Gryphon lacrosse men aim to forget loss to Brock
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons will look to recover from a disappointing final game of their CUFLA field lacrosse league’s regular season when they host a playoff match Sunday.
The Gryphs were dropped 18-6 by the Brock Badgers last Sunday afternoon at the Gryphon Soccer Complex in a game that gave Brock a first place in the league’s West Division and an perceived easier path to the Baggataway Cup championship tournament at North Bay Nov. 5 to 7.
Brock 18 Guelph Gryphons 6
“Disappointing, not just about the loss, but about the way we played,” Gryphon coach Sam Kosakowski said. “We were prepared, but we didn’t come with the right mindset. We had over 18 turnovers in that game and you just can’t win at this level throwing the ball away, giving the ball away.”
The win was Brock’s 11th consecutive victory over the Gryphs.
The game was fairly even through most of the first quarter, but then Brock left the Gryphs behind.
“This game is a funny game with respect to momentum,” Kosakowski said. “Something happens that works in your favour, you’ve got to capitalize on the next opportunity and if you don’t, the momentum switches pretty quick.
“We had a great defensive stance to start the game and we went down and scored. Then they scored right away and we need to take some time off before that happens. But then we scored again and we were back at it and then we let them score an easy one and then they had a couple in a row.”
Despite the score, Cam MacLeod had a strong outing in the Guelph net, but he just couldn’t make up for the advantage in possession time that Brock enjoyed thanks to the numerous Gryphon turnovers.
“Our goalie was playing fantastic,” Kosakowski said. “Cam was standing on his head, but you can only rely on that for so long. Offensively, things weren’t clicking for us and in transition, I don’t know how many balls we threw away.”
Brock led 4-2 at the end of the first quarter, 8-3 at halftime and 13-5 after the third quarter.
Michael Berger had two goals for the Gryphs while Mitchell Ogilvie, Thomas Whitty, Mark Wilson and Jordan Ackie scored once apiece. Ogilvie had two assists and Berger, Whitty and Wilson had one each.
Alex Pace led Brock with three goals and two assists while Sam Leclair and Mitch Zullian each had three goals and one assist. Mitch Gustavson and Aidan Buis each scored twice while single goals were netted by Tyrus Rehanek, Connor Aquanno, Jack Fitzgerald, Peter Hrynuik and Nathan Braniff. Rehanek also had two assists while Gustavson, Aquanno, Dante Romano and Jeffrey Wittig each had one.
The Badgers outshot the Gryphs 37-19.
Brock finished atop the West Division standings at 5-1 while the Gryphs were second at 4-2, Western Mustangs third, also at 4-2, McMaster Marauders fourth at 2-4 and Laurier Golden Hawks fifth at 0-6.
The Gryphs won the tie-breaker with Western thanks to an 8-6 victory at home Oct. 17.
The second-place finish means the Gryphs will host Western in the division semifinals next Sunday while Brock is to host McMaster in the division’s other semifinal next Monday.
The Gryphs will look to forget all about the loss to Brock in what was their worst outing of the season as they prepare to face the Mustangs.
“That’s a big part of it. We’ve got Western coming here Sunday and Western’s going to be hungry because we beat them here (8-6 Oct. 17),” Kosakowski said. “I don’t think they were expecting to lose to us so they’re going to be grumpy about having to come here and play. I’m sure in some way they were hoping that we would win (against Brock) because then they would’ve hosted Brock (in a play-in game).
“Ultimately, though, we’ve got to shut down and forget about this and focus on forward. We know how we match up with that team. We know what we need to do to win that game. We just need to execute, which we didn’t do (against Brock) and if we can focus on execution, we can focus on doing the simple things, it’s a whole different game. The biggest challenge will be getting the guys to focus on Sunday and to forget about this.”
The Gryphs and Western are to play again at the Gryphon Soccer Complex Sunday at 1 p.m. The semifinal victors in each of the league’s three divisions advance to the Baggataway Cup tournament in North Bay where they’ll be joined by the host Nipissing Lakers.
- Guelph Sports Journal