LENOX -- Freshman Nicholas "Nico" Ciolfi scored a pair of goals -- including the game-winner -- as Lenox held off a resilient Holyoke Catholic team 3-1 n the first round of the Western Mass. Division IV tournament.
"The one thing about Nico is that he's very calm," said Lenox co-coach David Pugh. "When he gets the ball, he takes his time and knows what to do with it,"
The sixth-seeded Millionaires controlled play for nearly the entire contest, outshooting Catholic 33-7. But Holyoke goalie Tom Heavren was brilliant. The Millionaires quick passing game got them well within shooting range a number of times throughout the contest, but Heavren foiled most of those attempts.
Lenox advances to the quarterfinals and will play at third-seeded McCann Tech Monday afternoon.
Lenox struck first, as Dillon Benham carried the ball down the right side and slid it over the Ciolfi, who deftly belted it home at the 9:35 mark.
That scores stood up at halftime.
The No. 11 Gaels' incursions were relatively few, and their best offense came off deep punts by Heavren to his strikers, John Hannoush and John O'Hara.
O'Hara's speed in particularly was more than a little vexing early on for the Millionaire fullbacks, but the Lenox back line of Kyle Boyer, Cav Wolski and Zach Huber adjusted after about the 25-minute mark.
But that one-goal lead evaporated at the 48:49 mark of the second half. Hannoush, also a speedster, carried the ball down the right side and found O'Hara across the box. He fired it in to knot the score.
The Millionaires redoubled their efforts after that. After scoring that goal, Holyoke got off one shot over the next 23:30, while Lenox had at least nine. None of them, however, got by Heavren.
As the clock ticked under 10 minutes, the question arose whether Holyoke could hold off the Millionaires until the game could carry into the always-iffy territory of overtime.
The answer was no. At 70:41, Wolski wrested the ball from a Holyoke forward and carried up the middle. He dumped it over the Ciolfi who took possession of the ball, accelerated sharply and blasted the game-winner past a tiring Heavren.
The Millionaires might have been forgiven if they let up at that point, but they did not. With a minute left, Isaac Gotterer added the clincher, off an assist, again from Wolski.
"Tonight was not easy," said Lenox's other co-coach, Simon Borrett. "We don't see a lot of Division IV teams on our schedule. Give Holyoke credit, they played well. But we had the patience and perhaps were a little bit less tired at the end."
Holyoke 0 1 -- 1
Lenox 1 2 -- 3
L -- Nicholas Ciolfi (Dillon Benham) 9:35
H -- John O'Hara (John Hannoush) 48:49
L -- Ciolfi (Cav Wolski) 70:421
L -- Isaac Gotterer (Wolski) 39:00
Saves -- L: Trevor Hathaway 4, H: Tom Heavren 18.