By Nancy Haggerty
RYE — In what John Jay coach Tim Schurr characterized as his “breakout game,” senior middie Brandon Lee scored five times, three in the decisive third quarter Thursday, to lead the Indians to a 7-3 win over Rye.
Lee tallied two goals in the first half, which ended tied at 2-2, with momentum seemingly belonging to the Garnets.
Rye not only scored the half’s last two goals but only missed taking a one-goal lead into the break thanks to a great save by John Jay keeper Rob Looney with fewer than 10 seconds left.
But the Indians began and finished the third quarter on fire.
Senior middie Andrew Duffy scored unassisted with 10:41 left. Less than a minute later, Lee pulled in a pass from Frazier Bostwick, spun around to lose his defender, then fired a shot over Rye goalie Peter White’s right shoulder.
Three-and-a-half minutes later, Lee struck again, then he beat White again less than a minutes after that.
It wasn’t that White was having a bad day. In fact, he had 11 saves, some from in tight.
But Lee and the rest of the Indians did what the Garnets largely could not do – penetrate in the offensive zone.
Looney, who had seven saves, noted he was “doing everything he could to come up with a big save” late in the first half but had benefited all game long from good defense in front of him.
Schurr noted he changed offenses at the half, going from running set plays to giving “guys the opportunity to run a little more.”
“The second half we came out fired up… We picked up the intensity,” Lee said. “We got our middies running downhill and had a high percentage of looks.”
Rye coach Scott Dooley said John Jay, now 9-3, was able to find open men off the attack.
“They just have a very athletic team and are able to push the ball in transition,” said Dooley, whose team fell to 9-2.
“These are the games that take us to the next level – John Jay, Somers (the Garnets’ only other loss). We try to get better every day because we know we’re going to see them again in the playoffs.”
Rye’s Jack Hasselman had two goals and added an assist on a Cal Hynson goal that knotted the game at 2-2.
Shannon Smith also scored for John Jay.
But the game really belonged to Lee.
“He deserves it,” said Schurr, who noted a couple of Lee’s goals came in heavy traffic. “He works very, very hard.”