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River reigns in the rain

OTTAWA HILLS, Ohio – Eleven Pirates found the back of the net and the Men in Maroon continued a late-season win streak, as Rocky River bludgeoned Ottawa Hills, 16-4, on Friday.

The Pirates – visitors in a second-round game in the Ohio Division II Boys Lacrosse Tournament – tallied three goals over the three first minutes of play as part of an 11-goal first half that all but euthanized a 14-win Ottawa Hills team.

Rocky River (12-7) outshot Ottawa Hills (14-3) by a total of 45-24, and the Pirates nearly tripled up the Green Bears with shots on goal, 26-9.

“The offense continues to click,” said Head Coach Chris Skinner, whose Pirates have now won four in a row. “And tonight you can throw in a lot of intangibles that made this a great performance. I thought our team communication was outstanding. Guys are playing with a purpose and with a passion.”

And if the purpose was to outscore the other team, things got purposeful in a hurry and amidst a steady rainfall on Friday. Senior midfielder Brian Hollis potted a goal 49 seconds into the first quarter. Nine seconds later, Nolan Weaver found Aaron Kosmerl, who whipped in a 10-yarder from a low angle left of the cage. Less than two minutes later, the Pirates would add a third goal when a Michael Malloy shot found twine. The two sides traded solo goals over the balance of the opening quarter.

Leading 4-1, junior midfielder Max Kovesdy took a Hollis pass off a Keller Fisher faceoff win and deposited a netfinder 16 seconds into the second frame. That goal would be the first of seven unanswered goals in the period for a Rocky River. Kosmerl scored two of those, and the senior attackman finished the game with seven points (four goals, three assists). He has now scored 59 points on the season.

“The seniors are really putting the team on their back right now,” said Skinner. “With their communication and leadership and at every position, seniors are stepping up and demanding that we win ground balls, win possessions and ultimately, win games.”

Friday’s winning came in perhaps the most diverse fashion of the year. Outscoring the Green Bears, 5-3, over the second half, Rocky River finished with 11 different players scoring a goal. Eight different players added caused turnovers, and the Pirates finished the game as a plus-5 in turnover margin.

River goalkeepers Chris Welch (four saves) and Ethan Mylett (one) combined to make five saves in the contest.  Three players (Kosmerl, Michael Snow-two goals, and Matthew Willse-two goals) registered multi-goal games for a Pirate attack that has now produced 48 goals over its last three contests.

The victory earns the Pirates a return trip to Toledo next Tuesday. Awaiting the Pirates will be the Knights of St. Francis de Sales. (Tuesday’s start time TBA.)


FIRSTS: Freshman William St. Pierre scored his first varsity goal in Friday’s game as did junior Teddy Steuber. St. Pierre finished the game with a goal and two assists. Steuber collected five ground balls and had a caused turnover. Kovesdy’s netfinder in the second period was his first of the 2017 season. … Friday’s tilt in the rain marked the first meeting between Rocky River and Ottawa Hills.

EXTRA! EXTRA!: River scored a season-high five extra-man goals in Friday’s affair. The Pirates did so in 10 opportunities. Ottawa Hills went 1-for-4 in man-up situations. The two sides committed a combined 17 penalties. … For a fifth straight game now, the Pirates have been a plus in the exchange of turnovers. With its plus-5 performance on Friday, Rocky River is now a plus-43 over those five games. … On Friday, Summie Mead and Ian Herrmann logged four-caused-turnover performances for River. Chris Welch was adept at cleaning up turnovers and corralling carom shots. Welch tallied a team-high eight ground balls.

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