Print    Close This Window
Undone by 1: Pirates fall to Bishop Watterson
RR Boys' Lacrosse
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Rocky River traveled to Columbus Watterson for a non-league test on Saturday, and the Pirates came up on the short end of a 5-4 defensive tussle against the host Eagles.

Watterson battled back from a 4-3 deficit through three quarters by scoring two unanswered goals in the fourth, sending Rocky River its first loss since March 27.

"This was a tough loss against a really well-coached team," said head coach Bobby Perez. "I'm proud of our effort, and I know this trip was good experience for us."

The River experience was bolstered by sharp goalkeeping but perhaps hampered by a few too many missed shots and turnovers. The Pirates (7-3) -- who went into Saturday's road affair on a five-game win streak -- got a sparkling performance from twine-minder Reece Rochester. The senior goalkeeper registered 12 saves and kept Rocky River in the game despite the Pirates being doubled up (17-8) in shots on frame and finishing as a minus-10 in turnover margin.

Rochester made half of his stops in a first period that saw River score two goals against Watterson's one. Goals by the Pirates' Rowan McDougal and Nathan Robertson were the first of the contest, but the visitors would be held off the scoreboard the last four minutes of the first, the entire second, and the first six minutes of the third. A stout Eagle defense and two second-frame goals -- one of the man-up variety -- sent the home side into halftime with a 3-2 lead.

The Pirates leapfrogged Watterson with two unanswered goals in the third quarter. Will Bennett scored a game-tying (3-3) goal at 5:57 of the third. Ryan Hildebrand followed Bennett into the goal 70 seconds later, giving Rocky River a 4-3 lead. But the Eagles leveled the proceedings at 4-4 early in the fourth; they then scored the eventual game-winner at 9:34 of the final period.

The Pirate comeback attempt was an upstream one against the current of 2-1/2 minutes of penalties in the final period. The visitors were held to seven shots -- none on goal -- over the game's final 12 minutes. For the game, the Pirates were outshot, 29-26. River committed 23 turnovers to the Eagles' 13.

The Sons of Blackbeard are scheduled to close out their road-exclusive stretch (three straight away from Rocky River Stadium) with a Northern Ohio Lacrosse League game at Strongsville on Tuesday.


The Pirates were man-down seven times in Saturday's game. Bishop Watterson converted on one of those extra-man opportunities. In the man-up department, River went 0-for-3 and are now 0-for-their-last-14 dating back to April 10. ... Leading the way in Saturday's field stats were Matthew George and Mack Massad, who each filed four ground balls and one caused turnover. Massad went 6-6 on a dozen faceoffs.

Senior midfielder Will Bennett has now scored a goal in all 10 River games this spring. On Saturday, Bennett was held to less than two goals in a game for the first time since March 27. For the season, he has scored 21 goals.

DOUBLE-R STOPPER: With his 12 saves against Watterson, Reece Rochester has now stopped 46-of-63 pellets (73.0%) over Rocky River's last three games.

by Skip Snow

# # # pirates # # #