Tuesday, June 5, 2018

RECAP & PHOTOS: Shrewsbury Holds off Tantasqua to Advance in D2 Central/West

Photos and Story by Ryan Morgera (@RyanMor_ASSCO)

Ed. Note- Continue to the bottom of this story for even more actions shots from Shrewsbury and Tantasqua's playoff clash. Also note that you can click any image in this story to enlarge, and launch a slideshow.

Worcester, Mass. - The Shrewsbury Colonials beat the Tantasqua Warriors, 11-7, Tuesday night at Assumption College in what was a great taste of what Central Mass playoff lacrosse has to offer.

Tantasqua’s Tom Muir came into the game with 46 goals and 24 assists on the year, and his impact would be seen early as he started the scoring with back-to-back goals to put the Warriors up 2-0. Shrewsbury’s Mason Kohn then matched him with back-to back goals to tie the game up. The score at the end of the first quarter was 2-2.

The second quarter was low scoring, but all Shrewsbury as Ryan Haley netted his first, followed by Kohn completing his hat trick before half time.

4-2 Colonials at the end of the half.

While Riley O’Brien did start the scoring in the third quarter on the man up, the third quarter would turn into all Shrewsbury as Kohn scored his fourth, followed by Cashman, Buduo (man down), Russo, Spagnuolo, and Buduo for his second. The score was 10-3 Colonials at the end of the third.

Tantasqua outscored the Colonials 4-1 in the fourth, with goals coming from Muir (his third), Cody Robert (2) and Austin Varney. Ryan Haley scored the lone Shrewsbury goal in the fourth. While the Warriors did chip away at the Shrewsbury lead, it was too little too late as time expired with a final score of 11-7.

Once again, Shrewsbury’s Mason Kohn was impressive at the faceoff X, winning over 90% of the draws he took. Kohn also led the offense with three goals for the Colonials.

“Faceoffs are obviously a huge part of the game,” Kohn said. “Chris Campbell, Spags (Kyle Spagnuolo) and Cash (Alex Cashman) are always helping me out, that’s huge. Possession is obviously huge, we got it all the time, and when we get the ball, they can’t score, so that’s big too” he added.

Head Coach Nate Skermont agreed about the importance of possession in a playoff game.

“Today in general I thought we valued every possession” Skermont said. “We worked to beat that zone, we worked extensively the last two practices on that, and we just knew that if we value the possession, and beat them in time of possession, then we have a chance to win.”

Coach Skermont also stressed how important it was for guys to step up in a game like Tuesday’s.

“I thought a lot of guys stepped up. I knew once we got a couple and we took the lead we’d have confidence to keep shooting”.

Defensively, the Colonials back three of Jack Tepper, Nick Perron, and Sean Vroman stepped up big, playing extremely fundamental defense. Even when something slipped through, Shrewsbury goalie Mike Fornal did a great job doing what he could to keep the Warriors off the scoreboard. Shrewsbury’s Chris Campbell loomed large on defense, as well as clearing the ball for Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury moves on to play St. John’s (Shrewsbury) on Thursday at 4 pm at Assumption College.

“St. John’s is a two-seed for a reason” said Coach Skermont. “They’ve always been in this position, they have a quality team. We played them earlier in the season, but that was a long time ago so both teams are probably a lot better now. We’re healthy, which helps, and we are looking forward to a game where we have to play solid and make no mistakes”.

The loss unfortunately marks the end of a great Tantasqua season. The seniors brought their team to a 13-10 record on the season, with an impressive 44 wins since the beginning of their sophomore season.

Look for Shrewsbury to hold possessions and put pressure on St. John’s Thursday, in what should be another fantastic installment of that cross-town rivalry.

Continue below for photos-

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