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Windham rallies past Hollis/Brookline

Special to the Union Leader

April 17. 2018 11:32PM

WINDHAM — It was an early-season battle of unbeatens, and it did not disappoint.

The Windham boys’ lacrosse team came from two goals down in the final 8:37 and capped the comeback with an overtime winner to defeat Hollis/Brookline 7-6 in Division II action on Tuesday. The Jaguars improved to 3-0 while the Cavaliers dropped to 2-1.

“They never lost sight of what was important to them,” Windham coach Joe Young said. “We felt from the beginning that this was our game to win. Once you get a couple of bad calls going the other way it’s easy to drop it, but they didn’t.”

The winner came 3:47 into overtime when freshman Leo Piandes drove past a defender, cut left and dropped a shot into the cage.

“He’s a great player,” Windham senior captain Noah Rust said of Piandes. “He’s going to become better.”

Piandes’ goal capped a thrilling Windham comeback that started midway through the fourth quarter when Tyler Folsom put in his second goal to make it 6-5 Hollis. Rust tied the game with 4:46 left when he fired his second goal of the game into the back of the cage past Hollis/Brookline goalie Garrett Moloney.

“We haven’t beaten Hollis in four years,” Rust said. “I’ve never beaten Hollis until (today). It’s great for our team. They always give us a good battle. They’re fun games to play in.”

The Jaguars buckled down on the defensive end when they had to. Windham allowed only one shot on goal in the final 12:24 of the game. Windham was plus-two in turnovers and won ground balls 29-23.

Along with the defense, Phil Tsoukalas did everything he could for Windham. The junior faceoff specialist won 12 of 17 faceoffs for the Jaguars.

“We were pretty confident in what the game plan was going to be defensively,” Young said. “We’ve seen them before, and we felt like this was a team that defensively we’ve given them a lot of space in the past and it’s bitten us. For us to execute well today means a lot.”

Moloney did everything he could for the Cavaliers, turning aside 11 Windham shots, but it wasn’t enough. Hollis/Brookline turned the ball over 22 times and had a rough time clearing the ball, especially late in the game.

Quentin Wimmer had a pair of goals for the Cavaliers.

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Hollis/Brookline coach Rich MacDonough said. “Our goalie played a standout game. We pressed it into traffic too much, hung our sticks. Three guys had to leave the game due to injuries, and that completely fouled up our midfield lines. I think there wasn’t enough chemistry out there in those critical moments.”

Sports Lacrosse Brookline Hollis Windham