BRISTOL - Despite lingering storm clouds over Alumni Field, the rain held off for Wednesday afternoon’s boys lacrosse game between Berlin and Bristol Eastern. However, the storm of goals from the Redcoats never let up.
Berlin got an early goal from Marco Scorano less than minute into the game to cue an offensive onslaught, as the Redcoats rolled to a 19-1 win over the Lancers for the team’s third straight win. Berlin (5-2) received scoring contributions from 11 different players in a ruthless and balanced attack.
The Redocats’ scoring ranged from four goals by Jake Dubuc to a goal for Luke Mangiafico, who normally plays goalie for the JV squad.
“All these guys want to contribute,” Berlin head coach Scott Rossi said. “Any opportunity we have to reward the guys that play on JV and dress for varsity, that’s what we want.”
The Redcoats started fast with two goals in the first two minutes, including one by Nick Grant with 10:06 left in the first quarter to put the Redcoats ahead 2-0. Less than three minutes later, T.J. Hebert fired a missile from straight on past Sam Anderle to give Berlin a three-goal lead. Seven minutes remained in the opening quarter, and the Redcoats were only halfway done with their scoring surge for the opening period.
“It’s tough right away when you’re down two or three, and our defense hasn’t gotten settled yet,” Eastern head coach Jesse Gumpert said. “That’s hard.”
It would get even harder for the Lancers 40 seconds later when Scorano buried a shot from almost 15 yards out to make it 4-0, before Hebert struck again with just under two minutes to go in the quarter by faking a shot from the point to make space for a laser that short hopped past goaltender Devin Levesque, who alternated in net with Anderle for the Lancers.
Hebert’s second goal of the game was one of three for the Redcoats in the final two minutes of the first, the latter two coming from Brian Formica, who scored on a turnover in Eastern’s end and later crept in from behind the net to put Berlin ahead 7-0 with 26 seconds remaining in the first, putting a cap on a lopsided period that saw the field titled towards the Lancers’ net.
Eastern (0-5) managed just one shot on net in the first half, while the Redcoats peppered the Lancers’ defense for the majority of the afternoon.
“We need more shots,” Eastern’s Jeff Taillon said. “I think this game we had just three shots.”
The Eastern defense tried to fend off another flurry of Berlin scoring chances to start the second, but after five straight missed shots by the Redcoats, Grant fired a low shot that found the back of the net and got Berlin rolling once again on the offensive end. Just over a minute later, another turnover by Levesque resulted in an odd-man rush for the Redcoats, which finished in a wide-open net for defenseman Dom Sacarano, who scored a rare goal to spark a celebration from the Berlin bench, and give the Redcoats a 9-0 lead.
“It’s great when everyone gets to touch the ball,” Hebert said. “It’s nice to see those kids who don’t always get in during close games come in and get involved.”
Hebert rung his third goal of the game off the post and in less than a minute later, and Zachary Goops absorbed contact in front of the net and gave Berlin another late goal with 21 seconds left to send Eastern to the break with a massive deficit.
Berlin continued to dominate in the second half, when Dubuc made it 12-0 with 8:46 left in the third. Exactly three minutes later, Luke Wininger bounced a shot past Levesque to join the scoring party and put the Redcoats ahead by 13. Dubuc fired in another of his own with 3:46 left, as the Berlin offense continued to find open looks with little resistance.
Mark Bednarczyk closed the third with another goal for the Redcoats, who were finding scoring up-and-down the roster. At the start of the fourth, another Redcoat earned a rare goal when Mangiafico scooped up a loose ball and beat Levesque to put Berlin ahead 16-0.
“That was awesome,” Hebert said. “That was his first varsity goal. It was nice to see him get on the field and score.”
Eastern finally broke through less than a minute after Mangiafico’s tally when Taillon crashed the front of the net, and while taking heavy contact, tumbled to the turf and bounced a shot past Fusco for Eastern’s first goal since the first game of the season. Berlin responded with three straight to close the game and beat the Lancers for the fifth year in a row.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org