It was that back-and-forth that [hurt us]."
Ben Alexopoulos equalized in the final minute, making it 5-5 at halftime, but the game had a vastly different feel than 10 minutes earlier.
"Once they caught up, the momentum shifted," Morrison said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mike Sztorc (18 saves) did well to keep the Bulldogs in the game during the second half, sending the game to the final period at a 6-6 deadlock.
Damon Young had a hat trick for MAU. Jordan Allard had a goal and two assists.
"They have their own quiet way of things," Reif said. "When Jerry [Colbath] went down, that was huge. Our best player goes down in the first five minutes and they rallied."