CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham made it clear that it would not take any games lightly in its boys lacrosse state tournament run as the Cougars came out with a commanding 18-0 victory over Nutley on Wednesday at Cougar Field.
“State tournament is lose and you go home,” Chatham head coach Tony Calandra said. “We want to make sure that every game we play from here on out we’re giving it our best effort.”
As the rain poured down, the floodgates seemed to open for Chatham’s offense as they found the back of the net 10 times in the first period. Nate Carson opened scoring for the Cougars with an unassisted goal before the ‘dynamic duo’ of Austin Pierce and Mac Bredahl linked up for Pierce’s first goal of the game. Bredahl recorded three assists and two goals and Pierce notched two goals and an assist in the first period before Chatham’s subs stepped in.
Jack Byrd, Pat Cosgrove, Kevin Whiteman and Evan Gavalakis added to the scoring in the thunderous first period for Chatham (15-6).
Ryan Chase opened the second period with an unassisted rip to the top corner from outside the fan. Frankie Anello recorded two goals before Chase finished the period with another blast from distance.
Anello, Will Olson, Michael Nall and Colin Hart scored for Chatham in the second half in which the Cougars focused on possession and let the running clock wind down. Hart, who dominated faceoffs for Chatham scored his first varsity career goal.
“It feel great to get the first goal and it was a good game," Hart said. "Hopefully, I can continue playing at the varsity level. It was fun out there.”
Chatham’s defense faced little threat, but shut down any scoring opportunities leaving Nutley (4-14) with only one shot on goal saved by Jack O’Neill to preserve the shutout.
"The key thing is that we move on. You can’t afford to take a step back because the next game you lose is your last one," Calandra said. “They’ve played well all year and as we play through the season we want to be playing our best lacrosse at this time in the year."