Print    Close This Window
A Bucs-back Mack attack: senior shines as River tops Bay 13-6
Mack Massad
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (March 17, 2023) -- Rocky River triumphed in a season opener for the first time since 2019, as the Pirates took down the Bay Rockets 13-6 Friday. The Pirates outscored the host Rockets 7-2 in a decisive second half after they had let much of an early 5-0 slip away early in the Northern Ohio Lacrosse League affair at Bay Memorial Stadium.

Midfielder Mack Massad found twine six times while going 11-4 in 15 faceoffs. The senior captain also registered two assists on the night. He and fellow senior captain Ryan Hildebrand each had two points on man-up goals; for the evening, River went 3-for-4 with the extra-man.

Hildebrand, who finished with three goals and an assist, and Massad each scored twice in an opening quarter that saw the visiting Buccaneers tally 5-of-7 scores. The Rockets (0-1, 0-1 NOLL) got within one (5-4) when senior attackman Pat Lehane scored a man-up goal at 6:47 of the second. But Rocky River (1-0, 1-0) scored a final-minute goal (Massad) before the teams broke for halftime.

The Sons of Blackbeard put the game away by outscoring Bay 4-1 in the third frame. Senior Wes Bennett (goal, assist), junior Andrew Lang (2A), and Massad (2G) each filed multiple points in the third period. The River defense held Bay to one goal on five shots and one shot on goal in that stanza.

The endgame fourth saw the Pirates exchange one goal for three while outshooting the Rockets 9-4.

For the game, the Maroon & White logged 38 shots; 25 of those were on frame. The latter figure there was topped only once in 19 Double-R games a year ago (34 SOG vs. Keystone May 18). River averaged 27.2 shots and 14.7 shots on goal per game in 2022.

The '22 Bucs also logged three man-up goals just once (same date vs. Keystone) in a campaign that saw the program go just 14-for-62 (22.6%) with foes tied up in the penalty hold.

So, the '23 Pirates are off to a good start with applying pressure and finding twine. Getting that accomplished in a season lid-lifter and in a renewal of the War by the Shore against their neighbors to the West? Always a good thing.


River held Bay to 6 goals on 21 shots (10 SOG). The Pirates doubled up the Rockets in ground balls, 33-15. The visitors were a plus-1 in turnovers (19-20). ... Pat Lehane led Bay in scoring, with 3G and 1A. Backing up Massad and and Hildebrand on River's scoresheet were Bennett (2G, 3A) and Lang (3A). Matthew Malloy and Rowan McDougal logged solo goals.

Massad opened his senior campaign with eight ground balls and two caused turnovers. Freshman defenseman Cohen Blair added four scoops and two spills. Mac Scott added 3 GB and 2 CT. ... Senior goalkeeper Carter Smith went the route between the pipes. Smith made four saves.

SERIES THRILLS: With Friday's opening-night conquest, Rocky River is now 18-0 all-time against the Bay Rockets. The Pirates' seven-goal cushion marked its largest in the series since 2019 (11-4 win).

YOUNG BUCS: In junior varsity action, River defeated Bay 11-7. Freshman Joseph Smith -- younger brother of senior captain Carter -- netted 6G for the Pirates. Michael McDonough had 2G.

by Skip Snow

# # # River # # #