Boys Wopo Pulls Off Big Menlo Win
The Bears faced cross-town rival Menlo School Wednesday night in a league game, pulling off a historic victory, as this was the first time M-A has defeated Menlo in several years.
Although sufficiently rallied-up for the big game, the Bears got off to a slow start, failing to claim the first possession, and allowing 2 goals against before they could get on the board, thus giving Menlo the opportunity to pull ahead early with 3 and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
After several unsuccessful possessions for both teams, junior Evan McClelland drew a 5-meter penalty shot with 1 minute remaining in the quarter. Senior Morgan Olson-Fabbro scored the penalty opportunity, leaving the Bears with a one-goal deficit. Failing to back down, McClelland stole the ball during Menlo’s following possession, which led to a goal from senior Jason Mouchawar with 29 seconds to go.
The quarter ended with a 2-2 tie, exhibiting the equal play by both teams in the first quarter, which would continue for the rest of the hard-fought game.
With the desire to pull ahead early in the second quarter, the Bears won the sprint and Fabbro scored a quick goal during the first possession. Menlo promptly retaliated with a goal less than 15 seconds later.
Tied once more, senior Zach Deal, hungry for a goal to bring the Bears ahead, drew a 6 on 5 advantage play. With relentless defense, Menlo stole the ball during the Bears’ power play, thus stifling a vital scoring opportunity for M-A. Deal replicated this play and robbed Menlo of a 6 on 5 goal less than a minute later.
Unsatisfied with their wasted opportunities, Menlo finally put away a goal with 3 minutes left in the quarter. Fabbro answered back 2 minutes later, tying the game once again. Menlo pulled ahead at the end of the half with 5 goals to the Bears’ four, after a successful 6 on 5 advantage play in the last 3 seconds.
Deal won the sprint again at the start of the third quarter, but Menlo stole the possession before the shot clock ran out. Fabbro blocked Menlo’s shot, and followed up with a goal for the Bears 2 minutes in. Menlo bounced back, capitalizing on a 6 on 5 opportunity, bringing them into the lead once again a minute later.
Fabbro scored 30 seconds later, and assisted senior Harrison Holland-McCowan’s goal with 2 minutes to go in the quarter. Menlo then tied the game again with 22 seconds left, but sophomore John Knox brought the Bears into the lead, 8-7, at the end of the 3rd with a goal with less than 2 seconds remaining.
Deal claimed the first possession for the third time in the game in the last period of play, and Fabbro quickly scored off of an assist from Knox. After Knox blocked Menlo’s shot, McClelland exploited the Menlo defense and scored on a counter attack, bringing the Bears ahead by 3 goals, the biggest score-difference of the game thus far.
Menlo closed the gap with a goal on their next possession, but Knox brought it back to a 3-point game with a goal 1 and a half minutes later. Menlo fiercely retaliated with 2 consecutive goals, reducing their deficit to 1 goal with a minute remaining.
With 32 seconds left on the shot clock, the Bears played keep away, leaving Menlo 2 seconds to tie the game. Although Menlo got off a good shot in the last second, goalkeeper, junior Peter Berquist, blocked the shot, securing an 11-10 victory for the Bears.
M-A fans immediately stormed the pool, jumping in fully clothed to celebrate the historical win, as Berquist commented it “was probably the biggest game of the year.”
Dante added, “whoever wins this game, usually wins league so it was a big deal.” “And they are really our arch rival,” he added, “we play them every year and we have not beaten them in quite awhile. So, I’m really proud, I think the guys just played a super game,” and he continued by recognizing Fabbro as the standout player of the game.
With this victory under their belt, the Bears put themselves in a strong position to fulfill their goal to win league.