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Saints score 13 straight to rout Cadets

Even when Nansemond-Suffolk’s lacrosse team was down a man Wednesday afternoon, everything still went the Saints way. Back-to-back shorthanded goals 1:09 apart early in the second half effectively capped off NSA’s 13-1 rout over visiting Benedictine.

Junior midfielder Sam Rapoport led nine Saints who tallied points with three goals and five assists.

Benedictine opened the scoring just over two minutes into the match. It took the Saints a few more minutes of action to get going. Bobby Wentz started the Saint scoring with 7:08 left in the first period, receiving a pass from Nick Leverone, driving into the middle of the Cadet defense and sending a hard one-hop shot into the goal.

Rapoport got his first goal at the 4:16 mark, off an assist by Jeff Ruland to give NSA the lead for good. Bobby Lamm and Rapoport again scored in the last two minutes of the first quarter.

Rapoport’s second goal finished a quick break by the Saints. Josh Todd cleared the ball out of the Cadet end to Bobby Wentz. Wentz found Rapoport to the left of the Cadet goal and Rapoport cut between two Cadet players and dove toward the top of the crease while letting his shot go.

Benedictine kept possession, but couldn’t put up many serious threats, through much of the second period. NSA killed off two penalties midway through the quarter, including 0:15 of 6-on-4 play.

About 0:20 after getting back to even strength, the Saints got back to scoring with Will Crenshaw taking a pass from Rapoport and firing in a shot from deep on the left wing.

NSA made the contest officially lopsided just before the half. Crenshaw scored at the 1:27 mark. The Saints won the ensuing faceoff thanks to a Cadet violation. Harris Howell took the restart, raced into the middle of the Cadet box unchecked and scored eight seconds after Crenshaw’s goal.

NSA won the next faceoff and went straight at the Cadet goal again. This time Rapoport finished the play, scoring off a pass by Zack Crytzer to make it 8-1 NSA with 0:59 left.

NSA scored 36 seconds into the third period. Starting with Sean Buttery in defense, then going through Howell, Crenshaw, Rapoport and ending with Ruland putting away a goal from point-blank range, the Saints moved the ball to cover 80 yards in about seven seconds.

The two man-down goals came shortly after. It was Jack Russell to Rapoport for the first, with Russell’s pass going across the slot to Rapoport wide open at the left post of the Cadet goal.

Russell, an eighth-grade midfielder, finished the next rush himself. A Cadet shot was stopped by NSA goalie C.J. White, leading to a loose ball in the Cadet box. A melee kept going until the ball was over the midfield stripe. Russell finally scooped the ball cleanly, rounded one Benedictine player and was in clear on goal.

“Our offense is finally starting to gel. It’s a new offense this year for the guys, and we’ve really only been working on it for six weeks now,” said NSA head coach Tim Hostutler.

Even though the game was mostly decided by halftime, Hostutler was pleased his squad kept control through the second half. The play by NSA’s defense on the eight man-up chances was encouraging as well.

“It shows we can come up with defensive stops when we need it,” Hostutler said.

Goals by Wentz and Leverone capped off the Saint scoring. Wentz and Crenshaw finished with two goals each. White made eight saves in three quarters of play. NSA outshot Benedictine 38-12 and 21-9 in shots on goal. Benedictine was 0-for-8 on man-up chances.

The Saints (5-3) are ranked No. 2 in VIS (Virginia Independent Schools) Div. II this week. NSA will most certainly get a tougher challenge Friday at Woodberry Forest, ranked No. 3 in VIS Div. I.