A young Catonsville boys lacrosse squad ran into a Franklin team on a mission and the Indians earned a convincing 9-2 victory Wednesday night at Catonsville.
Senior attacker Blake Askenas and junior midfielder Adison Abramson each scored three goals and had an assist, and junior middie Davis Jones had a pair of goals to lead the Indians (3-2), who were coming off back-to-back losses after a pair of wins to open the season.
The first of the defeats came against six-time defending state champion Hereford in a game that was tied 9-9 in the fourth quarter.
“We were definitely ticked off about that Hereford loss,” Askenas said. “We definitely should have had that. It was a close game and we let it get away from us, and we are playing with a chip on our shoulder the rest of the season.”
Franklin followed that disappointment with an 8-4 loss to Towson two days before the Catonsville game, and the Indians decided to adopt a new approach.
“We had a little bit of a letdown Monday and since then we’ve been trying to take advantage of all of our weapons,” Franklin coach Joe Madigan said. “We are just taking the rest of the season one game at a time.”
And one faceoff at a time.
Junior Matt Weinstein (two assists) and the Indians won 11 of 14 faceoffs and set the tone for the Indians to dominate time of possession.
“With Matt Weinstein winning the faceoffs, he just brings it down and it’s so easy to posses the ball because the key to scoring is possession so it’s nice when we’ve got a good faceoff guy winning pretty much all the time,” Askenas said.
“He is phenomenal,” Madigan said. “Our team knows every day he is going to do his job and then they just need to know that they do their job.”
While the Indians stressed maintaining possession when they didn’t have a breakaway, the Comets were hindered by a rash of turnovers.
“I guarantee we had 40 turnovers,” Catonsville coach Aaron Stubbs said. Catonsville’s only goals came in the first half.
Dillon Hannah assisted Ray Rada for a score in the first quarter, and Rada assisted John Noppenberger with 5:13 left in the first half to make it 5-2.
That was the closest the Comets would get as Franklin regained the momentum when Jones scored off a Thomas Higgins assist with 2:24 left in the half.
Franklin’s defense, led by Ross Milhiser, Chase Goldstein, Barazani Chiwengo and Kevin Dick, in front of goalie Matt LIndenbaum, was steady throughout the contest.
“I give their defense credit,” Stubbs said. “They slid early and they slid to the hands, and they played a good solid game.”
Catonsville’s overworked defense of Stephen Ruppel, Jake Bredeck, Nick Ellsworth and Tommy Sadler did a credible job in front of keeper AJ Beck, but they rarely got a break.
That was just the way Franklin wanted it.
“We were trying to take long possessions and keep moving the ball around and trying to get the best look,” Askenas said “It’s basically what we were trying to do.”