Less than a month after St. Joe’s knocked off perennial power Bishop Timon-St. Jude and snapped its 49-game regular-season league winning streak in lacrosse, the Tigers served the Marauders a cold dish of revenge on Tuesday.
Scoring sensation Connor Fields had six goals and two assists to lead Timon to a convincing, 18-8 win over St. Joe’s in the Monsignor Martin title game before an estimated 400 at Nichols’ Peek Field.
“That was a wake-up call for us that anyone can beat us on any given day and we have to work our hardest to get every single win,” Fields said, referencing the 13-12, double-overtime loss to St. Joe’s on April 29. “Today, we really worked hard out there. Our faceoff guy did great getting us the ball and our goalie was awesome in there. Everyone just tried to do their own job and I’d say it worked out great.”
This is the fourth consecutive league championship for the Tigers (16-4), who have won eight games in a row and received votes in the latest toplaxrecruits.com national rankings. Timon will play an undetermined downstate representative in Monday’s Catholic State Championship.
“Us seniors, along with junior captain Adam DiMillo, really took control and now we’ve won back the Monsignor Martin, which is great,” senior attackman JD Recor said in reference to the loss to St. Joe’s. “I’m really proud of the guys.”
Timon got off to a quick start in the contest, building a 3-1 lead after the first quarter with goals from junior Bill Coppola (two goals, four assists), DiMillo (three goals, one assist) and Recor (four goals, two assists). The Marist-bound Recor netted a bouncing shot in traffic with just one second left in the period. Screened shots to the low corner of the net from “good scoring angles” was an area the Tigers focused on in preparation for the Maruaders, according to coach Mike Burke.
The Tigers’ lead ballooned to 10-4 at halftime after a 5-0 run in the second period that featured some slick passing following a handful of Sam Watts’ draw wins. Junior Layne Collins scored both of his goals and classmate Brandon Donohue had a goal and two helpers during the flurry. From there, Fields’ acrobatics stole the show.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Albany-commit scooped up a loose ball in front of the net and scored on a behind-the-back shot that drew the attention of all in attendance. The junior attackman has 118 goals, a state single-season record.
“The ball was on the ground and my first instinct was to throw it behind my back because that’s what I do in box,” he said. “It just comes natural to me.”
Timon senior goalkeeper Jackson Brown, who has signed with Hobart, had another strong outing with 15 saves. His counterpart, St. Joe’s freshman Eric Deakin, made eight stops after being inserted into the lineup at intermission.
Junior Mark Nasca led St. Joe’s (12-7) with a hat trick. Senior Andrew Pawenski had two goals and won 15 faceoffs, junior Dominic Perna notched two goals and an assist and freshman Chris Berger had a goal and an assist.
“When you drop the ball or turn it over as much as we did against these guys, they’re going to take advantage of it,” Marauders coach Peter Hudecki said after his program’s second consecutive title-game defeat. “I thought we had some really good offensive opportunities early and we just didn’t put them away. That would have been a good spark for us confidence-wise.”
He said he told Burke in the handshake line, “We’re close and we’re going to get there soon.” Then added, “I think we’re a lot closer than even we think.”