Henriques Nets Game-Winner, AMCATS Beat Wildcats 12-11
Paxton, Mass. – Senior Rodrigo Henriques (Saugus, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Anna Maria College men's lacrosse team a hard-fought 12-11 win over visiting Johnson & Wales University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night at AMCAT Field. With the win the AMCATS move to 2-11 (2-5 GNAC) on the season while the Wildcats drop to 2-11 (0-7 GNAC).
The AMC offense was led by Henriques (6 goals, 1 assist) and sophomore Lucas Stralka (East Greenwich, R.I.) (5 goals, 2 assists), who combined to score eleven of twelve AMCAT goals. Senior Jacob Parker (Baldwinville, Mass.) collected three points on the night (1 goal, 2 assists). Henriques had a game high thirteen groundballs.
Wildcats junior Damian Bandereck (Topsfield, Mass.) scored four goals and sophomore Tyler Thompson (West Chester, Penn.) converted three times to lead JWU. Senior Keegan Donaher (Chelmsford, Mass.), sophomore Alex Hayes (Wilton, Conn.), and freshman Kenny Phillips (Huntington, N.Y.) added a goal apiece to round out the scoring for the Wildcats. Thompson collected a team-high nine groundballs on the day.
This first quarter saw the two offenses trading goals, with the AMCATS striking first as Lucas Stralka netted his first of the night 4:26 in. The Wildcats answered one minute later with Tyler Thompson cashing in from a nice feed by Alex Hayes. On the ensuing faceoff, Rodrigo Henriques gained control of the ball and barreled straight down to the Wildcat net. He wasted no time answering back for the AMCATS, scoring less than ten seconds after the initial JWC goal. A minute and a half later the Wildcats pushed back. Long-stick midfielder Kenny Phillips scored his first of the season to knot things up at 2-2. The quarter ended the same way it started, with a Lucas Stralka goal, giving the AMCATS a 3-2 advantage.
The AMC offense caught fire in the second quarter. Henriques scored three of the five second quarter AMCAT goals, all in a two minute window. Including the Stralka goal to end the 1st, the AMCATS were able to put together a 6-0 run, giving them an 8-2 lead late in the first half. JWU's Tyler Thompson was able to score with a minute remaining in the half to put a stop to the AMCAT run, sending the teams to the half with Anna Maria leading 8-3.
The Wildcats offense made some key halftime adjustments as they came out blazing in the second half. Tyler Thompson opened up the scoring at 10:10 of the third quarter to cut the AMCAT lead to 8-4. Damain Bandereck scored twenty-two seconds later and Alex Hayes scored twenty-five seconds after that, putting JWU in striking distance, down 8-6. With 6:45 remaining in the quarter freshman Brian Hillenbrand (Portsmouth, R.I.) scored his eleventh goal of the season to bring the Wildcats within one, 8-7. Henriques woke up the AMCAT offense twenty-three seconds later, giving them a two goal cushion again, at 9-7. The Wildcats battled back to outscore the AMCATS 3-1 in the remaining five minutes of the quarter, as the teams headed to the fourth quarter tied 10-10.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Damian Bandereck scored his fourth goal of the contest for the Wildcats to give them their first lead of the game, 11-10. The Wildcat lead lasted for a total of two minutes. Lucas Stralka scored his fifth goal of the game to tie things up, 11-11. With 4:16 remaining in the game, the Wildcats committed two 30 second technical fouls. Anna Maria capitalized on the man-advantage opportunity, with Henriques netting the game winner with 4:05 remaining.
JWU desperately tried to strike back and score the game, but freshman goaltender Franco Francioso (Walpole, Mass.) stayed strong in net, icing the game for the AMCATS. Francioso made thirteen saves in net for AMC. Two Wildcat goalies, Mike Russo (Chelmsford, Mass.) (9 saves) and Jack Pettine (Foxborough, Mass.) (5 saves) combined to make fourteen saves in net for JWU.
Anna Maria returns to action at home this Saturday when they host GNAC opponent Lasell College, set for an 11:00AM faceoff.