By Mike Dougherty
BEDFORD — Every team opens the season with the same goal.
Fox Lane is hoping for a lengthy postseason run, and the Foxes did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm Wednesday, cashing in a string of critical ground balls to pull away from Nyack and post an 11-4 win.
The butterflies are gone.
“We believe this is a team that can go far,” Fox Lane attackman Adam Markhoff said. “The goal is to be in White Plains (for the Class B finals) in June, so we definitely feel very confident going into the season. We know that we have the manpower to put down some very good teams.”
It’s hard to knock ambition.
The Indians (0-2) would like to start over, knowing that a couple of basic corrections need to be made before they can be considered a threat.
“You would think it would be simple to fix,” Nyack coach Eamon DePeter said. “We’ve been working on it the last few days. Pleasantville was very good on Saturday and it was apparent the ground balls were an issue then. It was ground balls and clears again. We played basically three and a half quarters of defense today.”
And that formula can lead to frustration.
Zach Wolosoff and Max Stern quickly got the Foxes in front, but Nyack worked back within a goal when Brennan Ramos took advantage of a defensive mix up, and got even when Daniel Miaunni scored in the first minute of the second quarter.
Fox Lane remained very patient.
Cullen Morgan, a freshman who also had an impressive day handling faceoffs, went spinning back to the middle and gave the Foxes a 3-2 lead. Scott Baber then set up Andrew Harrison, stretching the lead with 7:08 to go in the half.
The lead might’ve been larger, but Indians goalie Will Ramos kept getting in the way.
Fox Lane seemed to have a hard time figuring out the eighth-grader who finished with 14 saves, but the pressure increased after the intermission.
“There are no real excuses,” said Stern, who finished with three goals and one assist. “Once we realized the ball doesn’t go through the stick, we all got a little happier and the coaches got a little happier.”
Nyack edged closer when Brennan scored his second goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but the rest of the quarter belonged to the Foxes, who gobbled up ground ball after ground ball. The scoring chances that hard work created were not wasted.
Stern fed Markhoff then Markhoff fed Stern.
The Indians could not win a faceoff. Markhoff scored again, then Baber made it an 8-3 lead when he bounced a shot past Ramos with 49 seconds to go in the third.
“All of those possessions were very key,” Markhoff said.
Nyack was getting run down.
“It wasn’t like it was really tiring,” Indians defenseman Chris Woodburn said. “It was just disappointing. Everybody was trying to come out hard, and we just couldn’t get the (ground balls) we needed.”
Zach Soriano finally ended the run, but Stern answered within seconds to make it 9-4. Baber and Will Quaranta finished the scoring for the Foxes.