Late Rally Pushes North Haven Indians' Boys’ Lacrosse Past Morgan, 11-9

Mike Halloran's four assists helped North Haven boys' lacrosse rally from a late two-goal deficit to earn a thrilling 11-9 home win versus Morgan on April 19.
Mike Halloran's four assists helped North Haven boys' lacrosse rally from a late two-goal deficit to earn a thrilling 11-9 home win versus Morgan on April 19. Photo by John Vanacore/The North Haven Courier Buy Photo

The North Haven boys' lacrosse squad locked horns with Morgan on April 19 for a duel that saw each team's offensive explode at a crucial time. In the case of the Huskies, that scoring flurry came early in the second half as Morgan turned a two-goal halftime deficit into a two-goal fourth-quarter lead. However, the Indians proved that he who rallies last rallies best as they scored four goals in the final five minutes to come away with an 11-9 win at North Haven Athletic Complex.

After Morgan scored to go up 9-7 with 5:49 to play, freshman attacker Colin Uyeki scored from Mike Halloran to get the Indians within a goal, followed by the sophomore midfielder assisting on freshman Cole Pecora's equalizer with 3:15 remaining. Sophomore Ethan Suraci then won a critical face-off to return possession to North Haven and junior midfielder Quincy Pecora capitalized by charging straight at Huskies' goalie Alex Eimutus and beating him for a 10-9 Indians' lead with just 2:27 to go. Defender Mark Zurlis then stole the ball from Morgan, setting up an insurance goal by fellow senior Alec Uyeki to seal North Haven's third straight win.

"Being down two goals just made us want the win more and coming back like this shows what can happen when we work together," said Quincy Pecora. "Mike did a great job of clearing out Morgan's long-stick middy to put me against the short stick and that helped me score the [go-ahead] goal."

Pecora scored twice with brother and attacker Cole tallying three goals with two assists for North Haven, which also received tons of offensive support from its other sibling tandem as Colin Uyeki scored four goals and attacker Alec Uyeki scored two. Meanwhile, senior first-year starting goalie Chris DeFonce made 10 saves, Halloran dished out four assists, and Andrew Babbidge-who captains the Indians with defenders Jacob Mikos and Andrew Savenelli-also notched an assist to help Bill Altman's squad earn a huge victory.

"This team never quits, they didn't lose focus, and I'm proud of them," said Altman.

North Haven went up 2-0 on goals by each Pecora brother, the first a wrap-around by Cole and the second a bouncer from Quincy. The Indians then made it 3-0 a minute into the second on Cole Pecora's goal from Halloran. Morgan then put up two quick scores, but North Haven responded with a pair as Zurlis's steal led to Alec Uyeki's over-the-back-shoulder score from Halloran, followed by Colin Uyeki's goal from Babbidge to make it 5-2 with 6:58 before halftime. The Huskies netted a goal a mere 20 seconds later to get it to 5-3 and that's the way it stood at the break.

Morgan came out fired up in the second half by scoring the first goal, followed by Colin Uyeki's goal from Cole Pecora to make it 6-4, after which the Huskies posted a pair of scores to tie the game at 6 with 4:29 left in the third quarter. Colin Uyeki's wrap-around goal from Cole Pecora returned the lead to North Haven, but Morgan then scored twice in the final 1:07 of the quarter to take an 8-7 lead into the final frame, followed by an insurance goal with 5:49 to go in the game.

However, the Huskies needed more insurance than their two-goal lead as North Haven maintained possession down the stretch to keep the ball away from Morgan's top scoring duo of Nick Testoni (2 goals, 3 assists) and Luke Alfano (2 goals, 1 assist), leading to a flurry of offensive chances and a stunning come-from-behind victory.

"We made a few bad passes that led to some goals for Morgan, but pulled ourselves together and came away with an important win," said Colin Uyeki. "This is the type of win that we can feed off the emotions of for the rest of the season."

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