20211031 GMLAX 09

It’s November in North Bay for Gryphon lacrosse men

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons are about to find out how North Bay is on the first weekend of November.

Sunday, the Gryphons clipped the Western Mustangs 13-11 in Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association play at the Gryphon Soccer Complex to qualify for the association’s Baggataway Cup championship tournament to be held next weekend at Nipissing University in North Bay.

Guelph Gryphons 13 Western 11

The Gryphs used a pair of four-goal outbursts in the second half to rally for the victory.

“They came to play in the second half, for sure, and they did a heck of a job,” Kosakowski said. “They buckled down and they just went ‘Let’s go.’ We won the faceoff, the first draw of the second half, and that was huge and after that it was just keep going, keep going, keep going.

“What I liked about it was that when they scored, we scored. We were down two at the half and we gave up one right at the end of the second. They scored and we had a long possession and if we score it’s 5-5. But we give it up, they go down and score and now it’s 6-4.”

“It was definitely a momentum killer,” Gryphon captain Thomas Whitty said. “We thought we were playing pretty well and they got the ball in the net. But Cambo, our goalie Cam MacLeod, stood on his head second half. They got good looks and he stood on his head for us. A big thing today was the goaltending battle and we definitely won that.”

“You put yourself in a tough spot, but we talked about it at halftime,” Kosakowski said. “We’ve been in this position before. We’ve been in a spot where we’re down, so what do we do? Two goals is nothing in this game. Then we were lights out in the third. We beat them 4-1 in the third and that’s the difference in the game. We had some good shots.”

The hosts never led until Mark Wilson scored the third goal of the first four-goal outburst 16 minutes into the second half.

“We just had to capitalize,” Whitty said. “We were getting the chances and guys just started putting the ball in the net. We had a great crowd out here today, a lot of support, and the energy was high throughout the second half. Normally we come out a little slow, today we came out hot and we were ready.”

The other four-goal spree came in a seven-minute span early in the fourth quarter and broke a tie to put Guelph ahead for good.

The Gryphs had trailed 3-1 at the end of the first quarter and a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the second quarter gave Western a 6-4 lead at halftime. The Gryphs were up 8-7 after three quarters, but Western pulled even three minutes into the final quarter before Whitty hit three minutes after that goal to give the locals a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Wilson finished the game with five goals while Whitty, Ben Doherty and Connor Watson each scored twice and Matthew Sykes and Bryce Dennis added a goal apiece. Single assists were awarded to Watson, Whitty, Mitchell Ogilvie, Wilson and Dennis.

Julian Simeoni had four goals for Western while Jacob Hickey, Scott Del Zotto and Jack Accursi netted two goals apiece. Pierson Noble had the other goal while Accursi had two assists and Hickey had one.

The Gryphs outshot Western 30-29 and Guelph goalie Cameron MacLeod made 18 saves for the win. Western’s Michael Orlando had 17 saves.

The game was similar to a regular-season meeting between the teams two weeks earlier at the Gryphon Soccer Complex that the Gryphs rallied to win 8-6. The Gryphs learned a lot about themselves and about the Mustangs in that game.

“We had a better focus on what they were going to do offensively,” Kosakowski said. “We had a better idea what we wanted to do in certain situations, which we did. Faceoffs, we did a great job on draws.”

“That game, it was an 8-6 game and we thought we should be up 14-9 or 10 in that game,” Whitty said. “We had a lot of chances in that game and we just didn’t put the ball in the net and today we did. I think that’s just the story of the game. Our shooters were hot today and the ball went in the net.”

In other Baggataway Cup play-in games, Bishop’s Gaiters tripled Carleton Ravens 18-6 Saturday, Queen’s Gaels doubled Ottawa Gee-Gees 14-7 Sunday and Trent Excalibur slipped by the Toronto Varsity Blues 8-7 in overtime Sunday.

Brock Badgers were to host McMaster Marauders Monday evening.

The Baggataway Cup is to start with quarterfinals Friday. Semifinals are set for Saturday with the championship match slated to go Sunday at 2 p.m.

Pairings will be decided following the completion of Monday’s game, but the Gryphs are expecting to play an opponent they haven’t faced this year.

“Now we’ve got to watch some game film because we don’t know who we’re playing this weekend,” Kosakowski said. “We’ve got to get a sense of who we’re playing and what their strengths and weaknesses are because we’re going to be playing someone we haven’t played before. That’s No. 1. No. 2, the thing is, and I’ve said this to the boys, there’s nothing else we can teach them.

“It’ll be game situational stuff. It’ll be tweaking some things to do some stuff, but the bottom line is that we can’t play the game for them and we can’t do anything for them on the field. You know what? You’ve got to go and play now so everything you’ve been taught you have to go and execute. That’s what we talked about, execution. When we’re not at our best we’re not executing.”

“We don’t really know a lot about any of them,” Whitty said. “We know a few players on some teams and some key guys to look out for, but in the end we stick to our game. We have a game plan that we stick to and they have to play to us. At the end of the day, we have to finish, we have to capitalize and if Cambo plays like (he did Sunday), we’ll do well.”


  • Guelph Sports Journal