ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Rocky River scored six first-quarter goals en route to a decisive 14-4 victory over Padua Franciscan in the first round of the Division II Ohio Boys Lacrosse Tournament at a sun-splashed Rocky River Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Pirates got five goals and an assist from sophomore attackman Nolan Weaver, a five-point game from Aaron Kosmerl and a four-point game from Michael Malloy, as they team tallied its third straight victory. With Tuesday’s performance, Rocky River (11-7) has now scored 32 goals over its last two contests.
“That’s the way we want to attack at the outset of a game,” said Head Coach Chris Skinner. “When we take care of the ball and pass like we did early on, all while winning faceoffs at a good clip, we can be an effective offensive team.”
The goals came fast and furious in the opening stanza of Tuesday’s tilt against the Bruins (13-6). Weaver scored from the slot on a Kosmerl feed at the 8:56-mark of the first. With Kosmerl collecting three saves and Weaver gearing three goals along the way, the Pirates would score at least every 100 seconds through the 3:33-mark. By the end of the first-frame onslaught, the Pirates had outscored the visiting Bruins, 6-0, while outshooting them, 18-7.
The field tilt toward the River offense was produced on faceoffs (senior Keller Fisher spearheading an 18-4 night for the Pirates), in the turnover exchange (a plus-14) and on ground-ball fights for possession (RR 44 ground balls to Padua’s 19). The yield amounted to 64 shots for Rocky River, the most recorded in a single game over the last two years. The Pirates put 29 of those efforts on target.
After the Kosmerl-and-Weaver show got River started, senior midfielder Michael Malloy came on strong late. Malloy scored three goals in the second half, and he finished the game with five ground balls and three caused turnovers. Fellow senior Austin Weaver collected assists in the second and fourth periods, and sophomore Ben Mahoney scored his first varsity goal toward the tail end of the fourth. River scored six goals in the first period, two in the second, three in the third and three in the fourth. Three of the Pirate goals came in man-up situations; River went 3-for-6 with the extra attacker.
River’s long poles had a big night. Junior midfielder Max Kovesdy had four caused turnovers; Ben FitzGibbon added three and Teddy Steuber chipped in two. For the game, Rocky River registered 23 caused turnovers, the program’s most in any game over the last two seasons.
With his two goals and three assists on Tuesday, Aaron Kosmerl has eclipsed the 50-point mark on the season. Through 18 games, the senior co-captain has tallied 32 goals and 20 assists. He’s piled up 11 points over River’s last two games.
And another club was joined on Tuesday. Nolan Weaver has now scored 30 goals on the year.
But most importantly, the Pirates have joined a shrinking collection of teams that are still alive in the state playoffs. And that club will get smaller still by the end of the week.
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