TOPSHAM — Perhaps, Edward Little coach Andy MacIsaac conceded that they should have gone to him a bit earlier.
Trailing by three goals to begin the final 12-minute quarter of regulation, the Eddies shifted offensive strategies, placing stalwart sernior midfielder Tim Brodsky behind the cage, as a play quarterback. Twice, using that set, the Eddies clawed back to within one goal, and twice out of that set the shifty senior netted a goal — his first two of the contest.
Ultimately, Mt. Ararat, a team in desperate need of a win in a jumbled Easter Class A, held on to secure its second victory of the season, a rough-and-tumble 11-9 triumph over previously unbeaten Edward Little under the lights.
“It was a very physical game,” MacIsaac said. “I think they beat us up a little bit, and I think they out-physicaled us. That was probably the difference in the game.”
Physicality for one, but the play of senior attack Dylan Bousquet-Smith had plenty to do with the Eagles’ victory, as well. The sniper was unashamed to shoot from just about everywhere on the field, and though he missed the net a few times, seven of his shots beat EL keeper Henry Moniz.
“Typically, defenses have slides coming from the adjacents,” Bousquet-Smith said. “Today they ran the zone for the second half of the game, and we could dodge through the zone or, when the slides weren’t coming, it opened up lanes for other people to score.”
Two of Bousquet-Smith’s goals were part of a three-goal run to begin the second half for Mt. Ararat, which opened up the Eagles’ lead to four.
Austin Polisky cut into the Mt. Ararat lead with a minute to play in the third quarter, and gave the Eddies a boost going into the final frame. Tom Lynch scored with a man-advantage early in the fourth, and Polisky tacked on another to draw EL within a goal at 8-7 as the Eddies started exploiting what turned out to be a mis-match down low with Brodsky behind the cage.
Will Bouchard traded goals with Brodsky as EL stayed within a goal at 9-8, but Bousquet-Smith followed with a pair of his own to give the Eagles a three-goal cushion one more time.
Brodsky capped the scoring on a goal with 2:07 to play, but despite an extra attacker, EL never got closer.
“This is a good game to have early on in the season,” Mt. Ararat coach Matt Haskell said. “It was a great battle back and forth, and it was two good offenses scoring on each other. There was some real run-and-gun lacrosse out there, and it was real fun to watch.”
Edward Little got things started early as Lynch scored just 1:17 into the contest, as the sunlight continued to bathe the healthy crowd in the bleachers on the far side of the field. Bousquet-Smith answered with his first of the night just more than two minutes later.
Polisky made it 2-1 for EL as he poked a ground ball through Mt. Ararat keeper Joe Rinaldi’s legs.
Two quick goals, again from Bousquet-Smith, put the Eagles out in front. Cody Meserve tied it briefly for the Eddies, but Josh Richards redirected a pass from Bousquet-Smith past Moniz to give their squad the lead for good.
“That’s actually the first time all season we’ve had to play catch-up,” MacIsaac said. “I don’t think it was that the chips were down or our back were against the wall or anything like that. They just beat us up. I think, when you look at the stats, you’ll see that they outshot us, and that they won more ground balls than we did. Ultimately, those were the difference.”
“To be in a situation like that fourth quarter, where there was a lot of emotion, and come away with a win, that was a great benchmark for this team,” Haskell said.