CHATHAM, NJ - Taking advantage of your chances sounds simple, but for the Chatham boys' lacrosse team, it wasn't that easy.
The Cougars had several opportunities in the first half during Thurday's game against Glen Ridge, but only came away with a 3-1 lead at halftime.
"We could have easily had five or six goals in the first half," said Chatham Head Coach Anthony Calandra.
In the second half, Glen Ridge took advantage of their opportunities and the Cougars saw that two-goal lead end in a 6-4 loss in a battle of two very good lacrosse teams.
"We did not put away our shots," said Calandra. "We should be able to win the game by just giving up six goals."
The loss at home dropped Chatham to 9-5 and had lost the last two games by a total of three goals. On Monday the Cougars lost 6-5 at Summit.
Chatham will take on Hunterdon Central on Saturday. In addition the Cougars will be starting their drive next week for a Morris County crown as the number one seed in the Morris County Tournament.
Chatham received a goal each from Kyle Howard-Johnson, David Gill, Sam Carson and Matt Prata against Glen Ridge.
While the Cougars were struggling offensively, Calandra lauded the play of goalie Corey Fritts along with the defense led by Thomas Stephan, Will Weichert and Owen Hewes. "Defensively, we did well," said Calandra who pointed out that the lone goal in the first half came on an own goal in the first six minutes of the game that gave the Ridgers a 1-0 lead.
After scoring three unanswered goals in the first half, the Cougars were ahead 3-1. "I just told them that we need to continue to move the ball and get opportunities," said Calandra.
The halftime lead evaporated at the start of the fourth quarter when Glen Ridge's Matt Lander fired a shot by Cougars Corey Fritts.
But Chatham regained the upper hand five minutes later when Joe Ritter fed Prata in front and shot it by Glen Ridge goalie Shane Doss for a 4-3 Cougars lead.
Chatham's failure in completing its opportunities finally came to roost and the Ridgers took advantage of it by scoring three unanswered goals in the finally four minutes of the game.
After the Ridgers went up 5-4 with four minutes left in the game, there was still time for the Cougars would get the equalizer.
But Glen Ridge controlled the face-offs and limited the chances for Chatham to get the equalizer.
Instead the Ridgers scored a pair of goals and ended the Cougars chances of winning the game.