By Nick Curcuru
---- — GLOUCESTER— Gloucester head lacrosse coach Drew Dominick said one of his team’s worst performances of the season came in a 6-1 loss to Manchester Essex earlier this season.
With the Hornets visiting Nate Ross Field on Tuesday, Gloucester was looking for a better all around performance and more importantly a win to split the season series. While they certainly didn’t light the world on fire Tuesday, the Fishermen still did enough to win holding off a late Hornets surge to hold on for a 6-5 win improving to 5-11 on the season.
“It was definitely a much better performance from the last time we played,” Dominick said. “Was it the best game we played all year? No, but we did enough to win. Our goal was to take the final three games to salvage something out of this season and we got the first two.”
While Gloucester had its moments of strong lacrosse, the overall performance was still a bit of a mixed bag. The Fishermen dominated on ground balls and held the ball in the offensive zone for the vast majority of the game but could only muster up six goals. Still, Gloucester did a better job staying out of the penalty box and was its usual strong self on the defensive end.
Hornets goalie Alex Taliaferro (12 saves) also made life tough on Gloucester with several strong saves.
“I thought we played a strong game all around,” Dominick said. “But with that much time in the offensive zone we needed to score more. I thought we took a few bad shots. (Taliaferro) is very strong on high shots and we kept trying to challenge him there. But defensively I thought we were very strong again.”
In a back and forth contest, Gloucester was able to break through with five minutes to play on a goal from Austin Titus to take a 6-4 lead. That turned out to be the game winner as Gloucester held off a late push by the Hornets to hold on for the win.
Manchester Essex (2-13) attackman John Beardsley answered Titus’ goal with 3:11 to play to cut the lead to 6-5 and gained possession of the ball in the final minute to play with a chance to tie the score. The Hornets got a couple shots off but goalie Joe Taormina was there to make two important stop. A nice check from Gloucester defenseman Jesse Glidden at the final horn stopped one last Beardsley drive to the net in a last ditch attempt to tie the game.
After a scoreless first quarter Manchester Essex drew first blood 3:30 into the second frame on a man-up goal from Brian McAuliffe. But Gloucester would draw even just nine seconds later on a goal from Ian Kennedy.
The teams would trade second quarter goals from Austin Titus and Austin Keating to go into the break knotted at 2-2.
The Fishermen would go on to dominate possession in the third quarter with Kennedy scoring in the quarters first minute and Jason Lattof finding the back of the net in the quarter’s last two minutes. But despite the domination in time of possession, the Hornets were able to pull to within a goal by the time the frame came to an end thanks to a goal from Ely Koufman with 1:00 remaining in the frame making it 4-3.
The teams would trade goals in the fourth with Lattof and Titus scoring for Gloucester and Keating and Beardsley scoring for Manchester Essex to cap the scoring at 6-5.
Kennedy and Titus led the way with two goals and an assist, Lattof scored a pair while Casey Eastman and John Curcuru each recorded assist. Keating and Koufman were the only multi-point scorers for the Hornets with a goal and a goal and an assist each.