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#1 STA Holds Off Late Rally From #7 Jupiter 11-10

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
  Fabulous game last night. Jupiter runs out to a 4-1 lead in the first and then STA gets two late goals to take momentum. That run extends to seven straight goals as they take an 8-4 lead at the half after a 5-0 second quarter. Starting the second half Jupiter scores THREE goals in the FIRST 27 seconds!  And ties it later in the third to make it 8-8 after three. Nothing in the fourth until 7:20 left, then STA with 3 goals in less than 3 minutes for 11-8 . . . Jupiter at 3:54 and 1:09 to make it 11-10 . . . and Ryan Leahy with a goal mouth stuff in between that would have made it 11-11 And STA mostly ran out the clock in the last minute to win . . . after a big boy pants ground ball win by Nick Yovino on the key faceoff after the last goal.   That fourth quarter film should be in the vault of every coach in the state, to show their kids how so many little things can pop up that end up making the difference between winning and losing. Ground ball play, sticking your nose into a pile, not finishing a wide open look with authority . . . even an attackman known for his offense not giving up on the ride in the last ten seconds in order to contest the last, long heave to the offensive end and deflecting the stick enough to send the effort flying out of bounds, taking away even that one last opportunity . . . all part of the last 12 minutes.  And when push came to shove it was STA making more of those little plays in the fourth to win the game. The difference between these two teams, and the rest of the Top 7-8 in this state, is really small. Even the small difference between one team hoping to win and one team expecting to win can make the biggest of differences. Jupiter’s young players should have learned a very valuable lesson last night from their more experienced opponent. Let’s see if it sticks.   There was some insight into the statistics but not as much as you’d think.  STA got off more shots, which is the norm when you win the ground ball battle.  Faceoffs were even as Dylan Frankhouser and Ryan Izquierdo went at it for almost all of the game.  STA actually turned it over 18 times, a little high for them and so did Jupiter with 16, a little high for them too.  Jupiter’s shooting improved markedly from the Benjamin game, going 20 for 28 on goal.  Both goalies for STA played well and Jupiter’s Ethan Randell was red hot in the second half. STA had to kill more penalties but Jupiter had to kill off the biggest one in the game, a 2-minute short early in the fourth.  Some of those little occurrences happened during that period too.  But when the fourth quarter lead was established it was the deadly duo of Kevin Crowley and Jimmy Harrington coming through . . . again.  Beating STA this year goes through finding a way to control them defensively. A challenge for the best defensive mind.   STA opened the scoring with 7:59 left in the first as Crowley worked behind the net and found Michael Costello on the left wing for the right hand low step down shot for 1-0.  26 seconds later Jupiter’s Kenny Cronin tied it up as he split 2 defenders up top middle and finished low with the right hand from straight away.  1:01 later it was Michael Dean finding Denver Aranda cutting down the right alley and his feed from behind hit him in stride for the top right shot and 2-1.  The lead went to 3-1 at 4:34 as Dean worked left GLE before finding Benno Janssen alone in front for the top right corner shot and at 2:18 they made it 4-1 as Tanner Gabriel found Janssen on the low right wing from further up for the high short side shot.  Crowley responded at 1:26 off the individual effort as he face dodged off the low left to the crease to finish off the fast break and only 44 seconds later Joey Guglielmo dodged from the top to the left alley and he bounced a shot high to the right corner to make it 4-3 after one. Those two goals were the turning point in the game for me.  Momentum lost, and doubt partly creeping in. STA went on a tear in the second, 11 shots on goal on 14 attempts for 5 goals while holding Jupiter to 3 shot attempts.  Jimmy Harrington with the natural hat trick, once fed by Crowley and twice by Grant Laman. ALL 3 from the edge of the crease.  A tip to the younger readers . . . watch him without the ball.  I hope I don’t have to say it again. Then Kevin Justice with the left alley dodge with 1:40 left, splitting 2 and turning to his right hand for the low right corner shot and Costello taking the Guglielmo feed on the left wing for the low shot through the defender screening Randell.  I’m starting to catch on now to his using the defender for that.  8-4 at the half and it looked bad for the home team. But this is not a group that quits easily and just like the previous week they put their heads down and fought back. Long pole Kai Stampar winning the faceoff off the wing and fighting his way towards goal, getting checked but keeping his poise to pick up the loose ball and fire into the net just 11 seconds in for 8-5.  Then Janssen also taking advantage of the next faceoff win to drive down the right wing, getting a step to goal and finishing off the tight angle to the top left for 8-6 at 11:42.  And then Gabriel finished off the fast start with another wing play win and his right alley dash finished off with the top left corner bullet at 11:33 to make it a one-goal lead.  Janssen then tied it up with 6:30 left in the quarter, finishing off the 3 on 2 fast break with the left hand to the top short side (I believe it was Devon Rasmus with the assist but I’m not sure) and it was a new ball game. Back and forth in the fourth as the teams fired twenty times between them but it took an individual effort on the EMO by Crowley to break the tie at 7:20, as he worked behind and curled from the left side of the cage for the jump shot to the low left corner.  Then the play of the game as STA was in possession on a delayed penalty and then worked the possession for at least a minute with multiple ball carriers before Crowley was able to get off a one-hand shot while falling down between two defenders and it shocked Randell (and pretty much everyone else in the crowd) when it found the net at 4:28.  On the resulting penalty STA stretched it to 11-8 at 4:28 as Crowley found Harrington on the left crease from the wing for the quick underhand finish. Jupiter struck back 34 seconds later on Riley Linden’s goal off the Aranda feed from behind the left side for 11-9.  Then Dean found Gabriel on the left wing for the step down with 1:09 left to make it 11-10 but the ensuing faceoff was won by Yovino and STA ran off most of the remaining time even as Jupiter was able to take it away twice but neither clearing attempt made it out of the defensive half and the Raiders held on for another in a long line of gut it out wins over the past couple of years. Both teams now look forward to their Districts with two different approaches.  For STA it will likely be a tune up for the likely slate of a tough AH/Plantation in District, Stoneman or Pine Crest in Round One, SA or Oxbridge in Round Two, a probable matchup with Belen Jesuit in the Round of 8 and then the Final Four . . . that’s a lot of meat on the bone.  For Jupiter, it’s pretty simple, beat Benjamin or go home. This season is looking to me like the best playoff season in Florida history.  Easily.   Team Statistics   Faceoffs:  12 each Shots:  STA 39-28 Shots on Goal:  STA 26-20 Turnovers:  STA  18-16 Penalties:  STA 6-3   Individual Statistics   STA Kevin Crowley  3G/3A Jimmy Harrington  4G Michael Costello  2G Joey Guglielmo  1G/1A Kevin Justice  1G Grant Laman  2A David Madril and Ryan Leahy combined for 10 saves   Jupiter Benno Janssen  4G Tanner Gabriel  2G/1A Denver Aranda  1G/1A Kenny Cronin, Riley Linden and Kai Stampar with 1G Michael Dean  3A Devon Rasmus  1A Ethan Randell with 15 saves   Thanks to Coach Loftus and Coach Crowley for talking to me before and after the game