MASSILLON, Ohio – The Rocky River Pirates played a strong game on Tuesday night at Jackson. The Pirates hung tough before falling behind by three in the third quarter. And the Men in Maroon would rally back into a one-goal battle before eventually losing, 9-6.
Midfielders Jack Aerni and Michael Malloy each scored two goals in the loss. Both scored in a first quarter that saw the host Polar Bears (10-5) score five goals on six total shots. River answered that strong start by Jackson with a strong quarter of its own: with a strong team defensive effort and a goal by midfielder Michael Snow, the Pirates worked themselves into a 5-3 deficit by halftime.
Jackson outscored River, 2-1, in the third, but the Pirates wriggled out of a deep deficit again when Aerni and Malloy potted goals over the front half of the fourth quarter. But a talented Jackson squad clamped down on the River surge, and the Polar Bears answered with decisive goals at 5:07 and 1:10.
“I saw us playing with great tenacity tonight,” said Head Coach Chris Skinner of the Pirates’ solid performance against a now-10-win Division I team. “We stressed playing with an edge throughout, and the guys came through.”
A stingy Rocky River defense became just the second D-II team this season to hold the Polar Bears to a single-digit goal total. Despite a recent stretch against some high-scoring D-I teams, the Pirate defense still ranks 11th in the state (D-II) in defense, yielding just 7.1 goals per game.
“The defense was fiery,” said Skinner. “That’s the attitude that had this game close in the fourth, and that’s what we want to carry forward the rest of this month.”
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