Ridgefield boys lacrosse team takes down Staples in double-overtime thriller
RIDGEFIELD -- With his team down by a goal at home against Staples, Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey called a timeout with 19 seconds remaining and drew up a play he thought could work.
The play didn't exactly go according to plan, but a game of pitch and catch between Peter Dearth and Robert Philbin resulted in Philbin getting a good look at the Staples net, albeit from fairly long range.
Philbin unleashed an underhand shot to score the game-tying goal with 5.3 seconds remaining, and the Tigers would go on to win 9-8 in double overtime.
"We got the ball back and we set up a play that they did not run," Colsey said. "I would love to take credit for it. I think the motion of the play helped, but what I actually wanted to happen and what happened weren't the same thing. Bobby Philbin did a great job of sticking it. Everything we do at practice is loose and we don't script much. For me to script something, it's only because we're trying to generate a shot within a certain period of time."
"Coach Colsey set up a play there that we had tried out," Philbin said. "We essentially didn't run it, but we were able to find an opening. He caught me right at the top, I had a pretty easy shot and I was able to finish on it."
Ridgefield maintained possession for all of the second overtime period, and Schuyler Blair sent the Tigers home with the win when he scored with 1:22 remaining.
With a defender draped all over him, Blair moved to his right to approach the net. While being knocked to the ground, Blair flung his shot at the net for the game-winner.
"It was pretty much all Simon Mathias, really," Blair said. "They got it up quick to Simon, Simon had me open and I did my job and put it in. It wasn't really anything I did. It was pretty much all Simon."
The final few seconds of the fourth quarter and the tense overtime action were just the tip of the iceberg in what was already an eventful clash.
The Wreckers didn't take their first lead until just 2:15 remained.
Still up 8-7, Staples gained possession with 27 seconds remaining and called timeout, but Ridgefield immediately forced a turnover and called a timeout of its own with 19 ticks to go, setting the stage for Philbin's game-tier.
"We started off having to double-team the ball, which is all you can do," Colsey said. "Part of the problem with playing a zone is that when you're down and you need to get the ball back, you can't sit in the zone. You've got to come out and play. We've been playing so much man-to-man that we were ready to do that."
Ridgefield's afternoon couldn't have started a whole lot better, as the Tigers built a 5-1 lead and attempted 10 of the game's first 11 shots. Four players (Ryan Dunn, Blair, Mathias and Peter Dearth) contributed to Ridgefield's first five goals with Dunn tallying the first and fifth.
Having been outplayed for nearly the entire first half, Staples struck back with three unanswered goals in the final 1:35 of the second quarter, shrinking Ridgefield's halftime advantage to 5-4.
"I think our offense carried our plan out well," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "We wanted to take the best shot, not the first shot. We eventually got some goals there and had a nice run in the second quarter."
"We did have some good chances," McNulty said. "We did have a nice shot there with number 11 (Zinn), and the goalie made a very good play on it."
Ridgefield (9-3, 7-2 FCIAC) kept the ball on Staples' side of the field for the entire second overtime. Peter Dearth had a pair of shots deflected wide by Staples goalie Peter Burger and Ryan Dunn sent a shot high, but Blair notched the golden goal on the Tigers' fourth shot, giving them their fifth win in their last six games.
"Overtime is pretty stressful," Philbin said. "A lot of kids get nervous in it and it makes them play differently, but today we were pretty level-headed on our overtime play and we were able to finish up."
STAPLES 1 3 2 2 0 0--8
RIDGEFIELD 2 3 1 2 0 1--9
Records: Staples 9-3, 6-3 FCIAC; Ridgefield 9-3, 7-2 FCIAC.
Scoring: R--Ryan Dunn (2 g, 1 a); Schuyler Blair (2 g, 1 a); Simon Mathias (2 g, 4 a); Peter Dearth (1 g, 1 a); Robert Philbin (2 g); S--Evan Zinn (1 g); Ross Goldberg (1 g, 3 a); Connor Chamberlin (3 g, 1a); Matt Johnson (2 g); Michael Reale (1 g, 1 a).
Goalies: R--Brendan Winne (9 saves); S--Peter Burger (6 saves). Shots: R--23; S--22.