Holmdel, N.J. - Overtime has been a common thing for the Holmdel High School boys lacrosse team this season.
Coming back from a two goal deficit in the fourth quarter, the Hornets entered their third overtime of the season tied 8-8 with Middletown North on Saturday. Splitting the two previous extra session contests, Holmdel notched its second overtime win of the year with Freshman Kyle Kapcsos coming up in the clutch for the Hornets.
Rolling around the net, Kapcsos eluded two Middletown North defenders and rocketed a shot right into the net for the game-winning goal with 27 seconds left in overtime to help Holmdel win its fourth game of the season 9-8.
“I had the ball and Coach (Quinn) told me we were short on time, so I just took it to the net and it went in,” Kapcsos said. “Feels great to score a game-winning goal. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
The comeback win for the Hornets wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the clutch play of senior Justin Cohen in the fourth quarter.
His team staring at a two-goal deficit with less than seven minutes to play, the senior stepped up big time for the Hornets.
After Middletown North goalie Joey Dam made a nice save on a Holmdel shot, Cohen was right there in front of the net to pick up the rebound and knock it home to cut the deficit to 8-7 with 5:28 left in regulation.
Almost two minutes later, Cohen rose up to the big moment for the Hornets. After losing the handle for a moment at the top of the key with the ball, Cohen was able to regroup and drive past a couple Middletown North defenders to slash in a goal with 3:33 left to play to tie the game at 8-8.
“I lost the handle and ran through to get the ground ball and saw that I had a gap to pull the trigger,” Cohen said. “I thought one of their defenders got me with a stick check, but the shot got through and was able to get in.”
Cohen added in a team-high two assists to go along with his two huge fourth quarter goals.
Entering the fourth quarter, it was a back-and-forth affair between Middletown North and Holmdel.
Middletown North’s Pete Abbes knocked in the game’s first goal and helped the Lions grab a 4-3 lead with his second goal of the game with 6:27 to go in the first half.
Off a turnover in the Middletown North zone, Tom Ilvento was able to pick up the loose ground ball and find Aidan Lagana for a Holmdel goal with 3:24 left in the first half that made it a 4-4 tie going into halftime.
Holmdel tied it up 6-6 going into the fourth quarter after Quinn Aker scored his only goal for Middletown North, seeing Ryan Bradley laser in his second goal of the game with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Lions took the lead once again with Billy Golubinski scoring his second goal of the contest and were able to extend it to two goals, thanks to Abbes scoring his game-high fourth goal of the contest with 8:30 to go in regulation.
“(Holmdel) ran a zone defense and we were able to move the ball around well to get open looks at the net,” Abbes said. “Most of my goals were assisted. My teammates did a great job helping me out.”
Abbes now has a team-leading 16 goals on the season.
Aker dished out a game-high three assists to go along his goal scored in the third quarter.
Joe Blackwood had a goal scored in the game for the Lions, while teammate Connor North had an assist in the loss.
Dam had eight saves in net for Middletown North.
Middletown North is now 3-2 on the season. The Lions will look to get back in the win column on Monday when they face off against Jackson Memorial.
“I think we have the potential to have a good season,” said Middletown North boys lacrosse coach Jason Pino. “The games we’ve lost this season have come off giving away second chance opportunities to our opponents, especially late in the games. If we can clean those things up, we can definitely make some noise this season.”
Down two goals and in the midst of playing their fourth game in five days, the Hornets didn’t let down and with the help of Cohen rallied back to force overtime.
Holmdel almost won it just under two minutes to go in overtime, but Ilvento’s shot was knocked away by Dam.
Going down to the other end, Middletown North thought they had the game won, however the shot went outside the net and Holmdel was still alive.
On the next possession with time running down under 30 seconds in overtime, the young freshman Kapcsos showed he has a bright future ahead of him with taking the game into his own hands and knocking home his second goal of the game to send the Holmdel faithful happy.
“I’ve know (Kyle) for awhile and knew he was going to be a special player,” said Holmdel boys lacrosse coach Brendan Quinn. “This win speaks to the type of games we’ve been in this year. This a working group. We’re a young team, but the seniors we have are great leaders. We just keep our heads down and keep working. Very proud of them.”
Kapcsos also had an assist in the win for Holmdel.
Ilvento had a goal to go along with his assist in the second quarter for the Hornets.
Dan Tempone scored a goal in the win for Holmdel.
Holmdel goalie Nick Tuccillo racked up a game-high 10 saves in net.
Holmdel will look to win a season-high three games in a row when they face Neptune on Wednesday.
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports