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#20 Belen Jesuit Defeats Boca Raton 5-3

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
  Well. Last night I witnessed something I didn’t think was possible . . . a 5-3 game that was never really in doubt. And the game got to me a little too. In the last 30 seconds of the game some parents in the stands were yelling up at the booth about the clock and for the first time in the four years of doing this I kind of lost my temper.  Not a full blown type of thing . . . more like a ‘for crying out loud type of thing’.  I yelled back that the refs were keeping track of the time on the field this late in the game and I actually told the parents to shut up. Only to find out after the game that they weren’t keeping time on the field. Oops. Sorry for doing that. But it kind of hit me afterwards why I finally let go.  Last year I covered 43 games in person and many of them were cliffhangers.  After yesterday I was only at 22 games this season with only a few weeks left.  Part of that was not doing any the week before our LNN event and the need to prepare.  Part of that is that the schools have tended to schedule a lot of games on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and pickings have been slim on other days. But mostly, as I looked back on my score book I noticed something glaring. Only THREE games I’ve covered this year have come down to a last minute with a one-goal game: SJP II – Dwyer, West Boca – St. Ed’s and the great SA – Jupiter game. The rest of the games and their final score differential:  4, 17, 7, 6, 3, 12, 12, 6, 7, 13, 6, 6, 10, 8, 5, 10, 6. Where has all the competition gone? Last year’s late one-goal deciders: LHP – STA regular season, Vero’s road win over SA, Cypress Bay – Archbishop McCarthy, Jupiter – SA, Calvary Christian – Miami Country Day, SA – LHP, Park Vista – Palm Beach Central, West Boca – Spanish River, Jupiter – STA, Stoneman – SA in the playoffs. And PLENTY of 2 and 3 goal finishes.  SA’s magical late run against Jupiter, LHP and STA slugging it out in the finals. I guess last year spoiled me pretty good. And the lacrosse G*ds decided to get even with me this year.   Last night’s game was the poster child for my season.  There’s only one way to describe it . . . brutal. Neither team brought their ‘A’ game.  Or ‘B’ for that matter.  The best performances were by Boca goalie Spencer Dobkin and Belen long poles Josh Lara, Luis Corps and Oscar Ortega.  Throw in Boca long pole William Rydingsward and that’s the game in a nutshell. What was really missing last night was a simple word . . . fundamentals . . . mostly passing and catching.  Thinking was in short supply too.  Spring break started a day early. And the most amazing play was a punt that masqueraded as a pass.  About a 70-yard parabolic Ray Guy special that actually led to a late Boca goal. 59 turnovers versus 49 shots at goal.  Boca missed the cage with 14 of their 21 shots.  If I had to guess I’d say 40 of the 59 were unforced. Four years ago I had a game like this, but that was on a muddy field after a heavy rain. The teams kind of got there in two different ways.  Belen’s offense shot themselves in the foot.  Many odd man rushes stymied by a dropped pass.  Not running out the clock when it was available.  Boca on the other hand had fits handling Belen’s zone all night long. There really is nothing more to this game than those few items.   Belen opened the scoring at 10:57 of the first as John Powell wend down the right alley and his right hand bounce shot kicked up on the left side for 1-0.  Boca tied it at 6:19 as Marc Musa took a lengthy Nick McCabe right wing pass on the left wing and his ten yard shot hit the low left corner.  Belen took the lead for good with 4 seconds left in the quarter as Richie Perez split two defenders on the left wing and moved towards the middle.  After dropping the ball he reached down and shoveled the ball into the cage from in front for 2-1 after one. Belen lengthened the lead to 4-1 at the half.  Adrian Rey finished off a fast break at 6:04 as he took Brian Pascual’s up top feed while cutting to the middle down low and his shot went to the left side,  4 minutes later Gabriel Garcia finsihed off a left wing face dodge to the low left and he hit the top right corner to end the half. Belen added the only goal of the third a minute into the period as Daniel Dager cut middle and Pascual found him from up top and Dager’s left hand from 10 yards hit the low right corner for 5-1 after three. Boca pushed hard in the fourth and at 11:00 Brad Ging went from up top down the left alley and his left hand found space low past Belen goalie Mat Salas.  Belen tried to run clock and Boca was able to regain possession . . . a pattern for the fourth.  Finally, in the late minutes, Belen went up 2 men on Boca penalties and should have been able to run out the clock but again the urge to shoot came out and another turnover left Rydingsward with the ball about 90 yards from goal.  A Hail Mary (another lacrosse G*d irony I guess) pass from there managed to elude Belen’s defense and fall right into Kyle Romano’s stick all alone and he finished the two-man shorthanded goal with 1:49 left to cut the lead to 5-3. Of course it would end that way last night. Boca pushed hard to make it closer but the game ended without further damage, however you want to define it. An ugly win. But as so many say . . . don’t tell me about the delivery, just let me see the baby . . . Really did feel like that. Belen is off until next Tuesday, playing Horace Mann of NY on a neutral site and Boca hosts out of state competition too in Grayslake of Illinois on Wednesday.   I’ll skip the team stats this time   Individual Statistics   Belen John Powell, Richie Perez, Adrian Rey, Gabriel Garcia and Daniel Dager  1G each Brian Pascual  2A Mat Salas with 4 saves   Boca Marc Musa, Brad Ging and Kyle Romano with 1G each Nick McCabe and William Rydingsward with 1A each Spencer Dobkin with 14 saves   Thanks to Coach Holly and Coach Bellando for talking to me before and after the game.  

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