By Michael James LeClair
After a slow start, the Nashoba High School boys’ lacrosse team kicked it into high gear in the second quarter on Tuesday evening, May 6.
The Chieftains blew open a close contest with seven second-quarter goals en route to a 12-3 drubbing of visiting North Middlesex Regional on Cancer Awareness Night.
With the win, Nashoba inched to within a game of the .500 mark, improving to 6-7 overall. The Chieftains also improved to 2-5 in Midland Wachusett League A with the league win.
“It’s taken us all season to get the offense rolling, not just one quarter,” joked Nashoba Regional head coach Kevin McNamara following the victory. “We wanted to come out and settle in and see what North Middlesex was going to give us and then make the necessary adjustments and try to attack it.”
Senior attacker Mike D’Entremont and senior Ben Czekanski, also an attacker, each notched hat tricks for the winners. Senior midfielder Beau Brassard and sophomore midfielder Lucas Evangelous jumped into the scoring by each netting two goals for the home team.
Nashoba goalie Robert Atwood was stellar in net, stopping eight of the 11 shots he faced.
“We had a lot of success from behind the net tonight, which happens to be our bread and butter. We were fortunate enough that it paid off for us tonight,” said McNamara. “We’ve let teams climb in against us all year so, once we able to grab that lead, we made it a point of emphasis to not let them do that to us in this game.”
The Chieftains netted the lone goal of the opening quarter less than two minutes in with a goal by Czekanski. Nashoba failed to find the back of the cage during the remainder of the first quarter as Patriots goalie Dan Messing stopped the final five shots he faced in the stanza.
In the second quarter, the Chieftains’ offense finally arrived as they peppered Messing with eight shots in the quarter, finding the back of the net with seven of them.
Nashoba potted the first six goals of the frame to grab a commanding 7-0 lead with just over six minutes left before halftime.
The Patriots finally broke through with their first goal of the game with 2:53 remaining when Tyler Zech blasted one by Atwood to make it 7-1.
If North Middlesex picked up any momentum from the goal it didn’t last very long as the hosts answered with just under a minute
left in the half when Nolan Brassard rifled a bid by Messing from in close to make it 8-1.
Nashoba opened the third quarter by picking up right where it left off before the halftime whistle, striking for four more goals to make it 12-1 after three quarters. What began as a nail biter in the early stages quickly turned into a one-sided affair.
“We really wanted to buckle down and limit North Middlesex and their chances,” said McNamara. “We need to come out and play four solid quarters of lacrosse if we’re going to do anything and make a run the rest of the way. We have to be able to be more complete.”
The Patriots tacked on a pair of fourth quarter goals but it was far too little, far too late for the visitors.
Since Tuesday’s victory over the Patriots the Chieftains followed up with a trip to Midland Wachusett League A rival Westborough on May 8.
Unfortunately for Nashoba, the host Rangers proved to be just a little too much as Westborough notched a 12-5 win. The loss dropped Nashoba’s record to 6-8 overall and 2-6 in the league.