The defending Section VI Class B champion Hamburg boys lacrosse team didn’t hit the ground running on Tuesday night at Williamsville North; they hit it sprinting.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the first North score. The Spartans were able to keep things close briefly in the start of the second quarter, but after that it was all Hamburg, who won a hard hitting, physical contest from the first whistle to the last, 18-7.
“I’m really happy with the chemistry of this group,” said Hamburg head coach Jerry Severino following the game. “We’ve been working since the end of last year. My assistants have been carrying the load. What I saw in the middle of the winter was tremendous chemistry. The kids are really playing hard and for each other and sharing the ball. Our defense is strong, and our faceoff is really, really good.”
Hamburg scored only a minute into the contest with a strike from Bo Johnson. After two more scores by Brett Chiodo and Spencer Nyhart, North was forced to take a timeout to slow things down and regain bearing. The break taken by Spartans head coach Andy Behm seemed to work briefly as Sean Fitzpatrick got the team on the board with a score. North caught momentum in the final minutes of the first quarter to make it a 4-3 deficit at the end of the period.
A Hamburg penalty and solid Spartan defense led Owen Cooney to the net to tie things up, 4-4, early in the second quarter. However, the remainder of the game belonged to the Bulldogs who retook the momentum and put it in the hands of the offense, scoring four straight unanswered goals (including two from Nyhart) to take an 8-4 lead into the half.
The relentless offensive attack, stingy defense, and quality goal tending by Jared Evenden allowed the Bulldogs to carry the momentum from the end of the first half into the rest of the game. Goals by Brock Schneider and Matt Walsh made the score 10-4 before Tyler Zeplowitz broke the Spartans’ scoreless streak. The quarter ended with a score of Hamburg 12, Williamsville North 5.
The final quarter was dominated by Hamburg, who scored six goals, five of which were unanswered. Conor Murphy and Juan Antonetty netted scores for North. Physical play and a handful of late penalties against both squads slowed the quarter all the way up to the final whistle.
Nyhart finished with six goals for the Bulldogs. Walsh and Schneider both recorded three goal hat tricks. Chiodo, Johnson, Brian Colmerauer, Dylan Collins, and Devin Collins each recorded a score as well.
“Spencer is a sniper, no question. He’s not shy, and he’s ripping the ball really well,” said Coach Severino on his star attack man. “Schneider is a sniper also, but he always draws the best defender. I’ve got two freshmen [the Collins twins] who can go midfield or attack. I think we’re deeper than we have been in a while…and those kids are going to get more playing time too.”
North’s (1-1) seven goals came from six players, led by Murphy who had two scores.
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