Seven unanswered goals lead Rutland past BBA
MANCHESTER — Wednesday's matchup between the Burr and Burton boys lacrosse team and Rutland was a game predicated on runs.
The Raiders were the final team to go on a run and they made theirs count, scoring seven unanswered goals to top BBA, 11-8, at Taylor Field.
The win pushes Rutland to 3-0, while BBA falls from the ranks of the unbeaten to 3-1.
The Bulldogs went into halftime up 7-4, and midway through the third, Logan Morgan scored to extend the BBA lead to four.
Not soon after the Morgan goal, Raiders midfielder Jacob Lorman scored to cut the lead back down, and from there, the momentum was squarely in the Rutland corner and the Bulldogs wouldn't score again.
"When a team gets down, it's way too easy to just fold," said Rutland coach Rob Labate. "We've been telling them since day one that it doesn't matter what time of the game it is or who you're playing against, if you have the will and know-how, you can make it happen. At halftime, we told them that there may be a deficit here, but for us, every possession counts."
The Raiders took that halftime speech to heart as they did just what their coach preached. Rutland slowed down the potent BBA attack and they just kept chipping away.
Lorman added another goal late in the third and Connor Ladabouche did the same to cut the Bulldogs' lead to one by the end of the quarter.
Aiden Pitts put in the equalizer two minutes into the fourth and Eric Brewer had the go-ahead score a few minutes later.
BBA ended up being its own worst enemy at times, especially during the Rutland run. A stream of penalties gave the Raiders a man-up advantage on multiple occasions and Rutland made sure to execute in those spots.
The Bulldogs were called for eight penalties on the day and also had a conduct penalty.
"You have to hand it to Rutland for taking advantage of those things," said BBA coach Tom Grabher. "My hats off to them. They took advantage of our mistakes and our faults and capitalized on them and that's the result of the game there. They had several man-up goals. They played a tough game."
BBA had the clear advantage in shots throughout Wednesday's contest. Especially in the first half, the Bulldogs were putting constant pressure on Rutland goalie Chris Wilk.
While Wilk struggled a bit early on, he was well up to the task in key spots where BBA had a chance to extend its lead. The Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities, but the junior stood his ground.
Wilk made 14 saves, while BBA freshman goalie Jack Morrison had eight.
Rutland fed off its goalie and that played a big part in its multiple comebacks.
BBA led 2-1 after one quarter, with John Miceli and Logan Sands scoring for the Bulldogs. BBA wasted little time building on that lead as a goal from Teddy Mirenda, two more from Sands and a tally from Jake Baker put the Bulldogs up 6-1 early in the second quarter.
The Raiders weren't going down quietly through as Ladabouche scored twice to cut the lead to three and Lorman scored less than two minutes later for Rutland.
Whenever BBA looked to put the game away, Rutland wouldn't let them and that paid off in the end for the Raiders.
Grabher didn't see his team's effort dip when Rutland made those runs in the second and fourth quarters, but thought the team's mentality might have switched a bit in those moments.
"We had good effort, but I think maybe we got a bit self-absorbed," Grabher said. "We started thinking that one guy is going to turn it around, instead of us as a team is going to turn it around. We have to do it as a team. We can't do it as individuals."
Wednesday's win for Rutland marked the first time in Labate's six-year tenure that the Raiders beat BBA.
The Bulldogs have the next 10 days off from games as Burr and Burton goes on spring break. They look to get back to their winning ways against Mount Greylock on April 20 at home.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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