SHREWSBURY, Mass. -- Algonquin lead 3-0 after one quarter and never looked back as they defeated St. John’s Shrewsbury (13-4) 13-6 on Saturday in a battle of Central Massachusetts powers.
The win gave the Tomahawks (15-1) their second victory over the Pioneers this season as they defeated their counterparts 12-8 in an early season match-up on April 7.
Ball possession was an important factor on Saturday as Algonquin senior FOGO Carter Guzzi helped the Tomahawks gain opportunities that led to four successful second quarter strikes and a 7-2 halftime lead.
Algonquin was consistent in each facet of the game as they played discipline team defense and took advantage of ample opportunities in their offensive zone.
“Lacrosse is a game of runs,” said Algonquin head coach Rich Luongo. “I just think we played so solid defensively we did not allow them to make any of those runs.”
The Tomahawks used strong rotating defense and patient offensive possessions to extend their lead in the second half and pull away with the 13-6 win.
“We were trying to slow them down in the second half,” Luongo said. “You want to play a paced game every once in a while, especially on defense.”
Algonquin Senior Conor Healey was the difference maker in the second half offensively as the athletic attackman used his speed to beat his defender and set up two of the three third quarter goals.
“We just came out and wanted to make a statement,” Healey said. “We all have trust in each other and that is important.”
Attack Unit: The Algonquin attack unit of Healy, Mike Wood and Keegan Gillis factored in on nine of the 13 Tomahawk goals.
“Our attack is one of the best I have ever coached,” Luongo said. “They will pick a team apart if they stretch out on us and that is what happened.”
Healy scored three goals on the day to go along with two helpers. Wood added four goals and one assist and Gillis also added a hat-trick.
“When you have three attackman that move the ball around like they do, if you want to stretch them, they will pick you apart,” said Luongo.
The Wall in Net: Algonquin goalie Giles Ober continued his strong play in net as the junior made seven of his 11 saves in the second half to preserve the victory.
“He is amazing,” Healey said. “He makes huge saves. The year before those would have been goals. It is good to have him.”
Ober’s solid play in net and quick clearing ability helped Algonquin thrive in transition on the afternoon.
“We rely on Giles to make some big saves for us,” Luongo said. “He made some stupendous ones today.”
The Road Ahead: Algonquin concludes their 2012 regular season campaign next week with games against North Middlesex and Westborough.
“We will not look past the next two game but we will focus on what we need to do in the tournament,” stressed Luongo.
St. John’s concludes their schedule on Monday with a home game against West Springfield.