Late goal lifts New Oxford over South Western
Alex Clabaugh tallied the winning lacrosse goal with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter
Momentum was not on New Oxford's side.
After leading South Western for much of the second half Tuesday, the Colonials allowed two straight goals that led to the Mustangs tying the game with 6:03 to play. As the clock ticked under two minutes, both teams remained deadlocked.
Still, New Oxford head coach Jason Cross had a feeling the game wasn't going to overtime.
"Both teams were going back-and-forth so much, there was no way that was going to overtime," Cross said. "I was thinking how we could use our timeouts effectively to get the right personnel on the field and maximize our opportunities.
With 1:16 to play, New Oxford junior Alex Clabaugh took advantage of a prime opportunity, firing an open shot past South Western goalie Nick Raynor for the go-ahead goal. The Colonials would hang on for 9-8 road win over their division rival.
One of the top goalies in the YAIAA, Raynor finished with 13 saves and was extremely strong in the second half. According to Clabaugh, the Colonials went into Tuesday's game focused on playing an all-around game since they knew offense would be hard to come by.
"I've played against Nick for a long time and every time you've got to make sure that you excel in other aspects of the game," Clabaugh said. "So if he's playing lights-out you can make up for it other ways. I just tried to put it where he's not."
Raynor finished Tuesday's game three saves away from breaking South Western's career saves record of 658. His next chance to break the record will be Thursday, when South Western plays Susquhannock on the road at 6 p.m.
While Cross said he's pleased with how the Colonials responded at the end of the game, he said they need to do a better job not giving up leads. New Oxford led 6-4 at halftime and 8-6 at the end of the third quarter.
"There's a lot of work to do," he said. "We took a step forward in being able to perform in the clutch, but we made some mistakes early we didn't make last week."
South Western head coach Gary Hartsock said he thought the Mustangs were in a good position to win once they tied the game in the fourth quarter, but credited New Oxford for answering at the end.
"I thought we were going to shut them down and get the ball in transition and put the ball on net so my hats off to New Oxford," Hartsock said. "Obviously they had the same plan and they outplayed us on that last possession."