Saturday May 4, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- On Friday evening at Natowich Field, Ben Davis picked the perfect moment to complete his hat trick.

With 1:12 remaining in overtime, the cat quick forward put away a pass from Alex Zadworny to give the Northampton boys lacrosse team a 6-5 victory over host Brattleboro.

The Colonels dropped to 4-3 overall, with all three losses coming against teams from Massachusetts. Mount Greylock and Amherst also defeated them.

"We have a good team. We just get careless with the ball sometimes," said BUHS coach Chris Sawyer. "We just want to keep getting better. This game’s about being aggressive, being confident, playing hard and having fun."

And it looked like the purple and white were doing all of those things in the second half.

Trailing 4-1, the Colonels fought back in the last two quarters to pull even and force overtime. Conner Elliott-Knaggs and Nik Rancourt each tallied twice during the comeback, while Zadworny delivered the second-half goal for the Blue Devils.

"They are a strong, well-coached team," said Sawyer of Northampton (5-6), not long after Davis became the hero in OT. "I thought we got better defensively as the game went on."

Each team scored just once in the opening quarter, with Zadworny drawing first blood for the visitors and Sam Siegel later tying it by attacking from behind the net.

Visiting goalie Tyler Walsh made a series of highlight saves in the first half. He robbed Adam Griffin, Dylan Bettini and Rancourt.

"He has faced so many good shooters in Western Mass. His reaction time has probably gotten so much better because of the competition that he sees," said Sawyer of Walsh.

Jake Ross anchored Northampton’s stingy defense -- he picked off a pass and continually pressured Siegel. At the other end, Philip Perkins was making interceptions and scooping up errant feeds.

Davis, an undersized speed demon, scored consecutive goals in the second quarter to put the visitors ahead 3-1. And then Jarad Yarde scored with 2:34 remaining in the opening half to give Northampton a 4-1 advantage at the break.

The Colonels made things interesting by outscoring their foes 2-0 in the third quarter. Rancourt and Elliott-Knaggs did the offensive damage, Brattleboro goalie Romello Lindsey denied Yarde on a good look, and the hosts got fine defensive plays from Siegel and Greg DiSilva -- they each stripped a Northampton player on a clear attempt.

With momentum shifting, a time-out granted to Sawyer with the ball in his team’s defensive end had the opposing coaches in disbelief. They could only laugh when the ref explained that the rules in Vermont and Massachusetts are different.

Zadworny scored early in the fourth quarter to put the Blue Devils up 5-3. But Rancourt fooled Walsh with 5:30 left and then Elliott-Knaggs split the posts at the 2:35 mark to get the Colonels even at 5-5.

Davis ended up being the man, however, when he completed his hat trick with 1:12 to go in overtime.

The 4-3 Colonels will host Burr and Burton on Tuesday night at 7.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.