Mt. Blue’s Josh Smith, lift watches as Erskine Academy’s Gavin Blanchard (24) flips Smith’s stick into the air in a lacrosse game in Caldwell Field in Farmington on Thursday. (Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi)

 

FARMINGTON — Erskine Academy’s constant probing and persistence didn’t payoff against Mt. Blue High School until the second half of a boys’ lacrosse game at Caldwell Field on a cloudy Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles (6-3) punched in four goals in their explosive third quarter and added one for good measure in the fourth to shake off the pesky Cougars, 5-3.

“I think we got a lot tougher and grittier in the second half,” Erskine coach Jason Wade said. “We finally started doing some of the basic things. We won a bunch of ground balls that we weren’t necessarily winning in the first half.

“I think our defense has been playing really well. Our defense has really been solid. Our goalie (Noah Miller) has been great. He has been making a bunch of great saves. Actually our back-up goalie is just as good,” Wade said. “I think for us,  if we stick to the basic things, we move the ball well. Our clearing today could have been a little more efficient, but when we move off ball and we catch and throw, we do some good things. We will take that today.”

Before the Eagles found their way in the second half, goalie Nick Fraser  (11 saves) and Mt. Blue’s  (3-7) defense held off Erskine in the first half. Stalling the Eagles allowed the Cougars to score a goal in the first and second quarters.

Trinity Titus punched in the first goal of the game thanks to an assist by Xander Gurney with 1:52 left in the first quarter.

With the frustrated Eagles still looking to score, Titus dropped in his second goal after Josh Smith set up Titus. Mt. Blue now held a 2-0 lead going into the second half.

But the Eagles didn’t need a wake-up call in the third quarter.

Gavin Blanchard started the procession to the Mt. Blue net when he scored on a Hunter Rushing assist at 8:17. Rushing was on the scoring end and slipped the ball past Fraser at 4:46 to tie the game at 2-2.

Erskine’s Yanic Boulet followed Blanchard’s and Rushing’s lead and scored unassisted with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Myles Nored used a Seth Reed assist to score and help give the high-flying Eagles a 4-2 lead going into the final stanza.

The Eagles didn’t give the Cougars time to regroup. Blanchard scored his second goal of the game without assistance 11 seconds into the fourth quarter. Erskine now lead 5-2.

“We were doing alright (in the first half). We took advantage of the opportunities that were given,” Mt. Blue coach Kevin Averill said. “(Fraser) kept us in the game. He made many, many saves in the first half just to keep it competitive, keep us up, 2-0.

“The second half we just didn’t take advantage of opportunities,” he added. “We got in the penalty box and they took advantage of that. Unfortunately, they got some momentum going and we couldn’t get it in the back of the net. We had our chances.”

The Cougars responded with their third goal when Keegan Roberts slipped a goal past Miller (11 saves) on an Evan Wilcox assist.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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