BOULDER —- Both the Boulder and Dawson School boys lacrosse teams were looking Wednesday to pick up the pieces left behind after season-opening setbacks.
While the Panthers still appear to be a little unkempt after the two teams met at Recht Field, the Mustangs were explosive offensively and full of hustle on defense in a 14-7 victory to get them on the winning track.
Looking back at last season, Dawson School got off to a slow start losing its first three games of the year. Eli Negrelli and his teammates did not want history to repeat itself in 2014.
Negrelli scored five goals and added an assist, and Chase Brown also netted four goals for the Mustangs, who lost to Aspen by a 16-10 count to start the year.
“We knew it was going to be tough, but we all played as a whole and were not selfish, and our defense played incredible,” Negrelli said. “We’ve worked really hard to get our sticks where they need to be, and I think that has helped get us prepared for the beginning of the season.”
On offense, though, the core of the effort was patience and biding time until the right seams opened, and the Mustangs showed off their talent around the cage. Several of Brown’s goals came from back-to-front drives, perfecting the jump shot against Boulder goalie Jonny Coletta.
In fact, Dawson only had three assists among their goals.
“We liked some of our matchups … and if we had a run, we took it,” Negrelli said.
Dawson’s effort was bolstered by goalie Sam Martin, who stopped some early shots point-blank as the Mustangs jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first and 7-1 after two quarters.
Martin finished with 20 saves.
“(Martin) is playing with more and more composure, being a senior captain he’s been in these situations before,” said Dawson coach Pete Devlin. “He was ready for it today.
“Our kids practice really hard, and I think it showed in the game. We spend a lot of time dodging and shooting, and we had some good individual efforts today.”
Ian Oden scored four goals for Boulder, using his size to power in down low for some good looks. He and Connor Fox showed some good chemistry, but the Panthers missed a few close shots in addition to getting stuffed by Martin.
Boulder got to within 7-3 early in the third quarter, but couldn’t score more than twice consecutively before the Mustangs answered. In two games, the Panthers have just 12 goals.
“We’re young and have good talent, but we just need to start developing and knowing where each other’s going to be at,” Oden said. “We need to start picking it up on offense and protecting the ball better.”
“We need to do a better job of getting it to our offensive end and settling it down,” said first-year Boulder head coach Collin Knowles. “They out-worked us, out-hustled us, got all the ground balls and their goalie played well.”
Dawson School 14, Boulder 7
At Recht Field
Dawson School 4 3 4 3 — 14
Boulder 0 1 4 2 — 7
Goals — Dawson School: Eli Negrelli 5, Chase Brown 4, Wyatt Watts 3, Alex Aleu 2; Boulder: Ian Oden 4, Jack Heyman 1, Zack Brode 2.
Assists — Dawson School:Jesse Rosenblatt 2, Negrelli; Boulder: Connor Fox 3.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Dawson School: Sam Martin (43-7-20), Chad Dunnel (5-0-3); Boulder: Jonny Coletta (48-14-7).