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#7 Benjamin Holds Off SJP II 15-13/14*

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
Thanks to Lisa Erdmann for the pictures!   Yep, that’s not a typo in the headline . . . *61 Plenty of baseball fans know what that stands for. I’m not trying to be too flippant about this. The only person that is affected by this is Anthony Pecoraro of SJP II . . . his last second fling from mid-field actually crawled into the net after the scoreboard flashed 0:00.  Well, I guess Austin Michels Goals Against Average is affected too . . . But the scorebook recorded that final goal to make it 15-14 . . . at least until I left the field Saturday. If anyone can send me the scorebook picture to see if the goal still stands let me know . . . LaxPower’s scoreboard started at 15-14 and then was changed to 15-13. I have to assume the scorebook is final, as signed off by the official’s crew. Some intro to what was a heck of a game, isn’t it?           Benjamin still continues to play their home games a few miles from campus as it looks increasingly clear their home field will not be ready for games due to the tornado that went right through the heart of the athletic facilities.  It’s a little smaller than the high school field and one thing that certainly is affected is that it was clearly the smallest crowd I’ve experienced at a Benjamin home game.  Those who attend games know that the Benjamin home field was a really nice advantage for the team as large crowds are positioned right near the field and the atmosphere was clearly helpful to the team. SJP II was coming off a tough road loss to WT Dwyer and after last year’s losing record was looking for a turnaround this season.  Benjamin finished last season scorching hot and fell one goal short of the finals in the great 3OT game against STA.  SJP II was looking to make a statement and boy they really came close to doing so.  Easily the most exciting game I’ve seen so far this season.  48 minutes of intensity, speed, shooting and daring.  Both goalies played well under pressure. And the game turned on a player that was not in the mix at Benjamin last season as a point producer. Benjamin dominated faceoffs but struggled in the first half by their shooting.  Some of that was SJP long poles getting their sticks in the way in the first quarter but Benjamin’s offense hit the cage with less than 50% of their shot attempts (13/28) in the half and that allowed SJP’s defense to build some confidence early.  In the second half that shooting improved to 14/23 and that difference added up.  There were a number of penalties (16 total) between the two teams but the Man Down defenses did well, as only 4 EMO goals were scored versus 3 shorthanded tallies between the 2 teams. Frankly, the game came down to a 2:18 stretch to end the first half as Benjamin ran off 4 goals after trailing 6-4 and that held up at the end. SJP showed a lot more firepower than I’ve seen lately.  Jared Chaloux’s improvement has been huge.  Shawn Gildea, Chris Johnson, Wyatt Martin and Timmy D’Antuono provided an excellent supporting cast.  Coach Bolger has been working on the defensive side and the improvement was seen.  Every time Benjamin looked ready to pull away SJP would respond with a run of their own. But in the fourth Benjamin turned to Peter Reed, who was a LSM last year.  SIX goals.  For someone I didn’t even know much about since this is the first Benjamin game I went to.  Which is the beauty of high school lacrosse.  Sometimes you need to have someone step up, due to graduation and injury, and Mr. Reed did so yesterday, and Coach Rye told me afterwards he’s been doing this all season. And now SJP knows his name too. Great game, under great weather, on a Saturday afternoon . . . nice way to spend a day!           SJP showed early they came to play.  At 10:26 Gildea found D’Antuono in the middle from the left wing and his right hand found the low short side to open the scoring.  Then at 7:47 they made it 2-0 as Chaloux and Nick Caterina worked the two man game and after drawing the defender to the middle Chaloux found Caterina on the left wing for the step down shot to the low left for 2-0.  Less than a minute later Benjamin got that back as Michael Buttelman found Timmy Alvarez cutting to the crease from behind the net for the short side shot for 2-1.  Benjamin tied it on the EMO at 3:57 as Michael Lobosco found Buttelman up top for the step down shot in the top right corner for 2-2 but only 36 seconds later SJP got the lead back as Brandon Moore found Gildea on the left wing and his left hand bullet found the top short side to make it 3-2 SJP after the first. SJP stretched the lead to 5-2 with two early goals in the second.  