Bulldogs hold on to top Rutland


MANCHESTER -- What began as a rout turned into a close game in the end. But when it was all said and done, the Burr and Burton Academy boys lacrosse team came out on top 11-8 over Rutland.

BBA jumped out to 5-0 nothing lead by the end of the first quarter and were able to extend the lead to 7-1 by the break over the Division I Raiders (3-4).

With a 9-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter, BBA coach Jason Pergament pulled some of his starters -- including goalie Mike Sztorc -- to give some of the athletes playing time.

That's when things got interesting. The Raiders scored three unanswered goals in the first 3:30 to make the score score 9-6. At that point, Pergament had seen enough and returned his starters to the lineup.

"We got to the fourth quarter, we started trying to play some other guys that needed some playing time just to shake it up," said Pergament. "[We] saw where that was going and we went back to our strengths. Mike has established himself into a consistent, strong leader and so we just wanted to make sure we had our best players on the field down the stretch."

Returning to net, Sztorc made a big save then flung the ball downfield to set up the score by freshman attacker Carter Vickers -- who had a hat-trick on the afternoon -- to put BBA (2-2) on top 10-6.

"Vickers stepped up," said Pergament. "We got two strong attackmen. Vickers was the third one. We've been trying a couple of different guys and he's really establishing himself as a great player."

The team's traded goals with under four minutes left to play before Rutland's Dylan Kennedy -- who had three goals and two assists on the afternoon -- scored the last goal of the contest.

Going into the fourth quarter Rutland coach Rob Labate said he told his team that they needed to remain aggressive.

"I kept telling our guys you got to believe, you got to believe. It's the sport of lacrosse. You can score six goals in six minutes," said Labate. "We kept chipping away at it, but it wasn't enough. We were too little too late."

BBA's Tim Swinarton got the scoring going a little over a minute into the game when he fired a shot past Rutland's goalie. A few minutes later, BBA (DII) scored twice within 20 seconds to go up 3-0 over the Raiders.

BBA midfielder Ben Alexopoulos -- who led the team in points with 3 goals and 4 assists on the day -- tacked on another goal a minute later. BBA added one more with just under a minute left to play in the quarter.

The Raiders got on the board about four minutes into the second quarter, but after Rutland was called for a penalty, BBA got the goal right back to go up 6-1. Then, as the half was winding down, sophomore attacker Max Pagnucco connected off a shot that ended up rolling slowly across the goal line to give BBA the 7-1 advantage going into the break.

The teams traded two goals apiece in the third before BBA went on to seal the victory in the fourth.

BBA's Tim Swinarton had two goals in the game and Tom Morgantini and Jacob Bazyk each had one.

The Raiders Bobby Bergen and Collin Clarke each had two goals and one assist in the game. The Raiders' Joe Couture scored his 100th goal in the game.

Sztorc had eight saves on the day.


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