Lenox Boys Pull Away from Drury in Second Half
LENOX, Mass. – In the first half of Thursday’s Western Massachusetts Class D quarter-final, the Lenox boys soccer team had 11 shots on goal, and just as many shots into the woods behind the net.
The Millionaires scored five goals in the second half of a 6-1 win over Drury.
Ian Bridges had three of those goals and agreed that accuracy was a priority for Lenox after going into half-time tied, 1-1.
“Around half-time and in the timeouts, coach sat us down and said, ‘Just focus on your shots. Don’t hit them as hard as you can. Just place them and put them on frame,’ “ Bridges said. “And in the second half, that’s exactly what we did.”
Drury keeper Parker Rivard was stellar, stopping 18 shots, but the pure volume from Lenox proved too much in the end.
The Millionaires dominated play right from the start, earning four shots on goal in the first eight minutes of play.
But it was Drury that got on the scoreboard first, taking advantage of one of its opportunities on the counter.
Aaron Devio scored from about 30 yards out on the right wing in the ninth minute to give Drury a 1-0 lead, and the sixth-seeded Blue Devils (3-12-2) did all they could to keep Lenox from pulling away until the final 15 minutes, when the Millionaires got four of their goals.
“We worked on taking long-distance shots, and Aaron [Devio] ripped one, and we went up, 1-0,” Drury coach John Jacobbe said. “I thought we played really well. We [gave up] a tough goal to tie it up, and we didn’t let down.
“I think my kids worked their butts off. I think we ran out of legs. We gave up the middle of the field. We stopped defending. We were waiting for them at the 18, and you can’t let a talented team keep bringing it in and bringing it in and bringing it in.”
Lenox’s Thomas Leger answered Drury’s goal with an assist from Brady Mickle in the 14th minute, but Rivard made some of his toughest saves of the night in the last four minutes of the first half to keep it a 1-1 game.
The Millionaires got the eventual game-winner 12 minutes into the second half when Mickle slid a pass to Bridges about 20 yards from goal in the middle of the field, and Bridges took a touch before firing a low line drive into the net to make it 2-1.
Even then, Drury was able to rally and make a couple of forays across midfield, but the heart-breaker came with 14:09 on the clock, when Luke Gamberoni scored unassisted to give Lenox a two-goal margin.
“The third goal, we were done,” Jacobbe said. “But I’m proud of them. We gave ourselves a shot to win, and we just came up short at the end. The final score is not indicative of how good a game it was for 60 minutes. But the final score is what it is.”
Gamberoni’s goal opened the floodgates for the Millionaires, who got a strike from Kemp Stites with about 12 minutes left and two more goals from Bridges in the last five minutes.
Lenox, the tournament’s third seed, gets a home game in the semi-finals against No. 7 Smith Vocational, an upset winner at Hoosac Valley on Wednesday. The Vikings will visit the Millionaires on Saturday at 6 p.m. for a chance at the regional final.
Drury gets a Western Mass consolation game to end its season on Friday afternoon when it hosts Duggan.