MAU boys lacrosse gets back on track
BENNINGTON -- If the Mount Anthony Union High School boys lacrosse team was looking for a way to find a rhythm, the team found it against Pittsfield.
Entering Tuesday, the Patriots were staring at a 4-8 record with four games left in the regular season -- and the team responded by putting together one of its best performances of the year in a 16-4 win.
"It was just a lot of preparation," said MAU coach Paul Reif. "The guys know that they have been through some tough times, but they also know they have seen it all. They continue to plug along, noticed what we had to work on and worked on it. That showed today."
Offensively, Damon Young and Layne Trafton each scored four goals and dished out two assists for the Patriots while Nick Altland slid back to the long stick midfield spot and helped slow down a flat Generals (11-5) attack.
"It was our pregame talk, I said that they were flat, that they can't get down four or five goals to this team because you won't catch up," said Pittsfield coach Scott Aiken. "It was mental focus, getting off the bus. We didn't bring our game off the bus."
In the early going, MAU managed to put up goals in the first period, but Pittsfield kept pace.
After Matt Pellon and Trafton put MAU up 2-0 early, Dante Ortega connected for Pittsfield, then after another two MAU goals, scored by Trafton and Young less than 30 seconds apart, Josh Conant picked up the ball on a face-off and danced through the MAU defense to make it 4-2 with 4:21 left in the first quarter.
That would be as close as the game got, though.
Avery Peck scored the next two goals in the game to put the Patriots up 6-2 with 2:15 left in the first, then a 5-0 run over the span of the second quarter put the Patriots up 11-2 at the break.
"We were cutting [and] we were timing our cuts," said Young, who scored two goals in the second. "We made connections with the feeder. We need to do that all the time [because] that's why we got the open looks."
Defensively, the Patriots were able to keep Pittsfield from getting a lot of open looks, and the Generals hurt themselves by missing the cage, and teammates, on shots and passes.
"Mount Anthony is a good team, they are too good to play that lethargic against," Aiken said. "When I saw our own guys checking each other, and missed shots and passes, you knew it was going to be a long day."
MAU pushed its shutout run through the third while Pellon, Young and Trey Lang all found the cage. Pittsfield's Ryan Jacoby ended his team's drought to open the scoring in the fourth, but by that point, MAU had scored 10 straight times.
"We needed our composure and we had to keep working," Young said of his team's effort. "We have the skills to do something great, we just have to do it."
Pellon finished with three goals, while Peck added two assists to his totals. Altland had three assists and Luke Keenan added two helpers. Brenden Leary had two assists for Pittsfield.
Ryan Nagelschmidt had three saves for Pittsfield, while Jackson Thibodeau and Kobe McFaline combined for seven saves for MAU.
MAU returns to action today against Stratton Mountain at the Vets Home Field.
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