ALAPOCAS – For all 12 minutes of the third quarter and into the fourth, the St. Elizabeth boys lacrosse team could do little wrong against Conrad. They turned a 6-1 halftime deficit into a 7-6. But the Red Wolves quickly regained their footing, scoring the final four goals in a 10-7 victory on a chilly April 2 afternoon at Alapocas Run State Park.
The score was 6-1 Conrad late in the first half when the Vikings earned a man-up opportunity. James Saylor found himself all alone in front of Red Wolves goalkeeper Ryan Madison and beat him low, making the score 6-2 heading into intermission. The goal lifted a monkey off Saylor’s back, as he had previously been stoned twice by Madison from point-blank range.
The momentum carried into the third. The Vikings controlled the possession off the faceoff and worked the ball around the perimeter, getting off a few wide shots. Another shot clanged off the post to the keeper’s left, but Saylor was in the right spot to scoop up the rebound and lob the ball into the net.
A few minutes later, St. Elizabeth would score the goal of the game. The Red Wolves had driven deep into Vikings territory, but St. E’s was able to pick up a loose ball. Under pressure – and with his bench exhorting him to clear the ball – Vincent Knight blindly flung the ball backward over his head toward the middle of the field. Cameron Tjaden tracked it down, scampered down the right side and found Saylor with a crossing pass. The sophomore buried it, completing the hat trick.
Thomas Zatalva cut the lead to 6-5 later in the third, deking past two defenders after receiving pass from Vincent Corbino. Madison kept the Red Wolves ahead heading into the fourth with two superb saves late.
Tjaden fed Corbino on the first possession of the fourth quarter for the tying goal, and the momentum continued. St. Elizabeth went ahead for the only time all afternoon shortly thereafter. This time, Corbino was the helper, picking up the ball at midfield and feeding a wide-open Saylor, who made the score 7-6.
Trailing for the first time, Conrad bounced back Nate Marsh wasted no time leveling the score on a long shot that eluded Vikings keeper Joseph Kindbeiter. Andrew Farnan untied it, going low and to the left side, with an assist to Jack Kidwell. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Red Wolves earned a pair of man-up opportunities, and they capitalized on both. Farnan had both of those tallies as well.
Marsh had four goals, and Farnan added three for the Red Wolves, who improved to 3-0. They are back in action Thursday at home against A.I. duPont at 3:45 p.m.
For the Vikings (1-2), Saylor led the way with four goals. Corbino had two and Zatalva the other. St. Elizabeth next plays on Thursday at 4 p.m. against Newark Charter at Life Community Church.