By Dave Kurtz
Courtesy of PAC-10Sports.com
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/14/11
Starting fast and finishing strong.
Spring-Ford followed that proven blueprint for success Wednesday night at Coach McNelly Stadium in a 13-7 Pioneer Athletic Conference boys’ lacrosse victory over gritty Boyertown.
The Rams bracketed identical 4-0 runs in the first and fourth quarters around some rough patches in the middle to stay perfect in six PAC-10 starts.
“We like to come out fast and hard,” said senior attack Brian Bock, who poured in five goals and added an assist to lead the S-F attack. “In some other games, we hadn’t been doing that.”
Spring-Ford struck early and often, dominating possession time in the offensive zone during the first quarter. Four different players – Zach Monzo, Andrew Thomas, Jackson Ranheim, Justin Kelly – found the range in a span of 4 minutes, 42 seconds to stake the Rams to a quick 4-0 lead.
“The last couple of games we’ve come out strong, and that’s something we try to do,” said Spring-Ford coach Kevin Donnelly. “I was happy with our possession time in spurts. In the beginning we must have had it for most of the first quarter.”
Boyertown closed within 4-2 with a pair of goals at the end of the first quarter, but the Rams kept the Bears at arm’s length behind Bock’s lethal stick. The senior had three of his goals in the second quarter to guide Spring-Ford to a 9-4 lead at the intermission.
But Boyertown would not go quietly, coming out of halftime with renewed intensity and purpose. The Bears controlled the third quarter, closing within 9-7 behind goals from Matt Salvetti, Matt Richter and Jake McKee.
It would have been even closer, but Spring-Ford goalie Jared Novia (11 saves) made a brilliant stop on a bullet off the stick of McKee early in the fourth quarter, and two other Boyertown shots clanged off the post during the run to keep the margin at two.
“Twice we hit the post,” said Boyertown coach Jeromy Curry after the Bears slipped to 2-4 in the PAC-10, 3-4 overall. “We started doing a better job against their zone and our defense stayed disciplined after the first quarter.
“The same thing happened to us against Owen J. We got it tied in the second half and wound up losing (14-8). Still, I thought we took some good steps tonight.”
The forward progression was suddenly halted by Bock, who gave the Rams a three-goal cushion when his bouncing shot found the back of the net with 6:58 remaining. Kelly, Monzo and Bock proceeded to close things out with three unanswered strikes down the stretch.
“Communication is essential to good defense, and we were doing that when we shut them down in the fourth quarter,” said Novia. “We kept it tight and stepped up when we had to.”
And now, the Rams find themselves stepping up to the front of the line, leading the PAC-10 standings at 6-0.
“We have a thirst to keep getting better,” said Novia. “We’re always striving to get better.”
Fast starts and strong finishes will help them get there.
Spring-Ford 13, Boyertown 7
Boyertown 2 2 3 0 – 7
Spring-Ford 4 5 0 4 – 13
Matt Salvetti 2g
Tyler Orff 1g, 1a
Jake McKee 1g
Alex Millard 1g, 1a
Matt Richter 1g
Tyler Furman 6 saves
Zach Monzo 2g
Andrew Thomas 1g, 3a
Jackson Ranheim 1g
Justin Kelly 2g, 1a
Max Ullmann 1a
Brian Bock 5g, 1a
Paul Major 2g
Jared Novia 11 saves
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