Albemarle Boys Lacrosse Rolls Past Western

Albemarle boys lacrosse rolls past Western

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Coming off a two-week break between games, it was critical that Albemarle’s boys lacrosse team’s offense got going early in a rivalry clash with Western Wednesday night in Crozet.

The Patriots’ array of offensive weapons did just that and combined with a strong ride by the attack, Albemarle rolled to a 14-6 victory over the Warriors.

“We’ve really been harping on that stuff in practice — the ride and the clear,” said Albemarle attackman Stephen Mastropaolo. “Really Matt Crist is the key to that because he’s so quick and he can get around that everybody else picks up the pieces or he gets it himself.”

It helped that the Patriots’ Ryan McCollough got going in a big way early, unleashing a pair of goals including a laser to the top left corner on the second score that kickstarted Albemarle.

“He’s so lethal when he’s shooting—that lefty sidearm or underhand is just so hard to stop,” Mastropaolo said.

From there, everyone got involved for the Patriots as John Chandler, Matt Crist, Ben Kyriacopoulus all scored at least a goal each in the first half. In the process, Albemarle built an 8-1 lead. McCollough completed a hat trick before the break while Mastropaolo notched a hat trick and a pair of assists on the night for the Patriots.

Nine different Albemarle players scored during the offensive assault as the Patriots moved the ball well and maintained possession throughout. That strategy allowed Jake Huber to only need three saves in the cage to keep Western at bay.

McCollough came up big defensively with a team-high five ground balls, several of them on the ride catalyzed by Crist. Joe Anderson had a trio of ground balls and was strong throughout on the faceoff.

Albemarle long stick midfielder Derek Leake even got in on the action with a rare goal by the senior.

Western managed to piece together a better offensive effort in the second half, even closing the gap to 8-3 at one point. But Albemarle’s ability to hold onto the ball prevented the Warriors from getting any closer. Nick Vial and Justin Haws had two goals each.

Western was playing with a thin bench due to a series of team rules violations by multiple players that had a seismic impact on the starting lineup. The Warriors got a valiant effort out of goalie Rives Cowen who came up from the junior varsity squad for his first start. While Western struggled at times to clear the ball, Cowen hung tough in the cage with Albemarle possessing the ball for long stretches.

Western will face Charlottesville Wednesday afternoon while Albemarle will face Monticello Thursday evening.

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