Patriots pelt Otters in shutout win
BENNINGTON -- Within a minute, the Mount Anthony Union High School boys lacrosse team scored its first goal on home soil in 2014.
Three minutes later and the Patriots had tripled their tally.
By the time the dust settled on the Vets Home Field in Bennington, the Patriots walked away 21-0 winners over an Otter Valley that was playing on grass for just the first time since the start of the spring season.
"I liked how the responded tonight [to the team's opening-day loss]," coach Paul Reif said. "When you are in tight with one of the best teams in the Capital Region (Christian Brothers Academy) and pretty much get shut out in the second half, morale can tend to be low and carry over and it didn't today."
If there were any concerns that a hangover could have came from the CBA loss, seniors Avery Peck Layne Trafton quickly alleviated the doubt when Trafton found Peck (3 goals) on the right side of the field in a man-up situation and Peck buried the shot into the cage for a 1-0 lead after just 42 seconds.
Less than two minutes later, Trafton picked out the other starting attacker, junior Damon Young (game-high 8 goals), for a goal to make it 2-0.
Young would score the third and fourth goals for the Patriots on passes from senior Otis Selib and Trafton, respectively, before Trafton picked out sophomore Hunter Davis to make it 5-0. Before the first period ended, sophomore Matt Pellon would score his first of the game and Young and Peck would each add another to make it 8-0 going into the second.
During the second period, Young added three more goals as the Patriots tacked on five total to make it 13-0 going into the second half.
"I was extremely happy [with the goals], they responded well mentally and physically," Reif said. "There are still a lot of fundamentals to clean up, but I was happy with their focus and their character showed today."
Playing with a running clock in the second half per VPA rules, Young, Davis, Luke Keenan and Andrew Wright all scored in the third period to make it 17-0, and in the final frame the Patriots scored four more to round out the 21-0 win. In the final frame, Davis and Selib each had a goal and an assist to power the Patriots.
But even in such a lopsided win, Reif was quick to point out that the score did not mean the Patriots played a flawless game, noting the team had to work on "passing and catching and communication on ground balls. Those are two big things. We are still losing the ball when kids aren't guarding us and that can't happen. It didn't happen too much, but when that happens against a very aggressive team, that's a killer."
Senior Antonio Mintrone, junior Martin Ftacek and freshmen Andrew Wright and Trey Lang all had a goal for MAU in the win. Trafton finished with seven assists while Selib finished with three.
The Patriots now turn their sights back on New York as the team prepares to take on Albany Academy over the weekend.
MAU is now 1-1 on the year while Otter Valley falls to 0-1.
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