BROOKLIN LACROSSE CLUB RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS
By Sam Laskaris
The Brooklin Lacrosse Club had been averaging close to 15 goals per outing during its first half dozen contests in the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Classic. The Brooklin squad, however, only managed to score six times on Tuesday. But that was still good enough to register a victory as the club eked out a 6-5 triumph over Owen Sound Lacrosse.
Austin Murphy scored the game winner by netting the only goal of the fourth quarter with just over three minutes remaining.
By picking up the two points Brooklin’s record improved to 6-1 in the five-team Classic. All matches in the five-week tournament, which concludes on Thursday night, have been staged at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.
All participating clubs in the tourney will play eight games each. Though an over-all champion will not be declared, Brooklin, which registered five straight wins before tasting defeat for the first time last Tuesday in a 15-14 setback versus the Six Nations Chiefs, is guaranteed of finishing atop the standings.
Jason Crosbie, who handled the head coaching duties for the Brooklin squad on Tuesday, was among those who was not anticipating a low-scoring affair. “Both offences were a little bit suspect, especially ours,” Crosbie said. “Our execution was poor and our pace was poor.” Murphy’s game-winner, off a decently long shot, was the only time Brooklin led in Tuesday’s game. His shot managed to trickle behind Owen Sound goalie Rylan Hartley and over the goal line.
Crosbie said his club had numerous much better opportunities to score but were frequently thwarted on the night. “The karma gods gave us a goal when maybe we shouldn’t have had one,” Crosbie said of Murphy’s winner. Brooklin had fallen behind early as Owen Sound scored the first three goals. Justin Robinson then got Brooklin onto the scoresheet with the final marker of the opening quarter.
Owen Sound also led by a pair of goals at halftime, 5-3, as the two squads both netted a pair of goals each in the second quarter. Connor Kearnan and Ryan MacSpadyen were the Brooklin marksmen.
Brooklin netminder Nick Damude earned the W between the pipes by not allowing a single goal past him in the second half.
Meanwhile, Brooklin’s Dan Michel and Jeff Wittig both found the back of the net in the third quarter to deadlock the score at 5-5 heading into the final 15 minutes of action.
Crosbie wasn’t surprised to see his charges keep Owen Sound off the scoreboard for the entire second half. “We were playing well defensively,” he said of the opening 30 minutes. “Obviously if you let in five goals in a half that’s good. The bad part is we only got three.”
Crosbie was also pleased to see his side come out on top in its first real defensive battle in the Classic. “The defence locked it down in the second half and that’s how we won,” he said. While Brooklin has one Classic game remaining, Owen Sound was hoping to finish with a .500 record. But with Tuesday’s loss the team will end up with a 3-5 record.
Brooklin will play its final Classic match Thursday against the Oakville Rock. The opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m.