A hot start and solid finish proved the right formula in producing a 7-4 victory for the Christopher High lacrosse team over York on a warmer-than-usual Friday in Gilroy.
“We lost to them last week, so we really tried to be ready to play them again today,” CHS head coach Tim Pirozzoli said. “They really stepped up today and played more as a team as opposed to individual players.”
Jeremy Botil tallied the lone goal of the first quarter, but the Cougars were just heating up. CHS twice capitalized on man-up situations in a four-goal second quarter that staked the home team to a 5-1 halftime advantage.
DJ Campos netted a pair of goals in the quarter, while Manny Avila and Patrick Mank accounted for the others.
“I’m always stressing that we have to start strong and finish strong and they did that today,” Pirozzoli said.
The Cougars, though, had to weather a York surge in the third quarter before getting their opportunity to close out the win, as the Falcons rattled off three unanswered goals to cut into the deficit, 5-4, entering a fourth quarter.
“Coming into the second half, they tend to do that kind of thing where there is that let down,” Pirozzoli said. “But they sucked it back up in the fourth quarter.”
With the outcome in limbo and the Cougars clinging to the one-goal lead, Botil and Mank provided the insurance needed for a 7-4 cushion that stood to the final horn.
“We just had to stay poised. We had to settle. We were rushing it a bit,” Campos said of the Cougars’ ability to shake out of the third-quarter rut and awaken once again in the fourth. “But once we settled it and worked our offense, we started to get some openings. Lacrosse is about being patient.”
With five league games left, plus a tournament, the Cougars are 3-6 and gaining momentum.
“We are finally coming together as a team – gelling, I guess you could say,” Pirozzoli said.