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Pope John Knocks Off Oxbridge Academy 19-6

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
First year program Oxbridge traveled to Boca Raton Monday night to take a step up in class against Pope John Paul and came away on the short end of a 19-6 score. To borrow a phrase from a previous article concerning measuring sticks, Oxbridge Coach Stan Ross allowed how it would give his team a nice idea of where the first year program has evolved into this year. After watching the game I can categorically state that the program is going in the right direction regardless of the score. I can also state the same thing is true For Coach Andy Bolger’s PJP squad. It’s always nice to be able to attend and cover two programs that are still under the radar down here but are capable of producing both talented players and solid team play. Oxbridge played a very organized offense and defense for a first year program and its’ just a matter of time before the talent level rises and the program becomes competitive at the next level. For those not familiar with Coach Ross’ background it is an impressive one. Before coming to Oxbridge Academy, Stan had been coaching Division I lacrosse for the past 16 years. His coaching resume includes Princeton, Towson, Butler and most recently, The United States Naval Academy. He also is the assistant coach of the Denver Outlaws of the MLL. All in all a pretty good choice to start a program from scratch. However, it is the first year of the program. So games like this will be part of the growing pains. PJP pretty much dominated most of the statistics and played an excellent game in general. Please note that in the recap the times of goals scored are omitted because the scoreboard was recently damaged by, of all things, a wasp and bee nest that ate away some of the electronics in the scoreboard. PJP took a quick 1-0 lead off a Mikey Urso goal off a feed from behind by Connor Thornton. Oxbridge tied the game up on an unassisted Austin Roca tally on a right alley dodge. PJP scored the next four goals of the period to end the first quarter up 5-1. John McTurk with his first off a Jake Boyer feed was followed by Joey Giuffrida’s long pole end-to-end solo effort. McTurk with his second on a broken play was followed by Boyer’s fast break bounce shot. PJP outshot OA 13-8 in the first and was also helped by OA’s 10 turnovers in the quarter. What looked to be a stick check violation at the end of the first led to PJP being able to stretch the lead at the start of the second as they scored two early EMO goals. Thornton with his second on a Boyer feed and Troy Fischer (who also dominated the face-off circle) from McTurk made the score 7-1. OA was able to get one back on a fluke own goal by PJP. After a defensive strip the long pole passed back to PJP goalie Niko Morfogen, who took his eye off the ball too soon. The ball hit the top of the stick and dropped behind him for an OA goal. Pretty much the only mistake Morfogen made all game. PJP responded with Thornton’s 3rd on an unassisted cut to the middle. OA’s long pole Colin Hayek, who impressed me with his tenacity all game, let rip from almost 15 yards out, beating Morfogen to make it 8-3. Unfortunately that was as close as OA was going to get as PJP finished out the second with four straight to push the lead to 12-3 at the half on goals by Thornton from Antonio Cartagena, Boyer unassisted, Urso also unassisted, and Patrick Brower from McTurk. PJP opened the third with a Boyer unassisted goal followed by a pretty spin move by OA’s Alex Heitman. Zach Ranta, who has been given a lot of responsibility for OA’s offense and handled it well, followed by cutting to the goal and receiving a nice feed from Hayek to make the score 13-5. But PJP scored 6 of the last 7 goals of the game to make the final 19-6. Statistically the game ended as follows: Face-offs: PJP 18 – OA 9 Shots: PJP 42 – OA 22 SOGs: PJP 25 – OA 10 Turnovers: PJP 23 – OA 24 Penalties: PJP 12 – OA 3 (PJP got a little lazy in the second half with their discipline) Individual statistics: Oxbridge was led by Austin Roca (2G), Colin Hayek and Zach Ranta (1G/1A) and Alex Heitman (1G). PJP was led by Jake Boyer (4G/2A), Connor Thornton (4G/1A), John McTurk (3G/3A), Mikey Urso (3G/2A), and Antonio Cartegena (2G/1A). Joey Giuffrida, Troy Fischer and Patrick Brower added a goal each while Tommy Dunne added an assist and also caused a number of turnovers, as he pretty much overmatched anyone he covered. Thanks to Coach Bolger and Coach Ross for spending time with me both before and after the game, as well as PJP parent Lee Wingeier for a number of announcements plugging the web site! Lee needs special mention to make up for last night’s Wolverines loss to Louisville. Better luck next year.