photos by Seth Green
To be honest, both sides tried giving the game away at times. Maybe the elements had something to do with it. Weather better seen in upstate NY this time of year . . . at least it felt that way. I can’t remember the last time I wore a jacket on March 7th. Very windy and overcast. Just sitting in the stands taking notes was tough enough . . . note to AD at Boca . . . working media do need press box access! Or have I gone soft in my older age?
Either way it was not the prettiest game to watch but in the end it was Boca’s shooting and Belen’s lack there-of that caused the final score. Add a dash of excellent goaltending by Boca’s combo of Shane Doyle and Barrett Joy (who played some key minutes in the 2nd quarter while Doyle nursed a delicate injury . . .) and that’s the margin of victory. The key stat: Belen hit the cage on only 20 of 39 attempts versus Boca’s 18 of 27; throw in 12 saves versus 8 for Belen (Belen goalie Andrew Candela, last year’s 7th grader forced into action is now a far more polished 8th grader, which is still a pretty exceptional story as is) and that’s the 2-goal winning margin.
Ryan Eisenmann for Boca and Rafa Bru for Belen were both a handful for the other team to deal with. Eisenmann put up 6G/1A, including the game winner midway through the 4th and the insurance goal late. Bru pulled double duty, scoring 4 of Belen’s first 5 goals while the offense struggled to gain rhythm, while also taking all the faceoffs for the Wolverines.
The rest of the offense for both teams was spread out as no one else scored twice. Nine of the 18 goals were assisted and 7 of those 9 were in the 2nd half as the teams finally got a semblance of team offense going.
It was a slugfest, in multiple ways of the word, and Boca came through a little more. Sometimes a game is just that simple to analyze.
For those who are not familiar with Nicole Garrish, here is a link to an older article:
Nicole had plenty of lacrosse connections, including playing herself for Boca High. Her Dad started the program at Boca High too.
Those who want to donate can do so HERE
Bru scored the only goal in the first quarter, with 41 seconds left, as he dodged middle from top left and finishing with the low shot for 1-0 Belen.
The second quarter opened with 2 quick Boca goals to take the 2-1 lead. 16 seconds into the quarter it was R. Eisenmann finishing off a faceoff win with a face dodge on the left wing to low left and hitting the top right corner. Less than a minute later long pole Julian Hepp picked up the turnover and led a fast break down the middle, shedding a defender and going low for 2-1. The teams traded goals from there. Belen’s Victor Rosado found Kyle Guso cutting middle and his left GLE pass found him all alone for the low shot at 6:56. Christian Eisenmann took the lead back for Boca at 4:39 as Alex Dunn found him in the middle from right top for the low right hand shot and 3-2. With 1:07 to go it was Bru again dodging from top right to the middle for the left hand that was lightly deflected, finding it’s way to the low left but R. Eisenmann gave Boca the 4-3 healftime lead late in the half with a shot from low left.
The 3rd quarter saw Belen tie it up 32 seconds into the quarter as Rosado found Bru cutting down the left alley from left wing for the low shot. At 10:25 Boca went back up as a turnover led to a 4 on 3 fast break and Ryan Mudd found R. Eisenmann low left for the high right corner shot and 5-4. Boca stretched it to 6-4 on EMO a short time later as C. Eisenmann found Dunn on the wing from up top for the step down low left. Bru made it 6-5 at 6:32 as he worked up top left and found room to hit the left hand low shot but Boca responded twice to make it 8-5 after 3. The Eisenmann’s combined on a fast break at 4:23 as Christian found Ryan on low left from up top for the right hand low shot and Logan Maklan took the R. Eisenmann feed from behind for the low left shot to the top right corner at 2:04 to end the quarter.
Belen came out swinging in the 4th and at 10:57 it was Matthew Handel utilizing numbers to go from low left to the middle for the bounce shot for 8-6 and at 8:36 it was Lucas Rodriguez scoring on EMO, as Handel found him cutting middle from right GLE for the putaway and 8-7. R. Eisenmann scored his 5th unassisted as he curled from behind left for the right hand shot with 6:34 to go and he then made it 10-7 with 2:15 left as he finished another fast break off a turnover with a face dodge off the left wing to the cage. Belen pulled one back with 1:43 to go as Zach Acosta found Ray De Le Gorboru alone on the left crease from right wing for the one timer, but after a few back and forth possessions Boca was finally able to shut down the ending and take the victory as Dodge saved some of his best saves for late.
Belen has an early turnaround as they face Western on Monday while Boca Raton faces a tough Friday night challenge in King’s Academy.
Faceoffs: 11 each
Shots: Belen 39-27
Shots on Goal: Belen 20-18
Turnovers: Boca 26-23
Penalties: Belen 4-3
Ryan Eisenmann 6G/1A
Christian Eisenmann 1G/2A
Alex Dunn 1G/1A
Julian Hepp and Logan Maklan with 1G each
Ryan Mudd 1A
Shane Doyle and Barrett Joy combined for 12 saves
Rafa Bru 4G
Matthew Handel 1G/1A
Kyle Guso, Lucas Rodriguez and Ray De Le Gorboru with 1G each
Victor Rosado 2A
Zach Acosta 1A
Andrew Candela with 8 saves
Sorry Calder! Cold fingers typing . . .
Thanks to Coach Alfano and Coach Bellando for talking to me before and after the game.