By Alex Frazier
Courtesy of Suburbanonesports.com
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/10/09
To the casual observer, Central Bucks East looked like a well-oiled machine Thursday evening as the Patriots marched past archrival C.B. West 12-5, in Suburban One Continental Conference boys’ lacrosse.
But the discerning East coach Bruce Garcia saw something different.
“It wasn’t the greatest game we’ve played,” he said. “In the first half the defense did a lot of ball watching and on offense there were a lot of selfish players who were thinking more about their own stats.”
One aspect of the game he did like was the ability of his players to win ground balls.
“It’s the number one thing we do,” he said.
West came out hot, taking a 1-0 lead at the 9:56 mark. Dan Munser scored while East’s Adam Bitzer was sitting out an illegal body check penalty.
But the Bucks’ early enthusiasm was quickly cooled as East reeled off five straight goals.
Bitzer drove from behind the goal and tied the score with 7:26 left in the first quarter. Less than four minutes later he drove around the left side again, making it 5-1.
Bitzer was one of three East players to score a hat trick. A midfielder last year, he has moved up from attack and is liking his new position.
“Coach Garcia was not comfortable with me at attack,” he said, “but I’m proving myself this year. It’s a lot better back there. I don’t have the endurance for midfield.”
With 3:16 left, West’s Scott Wilbur fed Jack Firriolo on the crease, but East’s Matt Hughes negated that goal when he drove around the left side of the crease and fired in a diving shot with 29 seconds left.
“They have the ability to score quickly,” said West coach Matt Coverdale. “They have a lot of talent.”
The second quarter was a disaster for the Bucks, who managed just one shot, while East extended its lead to 9-2.
West turned the ball over 11 times in those 12 minutes.
If it’s any consolation to the Bucks, they played East even in the second half, as each team scored three goals. After getting blanked in the second quarter, West came out and scored a pair of goals, while allowing East just one in the third quarter.
It was actually the Patriots’ Zack Sharman who scored the first goal to give East a 10-2 lead. Garcia was so pleased with his senior captain’s play, especially chasing down balls in the midfield, that he awarded him the game ball.
The West defense, which had been porous in the first half, stiffened in the second.
“Once we settled in defensively, I thought we had some good matchups,” said Coverdale. “The guys showed character and toughness.”
But the bottom line, as Coverdale expressed it was that East “did a better job of taking care of the ball.”
That was only reinforced by the 25 turnovers West had.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, West midfielder Jon Hoynak made a nice run out of his defensive end, charging through the gut of the East defense and drilling a shot into the upper left corner.
But that was West’s last hurrah as East pumped in two goals and survived a two-man down situation.
“We won the game on the basics,” said Garcia. “We didn’t allow them to settle, but we weren’t clicking on all cylinders.”
Central Bucks East 12, Central Bucks West 5
Goals: Adam Bitzer (CBE) 3, Brendan Coleman (CBE) 2, Matt Hughes (CBE) 3, Rich O’Brien (CBE) 3, Zack Sharman (CBE) 1; Dan Munser (CBW) 1, Jack Firriolo (CBW) 1, Scott Wilbur (CBW) 1, Jimmy Mann (CBW) 1, Jon Hoynak (CBW) 1
Assists: Rob Ferrall (CBE) 1; Scott Wilbur (CBW) 1, Steve Moran (CBW) 1
Saves: Chase Kudla (CBE) 5, Will Ferguson (CBW) 7
Shots: Central Bucks East 42,Central Bucks West 20
Faceoffs: Central Bucks East 13, Central Bucks West 6
Turnovers: Central Bucks East 20, Central Bucks West 25
Fouls: Central Bucks East 7, Central Bucks West 6
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