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River displays game effort but falls to University
RR Boys Lacrosse
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (May 4, 2023) -- For three quarters, Rocky River went toe-to-toe, cross-to-cross, and goal-for-goal with an undefeated University Preppers squad. But the visitors prevailed with a big fourth quarter in fending off the Pirates 10-6.

A pair of first-half goals by midfielder Ryan Hildebrand -- the senior captain's 96th and 97th career points -- helped send the Maroon & White into halftime tied with a Preppers team that went into the night with an unblemished 13-0 record. A Nico Alvarez tally early in the third period lifted US to a 5-4 lead. Alvarez would go on to finish the night with four goals.

River got what looked like a monster goal from Rowan McDougal, a momentum-shifter at the 1:17-mark, But the Preppers countered that score with another of their own when Andrew Voinovich planted a 7-yarder on a feed from Alvarez with two seconds remaining in the period.

The early moments of the fourth were a tense battle for either a cushion goal or a game-tying one. The Pirates came up empty on an early man-up chance. The Double-R would go 2-of-9 with the man advantage for the game. The Preppers broke free with goals at 8:35 and 7:33. The rest of the game amounted to a 2-for-1 exchange with the Pirates held to the latter.

Shots for the game were a near-even 33 for US and 31 for Rocky River. The Pirates (7-7) were a plus-3 in turnovers, committing 18 to University's 21. The Preppers took 16-of-18 faceoffs.

River's box-score highlights included William Sawyer clocking three ground balls and two caused turnovers, Cohen Blair notching two scoops and two spills, Jack McBride logging three ground balls, and Carter Smith garnering 10 saves.

"Our guys stepped up and played the brand of lacrosse we have been working toward," said coach Griffin Vehar. "Our effort was tremendous, and we played with solid fundamentals and patience."

The game marked Rocky River's regular-season home finale. The Pirates are slated to play a Saturday road game at Chagrin Falls (noon).

by Skip Snow

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