NSA run tops TCIS rival
Nansemond-Suffolk rolled off six consecutive goals after halftime to turn a tied match at halftime into a 10-5 victory over Cape Henry in a key Tidewater Conference lacrosse match Thursday at NSA.
The Saints (4-3, 3-1) got the important win even as the visiting Dolphins did everything possible to keep NSA’s best attack player, senior Will Crenshaw, bottled up.
In one way, Cape Henry succeeded as Crenshaw didn’t score. In the bigger picture though, the Saints found plenty of offense anyway and Crenshaw still played a role with his passing as he finished with three assists, all during NSA’s rally.
Junior Sam Rapoport scored a hat trick and junior Tucker Hotte scored two goals to lead NSA’s attack.
The first half was patient and strategic by both sides. It took until the last seconds of the first period to get a goal. Seconds after the Saints killed off a man-up chance for Cape Henry, NSA attacked with Bobby Wentz carrying the ball through midfield and passing to Bobby Lamm in the high slot. Lamm wasted no time moving around one Dolphin defender, shooting and scoring.
Cape Henry scored twice in the first 1:10 of the second period, but the game settled back into a slower pace again. Wentz scored an unassisted goal with 4:36 left in the half and the score stayed 2-2 for the rest of the half.
“We preach patience on offense and on defense, so we were totally fine with that,” said NSA head coach Tim Hostutler.
“I told them, it was up to them. Fundamentally, we kind of lost it for a bit in the second quarter, but I said, this is a winnable game if you want it,” Hostutler said.
The Saints answered their coach’s challenge in 15 seconds. Tucker Hotte scooped up the ground ball off the initial faceoff of the second half. Hotte passed to Crenshaw who passed to Rapoport moving in the slot in on goal and Rapoport scored.
It took 26 more seconds for NSA to score again. Zack Crytzer fired in a long shot off an assist from Harris Howell.
Hotte scored goals with 6:10 and 1:03 remaining in the third period, both times sending long shots one-hopping past the Cape Henry keeper.
Just over a minute into the fourth period, Crenshaw and Rapoport capitalized on Cape Henry’s attention to Crenshaw. Crenshaw worked with the ball to the right wing of the Dolphin goal, drawing three defenders around him before passing to Rapoport right in front of the cage for an easy goal.
Two minutes later, Jeff Ruland scored after fighting for and gaining a loose ball in the slot a few yards from the Dolphin goal.
Howell scored with 5:08 remaining to make it a 9-4 NSA lead and Rapoport completed his hat trick with 0:42 remaining. Goalie C. J. White finished with five saves for the Saints.
NSA faces two non-conference opponents next week, starting Wednesday by hosting Benedictine.