Overtime Goal Sinks Briarcliff in a Clash With the Broncos

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Briarcliff’s Dyllon Knight dodges his way
toward the cage vs. Bronxville.

It’s no secret the Briarcliff boys’ lacrosse team would like to experience the same sort of success Bronxville has grown accustomed to over the past half dozen years.

But even after watching his players battle back from an early four-goal deficit on Saturday against the perennial title contenders to force overtime, Bears coach Rob Anderson dismissed any notion that his team measures up to the Broncos.

“We haven’t done anything,” he was saying in the aftermath of a stinging 7-6 home loss to Bronxville amid the raindrops of a dismal spring day. “So at this point, there’s nothing to really talk about until we do something. Taking steps forward is great. Everybody wants to do that. But truly until you get something done, you have nothing to talk about.”

Ryan Alberghine’s ground-hugging shot from right of the cage eluded a diving Henry Anderson 78 seconds into overtime, enabling the Broncos to escape with a narrow victory in a game they once led 4-0 not even eight minutes after the opening faceoff. It came just over a minute after the Bears had been whistled for a pivotal offside infraction shortly after winning possession of the ball to start the overtime session.

“I’m proud of our guys, proud of their preparation, their effort and just their sheer determination to absolutely do their best,” said Anderson. “When they give everything they have, there’s no regrets and no confusion about anything that happens.”

Bronxville had jumped ahead 90 seconds into the contest on a goal by Alston Tarry. The lead doubled just over three minutes later when Anderson, the Bears’ junior goalie, lost control of the ball while getting set to throw a clearing pass. Jerry Frost picked it up and waltzed toward the vacated cage, depositing the ball for the easiest goal he’s probably ever scored.

The Bears’ deficit grew to four goals before Keaton McCann netted the first of his three on the day with a howitzer of a shot from straight away with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter. The gap closed to two goals three and a half minutes into the second period on a score by Dyllon Knight just seconds after teammate Camron Fash had caromed a shot off the pipe.

Midway through the second quarter, McCann struck again, slipping past the Broncos’ Nick O’Brien and then switching from his dominant left hand for an overhead missile that found the back of the net, moving Briarcliff to within 4-3. By then, Anderson in goal and the Bears’ defense had become impenetrable and Bronxville had to settle for a one-goal halftime edge.

“Our kids have a lot of heart, so it doesn’t really matter what the score is,” said coach Anderson about his team’s early four-goal deficit. “Whether we’re up or whether we’re down, our kids are gonna fight for every single second. I’m never concerned about the game until it’s truthfully over because I know our kids are gonna bring their best.”

A Briarcliff turnover on its first possession of the second half set the stage for Tarry’s third goal of the game that gave the Broncos a 5-3 margin with 8:50 left in the third quarter. But the Bears moved back within a goal seven minutes later on a score by Nick Cebel at the end of a long Briarcliff possession. The teams went to the fourth quarter with Bronxville still clinging to a one-goal lead.

Just over three minutes into the final period, Knight, after running with the ball down the left sideline and then circling back to do it again, finally got to the cage and beat goalie James Swartz to tie the game. But with 6:39 left, Frost scored again to give Bronxville a 6-5 lead.

Just when it seemed the Broncos might run out the clock in the final couple of minutes, they turned the ball over. The Bears called a timeout, then McCann soon provided his third goal, tying the game with 2:10 left on the clock.

Bronxville won the all-important ensuing faceoff and held the ball for the last two minutes. Frost managed to shovel a rebound into the cage, but it came just after the buzzer had sounded, sending the game into overtime and setting the stage for the heroics from Alberghine, who had already scored one overtime winner for the Broncos this season.

“At the end of the day, the only thing you can really honor is your effort,” said Anderson. “So I’m proud of them for that. We correct our mistakes and move forward. I’m not worried how many wins we have. I know we have three losses at this point. We’ve just got to get better starting tomorrow.”

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