Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nipmuc Lacrosse Pulls Away From Worcester

By Connor Evans (@RonnocEvans)

UPTON - Worcester's last ditch effort to make playoffs was stuffed by a strong Nipmuc Regional team. After opening a two-goal lead in the first, Worcester allowed six consecutive goals to the Warriors over the next two quarters, scoring only twice the rest of the game. Nipmuc in turn, would pile on 7 goals in the fourth period to win going away, 13-4.

Breakdown: The Worcester Warriors came out hotter than the Nipmuc Warriors. Plain and simple. Two goals quickly in the first period can actually be enough to derail a team for an entire game. Unfortunately for WooLax, Nipmuc is not so easily wavered.

The two teams went toe-to-toe for nearly three full periods. During this time Nipmuc went from down 2 and clawed their way all the way back to take a 6-2 lead halway through the third. When the third quarter ended 6-3, I was anxious to see how Worcester would handle trying to come back from a deficit to save their season. However, it became apparent that while Worcester is a talented program, Nipmuc is just too deep.

Warriors had five different players score today and had three different players (Max Morrill, Ryan Richards, Connor Morford) net hat-tricks. Worcester didn’t have the gas left in the fourth quarter to stop the offensive juggernaut of Nipmuc. Too many dangerous players from too many different places on the field.

Takeaway for Worcester: Rough way to end the season for WooLax. The program has come a long way over the years but this one stings a bit. To be one win away and miss playoffs can’t be a good feeling. That being said, they put up a good fight against one of the best teams in the region and left the tank empty. Time to refuel and get back to it next season.

Takeaway for Nipmuc: Warriors have done a lot right this season. A pair of tough losses to Grafton and Tantasqua may have hurt their postseason ranking, but something tells me, the Warriors don’t care about that. This is a team with some real swagger. They went down 2 goals early, and seemed unfazed. They came right back out and went to work. “I was never worried,” said Head Coach Eric Brockett “I know what we have here. We never panicked. These guys are pretty confident and are playing well together right now.” Mike Manning (2G, 2A) felt quite similarly: “We really had to play as a unit and this was the best we had done it in a while.” He also would add that the Nipmuc we saw in the fourth quarter today is about what he expected to see in the postseason (look out, Central Mass).

“We just have to continue to stay focused and execute. We need to have that same mental focus we brought today and we will be ready to play in some big games [in the playoffs],” said Coach Brockett.

This team is built to win. An offense filled with playmakers all over the place and a BIG defense with some really strong stick skills is the exact pedigree it will take to make a push this postseason. 
Could we see the first NON “Grafton vs. Mount Greylock” District Championship since the realignment? This reporter thinks so… and Nipmuc will have something to do with it.

No comments :