At 10:56 it was Gildea finding D’Antuono on the right crease with the left GLE back door pass for the one timer and at 9:28 it was Caterina and Gildea teaming up while short-handed, as Caterina set up Gildea low on the left wing for the low right corner shot.  Blake Erdmann got one back at 5:41 on EMO, with a left wing face dodge and a short side shot for 5-3.  61 seconds later the lead was cut to 5-4 as Lobosco and AJ Levitt teamed up on the wing with Levitt finishing to the low short side.  9 seconds later Johnson put the lead back to 2 as he popped forward the faceoff, split the defense and went right hand low, drawing a penalty on the play. But after killing that penalty and taking another one right after Benjamin went on its’ second quarter run to take an 8-6 halftime lead. At 2:18 Erdmann took advantage of a quick restart to go from right GLE to the front and finish to the short side for the short hand goal for 6-5.  10 seconds later Reed scored his first, also shorthanded, by dodging to the middle from the left wing, going low with the shot.  At 1:27 Ryan Kelly chipped in off a loose ball scramble on the right wing and his shot from the middle went left side low and the run was completed with 18 seconds left as Reed found the low left corner off the right alley and it was suddenly 8-6 at the half. Johnson got SJP back on track just 11 seconds into the 3rd as he won the faceoff and after going down the right wing was able to get off the left hand shot to the top left corner, as the shot fooled Michels.  Benjamin came right back with 2 goals to make it 10-7.  Reed unassisted at 9:06 dodging right from up top and beating Stephen Brouwer between the legs, followed by Griffin Bowie’s solo effort, working the left side, finally going back up the wing before hitting the top right corner for the 3 goal lead. But SJP responded strongly with 3 of their own to tie the game back up.  At 3:56 it was Martin unassisted on a right wing face dodge to the low left corner and at 2:35, on EMO, Moore picked up a loose ball on the low left and face dodged to the middle, hitting the low left side.  Then with 39 seconds left SJP tied it on another EMO as Moore found Martin on the right wing from up top and his open shot beat Michels to the low left side for 10 all.  but with just 2 seconds left Bowie found Lobosco up top from right behind and Lobosco beat Brouwer with a worm burner to send Benjamin to the 4th with the 11-10 lead. Benjamin again stretched the lead to 3 with the first two goals of the period.  At 10:40 Bowie fed Reed on the right wing and Reed went low and at 8:04 Bowie dashed down the right alley towards GLE and found Buttelman on the low left for the 13-10 slam dunk.  At 5:32 SJP closed to 13-11 as Chaloux face dodged from the right wing to the middle for the bounce shot, but Reed again converted for 14-11 at 4:46, face dodging the right alley and hitting the low left corner.  SJP then rallied to 14-13.  Chaloux unassisted at 3:24 as he dashed to the goal from behind and spinning the bounce shot high to the corner and with 1:50 left Chaloux took the Gildea feed from behind while cutting down the middle to set up the exciting ending. SJP was able to regain possession with about a minute to go and after running some offense Chaloux got an open look from up top but the low shot never hit the ground, giving Michels a clean look and that save eventually led to Reed clinching the game with 6 seconds left on the open net for 15-13. And that’s were we stand until I get full confirmation on whether the 14th goal counts or not . . . By now most of the readers have seen my comments on a few spectators that need to control themselves, as written in the Top 20 Media Poll.  no need to rehash that one, but I also want to note to what I believe was an SJP Mom who vocally protested a stop in play while a Benjamin player was lying on the ground . . . no, this isn’t soccer . . . and the decision to stop the play was correct.  No need to go there in the future!  US Lacrosse instructions to their refs is clear cut . . . SAFETY COMES FIRST.  Period. Benjamin is back in action on March 2nd, traveling to play St. Edward’s in a  Top 10 matchup while SJP II travels 2 miles to Boca Raton on Friday in a big district game.   Team Statistics   Faceoffs:  Benjamin  20-10 Shots:  Benjamin  51-35 Shots on Goal:  Benjamin  27-24 Turnovers:  Benjamin  19-16 Penalties:  Benjamin  9-7   Individual Statistics   Benjamin Peter Reed  6G Michael Buttelman  2G/1A Blake Erdmann  2G Griffin Bowie  1G/3A Michael Lobosco  1G/2A Timmy Alvarez, AJ Levitt and Ryan kelly with 1G each Austin Michels with 11 saves   SJP II Jared Chaloux  3G/1A Shawn Gildea  2G/3A Timothy D’Antuono, Chris Johnson and Wyatt Martin with 2G each Brandon Moore  1G/2A Nick Caterina  1G/1A Anthony Pecoraro . . . Incomplete Stephen Brouwer with 12 saves   Thanks to Coach Rye and Coach Bolger for talking to me before and after the game    

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