Saints lax off to 4-1 start

Published 8:22 pm Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pass: Nansemond-Suffolk’s Tucker Hotte passes during the third period of Thursday night’s lacrosse match against visiting Williamsburg. Hotte scored a hat trick for the Saints but the Williamsburg Warriors beat NSA 10-9 in overtime.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s boys lacrosse team had an excellent season a year ago reaching the state tourney semifinals.

The Saints split contests Thursday and Friday evenings to move to a 4-1 record, a better mark than what they had at this point last spring.

NSA fell 10-9 in overtime to the Williamsburg Warriors, a Hampton Roads Lacrosse club team, Thursday night at NSA. The Saints rebounded 24 hours later to roll off seven straight goals in the second half and beat Kiski (Pa.) 10-2.

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Matches on back-to-back nights makes five contests in 10 days, a very busy slate by lacrosse standards.

“It’s been tough but good,” said NSA head coach Tom Hostutler, who’s in his second season coaching the Saints.

“We were up six or seven goals pretty early in our first two wins and then we weren’t finishing strong. We did that tonight (Friday). It’s important we didn’t have any lapses like in our earlier games,” Hostutler said.

The Saints beat three club teams before facing Williamsburg. The Warriors beat the Saints last season and Thursday’s match was down to the wire and then some.

Williamsburg led most of the match after answering an opening NSA goal, by Sam Rapoport, 0:47 into the match.

The Warriors got the next three strikes and kept NSA’s attack from forming by making everything tough on the Saints all over the field.

The Saints had problems passing the ball out of their own end of the field, or sometimes even clearing the ball, and the Warriors capitalized with repeated scoring chances.

Williamsburg led 5-4 at halftime and got the opening goal of the third period after the Saints turned away lots of shots, including three saves in short succession by freshman keeper Daniel Hotte, but couldn’t clear the danger.

Daniel Hotte filled in for senior starter C.J. White who suffered a concussion in a game during NSA’s first week.

“In 20 years of coaching I’ve never had a 1-2 punch (at goalie). It’s a high school coach’s dream. You usually just want one really good goalie and we’re fortunate to have two,” Hostutler said.

White’s a three-year starter and has committed to play at Hampden-Sydney.

“C.J.’s our man. He’s our starter, but it’s really nice having a keeper of Daniel’s caliber come in for him,” Hostutler said.

Tucker Hotte, Daniel’s older brother, sparked NSA’s offense late against the Warriors. He finished 60 yards of sprinting, down the right sideline to behind the goal and around through the slot in front of the Warrior cage, with a goal on the run to tie the score 8-8 with 9:11 left in regulation.

Three minutes later, Rapoport, Jeff Ruland and Tucker Hotte went tic-tac-toe with the ball around the Warrior goal ending with Hotte putting a quick shot away for a 9-8 Saint lead.

Williamsburg answered at the 3:55 mark to make it 9-9 and the Warriors had all the chances for a go-ahead goal in the last couple minutes.

NSA survived playing 0:30 down two players and got the match to overtime. Another NSA penalty was too much to overcome in the OT and the Warriors struck with a man-up goal with 0:54 left.

Friday night’s match against the Pennsylvania visitors was tight until the fourth quarter. NSA steadily pulled away with tons of possession and good finishing when the shots opened up near the Kiski goal.

Ruland, Rapoport and Harris Howell led the attack with two goals each. Ryan Serianni, who also had a good game with faceoffs against Williamsburg, led the Saint effort in winning 13-of-15 faceoffs. Daniel Hotte made 19 saves versus Williamsburg and 10 versus Kiski.

NSA’s slate slows down slightly with the next date coming at Walsingham, for NSA’s Tidewater Conference opener, on Thursday.