Sunday May 5, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- Both Taconic and Pittsfield brought dark demons with them to the lacrosse field on a sunny day at Taconic High School.

The Generals worked their way past another slow start while the Braves' offensive struggles were in full view in a 9-5 Pittsfield victory on Saturday.

"We just had to pick it up mentally," said Generals junior Alex Teichert. "At the beginning, it was a struggle to get going. Once we got it mentally, we picked it up. We started scoring more goals and working as a team better."

Teichert picked apart the Braves from behind the cage, finishing with three goals and four assists. All but one of those assists came from the second quarter on when Pittsfield outscored the hosts 8-3. The game was tied with 75 seconds to go in the first half, but Taconic would not score again until the final minutes of the game.

Matt Duane and Mike Perkett had two goals each for the Braves. Taconic struggled to transition from good saves by goalie Jake Novik to offensive attacks, particularly in the second half. Pittsfield held the Braves scoreless for most the second half. Nick Whitaker finally punched one in with three minutes, 49 seconds to play.

"I wish I had an answer for [the offense]," said Braves coach Bill O'Brien Garvey. "We continuously drop the ball and lose the ground ball. I don't know what to do.


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Pittsfield coach Scott Aitken was equally dumbfounded by another slow start. The Generals trailed 2-1 after the first quarter before piling up four goals in the second period. When Taconic tied the game late in the half, Dan Tagliaferro gave Pittsfield (7-3 overall, 6-2 league) the halftime lead, scoring with 59 seconds left. Tagliaferro finished with four goals and an assist.

"We took shots [early] but they just aren't good shots," Aitken said. "The goalie made some saves, but we also threw a lot by the net or some we threw right at him. If you can try to get through their heads, if they finish those opportunities, you can put away a team earlier. Maybe they like the excitement."

The Braves (4-6, 3-5) have their own offensive struggles to contend with. Some of Taconic's best offensive moves came when Duane took the ball the length of the field himself. Clean passing was harder to come by when the Braves needed a clear.

O'Brien-Garvey said his team just needs to work on passing and possessing better, something he said they've only done well once this season, a 14-5 win over Chicopee Comp on Wednesday.

"The thing that really hurts us is the transitions," Duane said. "Not many people, they're not really used to it. We can still build off that. Most of the time nobody's open and the defenseman has to struggle and run it up the field themselves."

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Pittsfield 9, Taconic 5

Pittsfield 1 4 3 1 -- 9

Taconic 2 2 0 1 -- 5

Pittsfield goals -- Dan Tagliaferro 4, Alex Teichert 3, Brendan Leary, Allen Chague.

Pittsfield assists -- Teichert 4, Tagliaferro, Leary.

Taconic goals -- Mike Perkett 2, Matt Duane 2, Nick Whitaker.

Taconic assists -- Perkett, Duane.

Saves -- P: Zach Rahilly 5; Jake Novik 24.