Conard struggles with penalties in the second half, falling to Chesire at home Friday afternoon.
By Marlon Pitter
The Chieftains looked poised to keep pace with Cheshire boys lacrosse on Friday afternoon in West Hartford.
Their problem: too many penalties, according to Conard head coach Matthew Cersosimo.
“I thought we competed hard,” said Cersosimo. “Our team is always competing hard. It’s just whether or not we’re going to be playing as smart as we’re capable of. We had moments where we really did that, and then there were other moments when we didn’t, and when we didn’t, they capitalized on it.”
Despite responding to an early goal by the Rams and taking the lead in the second quarter, Conard fell to Cheshire 8-3 at home. Timothy Hoynes and John Raba each netted hat tricks for Cheshire in the winning effort.
Regardless of Friday’s loss, Cersosimo said the team is on pace with his expectations at this point in the season.
“I thought we’d be building and growing from game to game, and I think every day we step on the field, we come away getting better – whether that be in practice, whether it be in the weight room, whether it be during a game,” he said. “I think we’re right where we need to be.”
Jason Shumilla opened the scoring for the Rams at the 9:35 mark in the first quarter, but Patrick Mahon answered with 8:21 left to tie the game at one.
Mahon scored again early in the second to give Conard a 2-1 lead, but Cheshire scored the next four goals over the last 9:11 of the half to take a 5-2 lead into the intermission.
Gabe Suarez narrowed the deficit with a goal less than a minute into the third quarter, but a slew of penalties hurt the Chieftains’ comeback effort in the second half. The Rams scored a man-up goal with a minute left in the third and tallied two more in the fourth quarter, while Conard took a total of four penalties in the second half.
Conard netminder Ramsey Henderson made a plethora of saves to keep the hosts in the game. Cersosimo said his effort was deserving of a win in lieu of the team’s penalty trouble.
“I thought [Henderson] and our entire defense played well enough to win,” he said. “The effort and the energy of Ramsey in net, as well as the defenders, I thought, was tremendous.”
Cheshire improves to 5-2 with the win over Conard. The Chieftains fall to 4-3 and will look to rebound on the road against fellow West Hartford adversary Northwest Catholic on Monday afternoon.
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