lakewood ranch polo club HEADStrong Foundation benefits from Essex Tech boys lax game vs
DANVERS Goals were hard to come by Saturday night.
Just when it appeared as though the game might be headed to overtime, visiting Northeast Regional scored a late one to edge Essex Tech, 6 5.
The two teams played the game for the HEADStrong Foundation, a nonprofit that helps raise funds for those suffering from cancer. Nearly $1,800 was raised for the cause.
Lime green was the color of the day, with coaches wearing bright T shirts with the color, while several players on both teams donned lime green socks. Hawks attackman Brandon Swaczyk went one step further, wearing lime green shoes and netting on his stick to match.
Essex Tech (now 6 7)had some good chances to tie it up in the final two minutes. Their best bid came on a scramble for a loose ball in the Knights’ crease, but before anyone from the home team could jam it home, Northeast goalie Jack McIntyre raked the ball away from his crease.
The Hawks called a timeout to settle things down,
but as a steady rain fell they were unable to get another good shot on net before time expired.
After the two teams shook hands, players went to the middle of the field for a team picture of both the Blue (Essex Tech) and Gold (Northeast).
“This was a tough one to lose. Goals were certainly hard to come by all game,” said Hawks coach Jeff Comeau.
“All year long we’ve had a good team effort, and this one was no different. Midfielder Hunter Lane (assist) gave us a big spark all game and pushed the pace in transition. Gino Bonaventura and Jake Heath were solid on defense, too.”
The Knights (4 4) took an early lead, but the Hawks scored three unanswered goals in the third quarter to knot it up at 5 5. It remained tied until late in the final quarter when Anthony Vozzella fired a long shot past Essex Tech goalie Ryan McGregor for what proved to be the game winner. It came two seconds after the Hawks had killed off a penalty for unnecessary roughness.
Swaczyk scored a pretty goal with just over a minute gone when he scooped up a ground ball and raced in alone for a quick 1 0 lead. But Knights captain John Keats answered with the next three scores before Essex Tech captain Tom Anderson took a pass from Swaczyk and beat McIntyre to cut the deficit to 3 2 at the end of the first quarter.
The only goal in the next 12 minutes was by Vozzella, giving Northeast a 4 2 lead at the half. McGregor made a huge save on Mike Mangino in the final 10 seconds of the second quarter to keep his team close.
Keats notched his fourth of the game with four minutes gone in the third quarter, but the Hawks went on a run by scoring the next three goals to knot it up. Anderson had two in the span of two minutes for the hat trick before Brendan Ahern fired in a long shot to make it 5 5. McIntyre robbed Swaczyk in the final minute of the quarter to keep the game tied.
Penalties killed some of that momentum as ET was called for infractions three times in the final 12 minutes.
“(Long stick middie) Will Connolly had a strong game. He and Hunter allowed us to go on that run in the third quarter to get back in the game,” said Comeau. “That Kent is a great player for them. We played him in tight all game, but he was able to get away.”