GLOUCESTER— Gloucester head boys lacrosse coach Drew Dominick did not like what he saw from his team in the first half of Wednesday's season finale against Manchester Essex at Newell Stadium.
The Fishermen and Hornets went into the half tied at 2-2 thanks to a goal from Jason Lattof with just two seconds to play in the frame and Dominick felt his team needed to play better.
"We weren't playing at the level we needed to play at and I told the team that at halftime," Dominick said. "I challenged them to play better."
As it turned out, the Fishermen took their coaches words to heart coming out and dominating the third quarter scoring four times while shutting out the Hornets in the frame en route to a 9-5 win. With the win Gloucester finishes off the season at 6-10 while the Hornets fall to 3-13 to finish off their season.
"It was a tough season but it's nice to end it with a win," Dominick said. "We played great in the third quarter and it was nice to see us break out the offense because we have struggled to score goals all year long."
Hornets head coach Nate Levie cited his teams lack of discipline in the loss.
"We had too many penalties and too many breakdowns," Levie said. "We did some good things but all of (Gloucester's) goals came while a man up or because we let them run free into the box. We didn't come ready to play."
Tied at 2-2 entering the third quarter Gloucester took control. Lattof gave Gloucester the lead for good with a snipe from the goalies right hand side early in the frame. Just two minutes later Robert Deckert put home a feed from Ian Kennedy to make it 4-2. Kennedy would score a short time later and then scored what turned out to be game winner on a perfect feed from Freshman Winslow Lewis making it 6-2.
Dominick was quick to credit Lewis on the assist as he created a turnover in the offensive end and hit Kennedy with a perfect pass on a 2-on-1 break.
"Those are the type of plays you remember for a while," Dominick said. "It was a nice play to force the turnover and then a great unselfish pass."
Manchester Essex cut the Gloucester lead 6-3 early in the fourth quarter on a goal from Dylan Estes, his third of the game, but the momentum was short lived. Gloucester's senior captain Andrew Lufkin scored under a minute later on an end-to-end rush to make it 7-3 and the goal was quickly followed by a goal from Lewis on a perfect feed from Coltyn Rivas.
The Hornets got goals from Brian McAuliffe, who also had a pair of assists, and Connor Bergmann late while Austin Titus scored a man-up goal or Gloucester late in the fourth.
Kennedy led all scorers with two goals and two assists, Estes had three goals for Manchester Essex while McAuliffe had a goal and a pair of assists. Lewis and Lattof also had multi point games for Gloucester in the win.
Dominick credited the play of seniors Nick Toarmina and goalie Sean Kennedy while Levie was quick to credit Chris Dumont and Doug Rodier for their play on the defensive end.
With the season at an end both Dominick and Levie have to look towards the future, and both coaches boast some young talent that took some lumps this season, but should be better because of it in the future.
"Our defense was good this year," Levie said. "Players like Chris Dumont, Doug Rodier and Chris Pellegrini. They're all young this year but will be back even better next year."
While Levie credited his young defense, Dominick believes his young offense, all Freshman and Sophomores this season, will break out in 2013.
"We have all Freshman and Sophomores at attack," Dominick said. "They got pushed around a bit which is expected when you're that young but they have talent."