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Brother Rice uses strong second half to pull away from Country Day

Lacrosse   | Jeff Dullack

Brother Rice uses strong second half to pull away from Country Day

Beverly Hills – Coming off of its first loss of the season, falling to Culver Academy (IN) 9-8 over the weekend, Birmingham Brother Rice looked to rebound against Detroit Country Day on Tuesday night.

After Country Day would trim the Brother Rice lead to just 4-3 in the third quarter, the Warriors would close out the game in dominant fashion, scoring four unanswered goals in the final 15 minutes to earn an 8-3 win.

“We didn’t start the game, but it was good that we finished it,” Brother Rice coach Ajay Chawla said. “We came off of a tough weekend, it was a tough day on Sunday and these guys had to roll right into this game. It wasn’t an easy deal to stay up after Sunday’s game and we lost it a little bit there mentally, we didn’t play a very smart game, but we stuck out a win against Country Day. They’re a good team and we have to move on.”

Trailing 3-1 after halftime, Country Day (3-3) would manage to trim the Brother Rice (5-1) lead down to just one, 4-3 near the midway point of the third quarter after a goal from Cameron Barr.

Country Day coach Michael Cappalletti said that his team’s ability to not dwell on previous mistakes made in the game and rather just focus on the live action of the game is what helped Country Day hang around until the later stages of the fourth quarter.

“It’s what we talk about every day, ‘So what? Next play’,” he said. “As a coach, it’s the hardest thing to do, to let go of something that really frustrates you or you’re upset about, but we have a ton of guys on our team that when someone makes a mistake, they just put their arm around them and tell them ‘So what? Next play. That’s all we talk about, that’s all we do. There were moments tonight where we played our worst lacrosse of the season and so what? Next play and that’s why we were in the game in the fourth quarter.”

But Brother Rice would respond as the Warriors used a goal from Morgan Macko to push their lead back to two, 5-3 with three minutes left to play in the third quarter. Macko would then net his third goal of the game with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter to push Brother Rice’s lead to 6-3.

The Warriors were able to put the game away in the closing minutes as goalie Ross Reason came up with a key save right in front of the net with just over five minutes left to play and less than two minutes later, the Warriors took a 7-3 lead after a goal from Jack Kelly. Brother Rice later added an insurance goal from Daniel Reaume.

Chawla said that Reason’s save was key for his team late in the game as it came at a crucial time of the game, shortly after the Warriors had taken their largest lead of the game.

“It’s big, and it’s a momentum changer and Ross has been doing that for us for two years now,” he said. “He comes up big in big moments and that was a big moment for us. You can’t say enough about his play, he played great all game long, not just that save. I think Ross is a great player and he comes up big for us all of the time.”

Country Day jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first quarter, but Brother Rice scored three straight goals, two coming from Erik Schmidt, to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead at halftime.

The Yellowjackets managed to cut the Brother Rice lead down to 3-2 start the second half on a goal by Walker Cooney, but the Warriors responded as they did for the entire game, as Ryan Scott tallied a goal of his own.