After 24 minutes of play, it looked like Boca Raton was on its way to another lopsided loss against Benjamin. Then the second half happened. Boca overcame an 8-0 halftime deficit to stun Benjamin 14-13 in an overtime thriller.
“I’m speechless,” said Boca Raton head coach Nick Paolano. “For those people who left at halftime, I’m sorry you missed a great finish.”
The Bobcats, who avenged last year’s seven goal loss to the Buccaneers, couldn’t do anything right in the first half and entered the locker room with a goose egg on the scoreboard.
“Benjamin came out hard and they deserved to be up 8-0,” Paolano said. “They put pressure on us and I guess we weren’t ready for it or we tried to do too much.”
“In halftime, we understood that we can do this if we play together and play as a team like we know we’re capable of that’s what we did.”
Boca scored the first three goals of the half to cut the lead to 8-3, before Benjamin answered with one of their own. The Buccaneers took an 11-6 lead into the 4th quarter, but could do little do stop the bleeding.
“We do a good job of having two different halves,” said Benjamin head coach Riorden Cheatham. “We rode into half feeling confident and just had a lot of little things happen. A lot of mental breakdowns and missed assignments and it’s the little things that come back and end up biting you in the butt.”
Led by Brandon Aman and Greg Swanson, the Bobcats scored six straight goals in the 4th quarter and took a 12-11 lead with 1:34 to go. Benjamin responded 25 seconds with its first goal in over 12 minutes of play after Rob Dattolo ripped one top shelf.
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