Being in comeback mode right off the opening goal wasn’t at all what Orange boys lacrosse coach Sean Hughes was looking for, but the Pioneers fought back.
Orange fell behind 5-0 in the second quarter and 6-1 at the half, but after rallying in the third and fourth quarters to tie the game, Dublin Scioto scored the final three goals of the game and defeated the Pioneers 10-7 in an Ohio High School Lacrosse Association Division II Regional play-in game Wednesday at Pioneer Field.
“This team’s had a track record of starting slow this season, and, unfortunately for us, this isn’t the game you want to do that in,” Hughes said. “We made a few adjustments at halftime, and when we came back out, the offense started clicking and we tied it up.”
Orange (7-10) had trouble stopping Dublin Scioto (3-10) senior attacker Sean Thum, whose quickness and quick strike ability landed him a game-high six goals on the night.
“Thum is their guy,” Hughes said. “He’s a really good attack man and he plays middie also. He’s their go-to guy and we just couldn’t stop him. He had a couple moves we didn’t expect and he played well tonight.”
Thum started the scoring in the first period with a shot from the middle off a pass from teammate Joey Monda, and had four of the first seven Scioto goals of the game, helping the Irish to a 6-1 halftime lead and a 7-2 lead early in the third quarter.
Orange junior midfielder Taylor Hardy broke Scioto’s five-goal burst with an unassisted goal with 5:33 in the second quarter, and senior midfielder Alex Titus took a pass from the left side from junior midfielder Dan Bull just under two minutes into the third to cut the deficit to four.
Thum added his fourth goal just over two minutes later to push the Irish lead back to five, but the Pioneers’ offense began to put more and more shots on net in the period. Orange shot 14 times and put 11 on goal in the third, helping the comeback.
Junior attacker Mitchell Deakins scored off a pass from junior attacker Blake Holbrook to again slice the deficit to four with 6:41 left in the period, and senior middie Ryan Haugh scored unassisted with 3:41 left in the third.
Deakins would score again in the final two minutes of the period, his second coming off a feed from Bull with 1:25 left, trimming Scioto’s lead to 7-5 after three.
Orange wasted no time getting the offense going again early in the fourth, scoring just 19 seconds into the period when Titus fed Bull on the right side, and Bull put it past Irish goalie Michael Turnbull.
Less than two minutes later, the comeback was complete, as sophomore midfielder Jarrod Gilliam scooped up a loose ball near the net and put it past Turnbull, tying the game at seven with 9:58 to go.
But the Irish dominated the offensive attack after that, firing seven shots to the Pioneers’ one the rest of the way and holding a 3-1 advantage in shots on goal. Thum scored his sixth and seventh goals just over five minutes apart in the final six-plus minutes, with Scioto’s Trey Moore adding another off a pass from teammate Nolan Lee in between, to wrap it up.
“We got into a couple things late in the fourth quarter where we out of our offense,” Hughes said. “You’re never pleased with a loss, but I was pleased how our kids fought back tonight.”
Deakins’ two goals topped the Orange offense. Bull added a goal and two assists, Titus a goal plus one assist, and Hardy, Haugh and Gilliam added a goal apiece. Holbrook added his one assist.
Orange junior goalie Cody Carroll faced 31 shots and 17 on goal, and closed the night with seven saves. Turnbull had 14 saves for the Irish, as Orange finished with 32 shots on the night, 21 on goal.