On a frosty April evening during which the conditions felt more like football weather, the Carthage boys lacrosse team got off to a hot start and never looked back against rival Watertown.
The Comets scored a goal in the first 10 seconds in each of the first two quarters and went on to cruise past the Cyclones, 16-5, on Thursday in a Frontier League A Division clash at Watertown High School.
This is huge for us, Carthage senior midfielder Paul Bracy said. We really know where we are in the league right now, and we know what we have to do to improve. Our goal right now is to win the league and not get beaten by anyone in the league. If we can do that, well be a good team this year.
Carthage (2-0) received a balanced scoring effort as Bailey Wilkinson and Bryan Peloquin each contributed two goals and three assists, Bracy totaled a goal and four assists and Alex Mack, Josh Yelvington and Jake Redmore each scored three goals.
We came out really hot and thats what we need to do the rest of the year, Carthage senior goalie Trevor Gibbons said. Because if Paul can win every faceoff like he does, then well be able to dominate.
The Comets, who scored the games first eight goals, also decisively won the possession game as Bracy won 17 of 18 faceoffs, including the games first eight draws.
The game came down to Paul Bracy at the faceoff X, Carthage coach Kirk Ventiquattro said of Bracy, who also gathered in 16 ground balls. Theyre a young and developing defense and we just put a lot of pressure on them because we had the ball a lot.
Mack scored all three of his goals in the first half, including a tally only six seconds into the game from Bracy. Then with the Comets leading 5-0 through the opening quarter, Bracy won a faceoff, sprinted down field and scored only eight seconds into the second period.
Its really big to get that momentum going, Bracy said. We really got everyone fired up, and we set the tone for the rest of the game.
Carthages defense also made a statement by shutting out Watertown in the first half and allowed only three shots on goal in the first 24 minutes.
Watertown is powerful, theyve got some powerful people, Ventiquattro said. I thought we did a nice job with our game plan defensively, we had a nice plan to control their big three. And thats the only way you can beat Watertown because those three guys Noah (Taylor), Brad (McKinney) and Eric (Soderquist) can really light it up.
Gibbons finished with 11 saves to fend off the Cyclones.
We lost Jake and he was our key guy and leader on defense, Gibbons said. But Gunner Serota has stepped up really well this year, and were playing good pressure defense.
The Comets defense, which allowed only 75 goals last season en route to posting a perfect 12-0 record in the Frontier League, kept Watertown at bay for much of the game.
We struggled on our faceoffs and struggled on getting possession, Watertown coach Brian Navarra said. And we couldnt convert on offense we hit a handful of pipes and missed a few one-on-ones with their goalie.
Marcus Lavarnway scored three goals to pace the Cyclones (2-1, 1-1), the A Division runners-up last season.
After Mack scored his first goal, Yelvington followed with a goal 1:54 into the game and Peloquin finished off a feed from Wilkinson for a 3-0 Carthage advantage.
After Peloquin set up a Wilikinson tally, Mack finished off the opening quarter with an unassisted goal and the Comets led 5-0.
Following Bracys early goal in the second period, Peloquiun and Redmore each scored unassisted goals to build an 8-0 halftime lead.
Watertown finally broke through on Lavarnways goal to convert on a man-up opportunity with 7:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Junior goalie Austin Gibson registered 15 saves for the Cyclones, who opened their league season campaign with a 12-5 triumph over Indian River on Wednesday.
Its a long season and we get to play them again, Navarra said. We just have to learn, put this behind us and get better. And we have to work harder, because we got out worked tonight.
GENERAL BROWN 10, INDIAN RIVER 3
Cole Johnson tallied six points, including three goals, as the Lions defeated the Warriors in a FL crossover contest in Dexter.
Jake Purvis added three goals and Luke Rogers netted three points for the Lions (3-0, 2-0).
Logan Prudhomme paced the Warriors (1-3, 0-3) with two goals, while Ryan Loar stopped 16 shots.
CANTON 15, COLTON-PIERREPONT 0
Nate Gibson made five saves to lead the Golden Bears to a win over the Colts (0-2, 0-2) in an Northern Athletic Conference game at SUNY Potsdam.
Jake Facey and Payton VanBibber each scored four goals for the Golden Bears (3-1, 3-0).
Hunter Yerdon tallied three goals and Cody Moore, Dan Ames and Derek Glasgow added single goals.