CHESHIRE -- The Hoosac Valley boys' lacrosse team knows it gets into trouble when it takes penalties.
Lee took advantage of the Hurricanes' penalty woes in the second quarter Monday, scoring three man-advantage goals. Luckily for the Hurricanes, they had built a seven-goal lead before the Wildcats could strike. Combined with a few additional late goals, it was enough to withstand a furious Wildcat rally and escape with a 13-9 win.
"It's the penalties, we go a man down and then people get open," Hoosac goalie Ryan Bartlett said. "They get open and find the space to shoot, it happens."
The Hurricanes took two locked-in penalties in the second quarter and the Wildcats began to rally. Cav Wolski scored twice and set up another man-advantage goal before the Hurricanes could settle themselves down in the second half.
"People get frustrated and start making bad decisions," Cody LaBrie said. "We just weren't thinking right. We let up three or four goals just from penalties, that can't happen.
"We just have to clear our heads and stay out of the penalty box."
The Hurricanes scored two man-advantage goals of their own.
LaBrie combined with Stephin Wallace to pace the offense for the Hurricanes. LaBrie had four goals and an assist. Wallace notched three goals and three assists.
The duo struck early to give the Hurricanes the quick start. Wallace found the back of the net twice in the opening five minutes to put the Wildcats on their heals.
"We started to settle the ball down a lot on offense," Wallace said. "We've been rushing our shots in the last few games. We were able to finally start settling it, take our time and look for the right shots."
The Wildcats continued to rally in the early stages of the second half, firing a total of 26 shots on goal. Bartlett stopped 17 of them. His defense also helped him out, blocking or deflecting seven shots in the third quarter alone.
"I definitely like the aggressiveness they showed going for the ball," Bartlett said. "It's good to know the defense will do everything they can to get in front of the ball and make sure they don't get a good opportunity."
The Wildcats made one last run late in the third quarter in an effort to get back in the game. Wolski scored the final two of his four goals as the Wildcats added three-straight tallies.
Wallace found a way to answer, however. He contributed two assists in the final 40 seconds of the third quarter, one to LaBrie, to give the Hurricanes a comfortable edge heading to the final frame.
The Hurricanes fired a total of 34 shots on goal in the win. Lee's Cam Forest made 21 stops to keep his team in the game.
"I'm very pleased with the team effort we showed," coach John Duval said. "We're passing the ball man to man. Our coverage is good. The offense is patient and looking to take good shots. It took a few weeks to get here, but we're at a point now where we are playing like a team."