Christian Brothers Academy coach Tom Schwan had been monitoring the play of Schenectady’s lacrosse team, and was impressed with what he saw.
“Schenectady’s offensive skills are the best they’ve had. They beat Shaker, and they beat Bethlehem. Schenectady is good,” Schwan said after his Brothers topped the Patriots Thursday, 14-5, in a clash between Big 10 leaders on Larry Mulvaney Field.
“We knew what they had. What I liked is the mentality my group had yesterday in practice, after practice and on the bus over here. The guys were really focused on this game. They didn’t want to have anything to do with a fast start on their part.”
Schenectady did start well, controlling the opening minutes, yet its first two shots hit the CBA pipe. The Brothers took charge from there, rattling off five unanswered goals to close out the quarter, and built a 9-1 halftime lead en route to their 26th straight league victory.
“That can take the wind out of your sails real quick,” Schwan said of Schenectady’s two misses and CBA’s first-quarter response, which included two goals apiece from Rob Carpenter and Andrew Vivian. “We put a few nice passes together and got a goal, and while they were trying to recover, we pumped in a few more.”
CBA’s starting attack unit of Carpenter, Vivian and Dan Sipperly led the offensive assault with a combined 12 goals and eight assists. The trio collected eight goals and six assists through the first two quarters, setting the tone as CBA improved to 3-0 in the Big 10 and 5-3 overall.
Schenectady dipped to 2-1 in the league and 5-2 overall, and saw its four-game winning streak halted.
“It was all about looking for one more [pass] and getting an open look at the cage. We had a lot of one [on none] against their goalie,” said Vivian, a junior who finished with five goals and three assists. “I’d say it was our best game, as far as clicking, as far as passing and hitting the cage.”
Carpenter, who’ll play next year at Marist College, finished with four goals and an assist, while Sipperly, a sophomore transfer from Greenwich, totaled three goals and four assists.
“They moved the ball well,” said Schenectady coach Dave Trahan, whose Patriots had surrendered double-digit goals only twice before. “They made the extra pass and found the open man. They played well.”
Sipperly and Carpenter scored 11 seconds apart in the first quarter to make it 4-0, highlighting the early fireworks, and Carter Sherman and Vivian connected 36 seconds apart in the second frame as CBA stretched its advantage to 7-1. CBA doubled that by the end of three, taking a 14-2 lead after Sipperly’s final tally.
“We brought the three of them into our office after the LaSalle game [a 10-5 win Tuesday] to talk about some of the things they were doing,” Schwan said of his attack trio. “They had gotten into the habit of catching the ball, and had it predetermined in their mind what they were going to do. I told them to clear their mind when they were catching the ball, see what the situation is and react to the situation. Today, they did it again and again.
“They had gotten away from that, and there were some games where we struggled.”
Schenectady did so Thursday, after generating at least 10 goals in each of its previous four games. Johnny Best led the Pats with three goals, and Aaron Lupo had a goal and an assist.
“They started winning faceoffs on us, and they killed us on ground balls,” said Lupo, a senior midfielder who pushed his school-record career goal total to 165. “They had the ball a lot, and when we had it, it seemed like the goal post was their best friend. We couldn’t buy a break.”
“We had a lot of opportunities on offense from the first couple of minutes through the third quarter,” said Trahan.
Though Schenectady did hit the pipe several times, it was also thwarted by the fine play of CBA goalkeeper Shane Hans, who finished with 18 saves.
“I thought he played real well,” Schwan said of his sophomore netminder. “Some of those saves kept Schenectady from getting any momentum.”
Schenectady’s only other loss was at Glens Falls early this month.
“We got fired up after that loss and put together a win streak,” Lupo said. “I’m hoping this game serves the same purpose and we bounce back stong.”
CBA 5 4 5 0 — 14
Schenectady 0 1 1 3 — 5
CBA scoring: Rob Carpenter 4-1, Andrew Vivian 5-3, Dan Sipperly 3-4, Carter Sherman 1-0, Jon Bourne 0-1, Jordan Sherman 1-0. Schenectady scoring: Aaron Lupo 1-1, Johnny Best 3-0, Jim Casino 1-0.
Goalkeepers: CBA, Shane Hans, 18 saves. Schenectady, Dan Desbiens, 15 saves.
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