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Pirates sunk by Solon 6-5
Wes Bennett
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (March 23, 2023) -- Rocky River fell to Solon 6-5 in a hard-fought Northern Ohio Lacrosse League battle Thursday.

After planting shots at a solid 28.7% mark over their first two games, the Pirates connected on just 11.1% of their 45 shots against the Comets. In a tussle that included seven ties and lead changes, the Double-R twice lost leads in the second half. The final two goals of the game were tallied by Solon senior attackman Eric Dively.

Rocky River (2-0, 1-1 NOLL) scored the lone goal in the first period when Andrew Lang found twine on an 8-yard runner. The junior midfielder would register an assist of River's fourth goal to log multiple points for a third straight game.

The second quarter was a 2-for-2 exchange, with Wes Bennett and Mack Massad each netting their ninth goals of the season. The Comets leapfrogged ahead 4-3 when Henry Ruhl and Loukas Wu scored the first two goals of the third. Rocky River then tied the game in the waning seconds of the third, when Lang's masterful pass from behind the cage found Massad for a quick wrister from the doorstep.

That goal sent the NOLL combatants into the fourth tied 4-4, but the game may well have been tilted toward the visitors if not for some heady stickwork and hustle by Pirate defensemen in the third. Cohen Blair, Trent Delventhal, and Jack McBride combined on several key reversals and takeaways and jammed more than a couple quality possessions over the middle minutes of the period. Delventhal finished the game with five ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Massad whistled a 12-yarder into the net to give River a 5-4 lead at 8:47 of the fourth, but Dively scored goals at 6:25 and 2:40 to lift the Comets to the win. The Pirates spent a minute of the fourth in penalty-killing mode -- they snubbed 4-of-4 Solon man-ups for the game -- but they still managed 16 shots in the final stanza. Six of those shots were on frame; junior goalkeeper Eric Boykin saved five of those. Boykin registered 14 saves for the game.

On what was a raw, chilly evening at Rocky River Stadium, River outshot Solon 45-22. Pirate netminder Carter Smith stopped half of the 12 shots the Comets put on goal. The Buccaneers were also a plus in the turnover exchange: River had 13 miscues to Solon's 19.

Mack Massad finished with three goals, nine ground balls and a caused turnovers. Massad went 10-5 on 15 faceoffs.

The Pirates now head on the road for three straight games. River will look to get back in the win column Tuesday with a NOLL road test at Mentor.


Rocky River won Thursday's JV game 7-5. Freshman Joseph Smith scored five goals to lead the Pirate offense.

GROUND GAINS: The Pirates took 33-of-56 ground balls Thursday. In 2022, Rocky River won 54.6% of ground balls. Through three games this season, River has taken 111-of-162 ground balls for a 64.5% mark. The Pirates' early-season scoop leaders are Mack Massad (28), Trent Delventhal (11), and Cohen Blair (10).

by Skip Snow

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