Brodeur saves the day for East Lyme boys' lacrosse in win over Waterford
Waterford — It’s a bit surprising given the cutthroat atmosphere in youth sports nowadays that Eric Brodeur and Mac Fusaro’s respective families didn’t move them out of town.
Brodeur and Fusaro have known each other since grade school. They’re both juniors at East Lyme High School. They both play lacrosse. And they both play goal.
“We’ve both been goalies since third grade,” Brodeur said. “We actually had a third (goalie) in fifth grade. He stopped playing two years ago.”
The two have split time this season and, when Waterford scored six straight goals in the first quarter Thursday night to take a four-goal lead, Brodeur took over in net.
He allowed only three goals as East Lyme rallied for an 11-9 win in the only regular-season meeting between the top boys’ lacrosse programs in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.
“Mac is a great goalie, (Eric) is a great goalie,” Vikings head coach Gary Wight said. “(They’re) definitely battling for that position and having that competition is so critical; being able to have that second goalie to come in and be flawless is great."
Brodeur said, “We both know that we can just get each other up at any time; that we’ll always be there to back each other up.”
East Lyme, after scoring twice in the game’s first 37 seconds, fell behind 6-2 with five minutes, 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
“He turned the momentum for us,” Wight said. “We lost (our) energy, then Brodeur made some amazing saves. His clears were great today. He was seeing things very well, so, yeah, I think that was the turning point.”
Rob Swenson (two goals, two assists) scored with a man advantage to give the Vikings a 10-9 lead with 7:24 left in the game. Alex Jakubczak scored an insurance goal at 5:12.
The Lancers, who were tied at 7 at halftime, didn’t score in the fourth quarter.
“For us to go scoreless in a quarter with this team is unheard of,” Waterford head coach Chris Landry said. “I give (East Lyme) a lot of credit. … (Brodeur) came in and did a nice job, made some nice stops. Where we were seeing the goal really well early on, he kind of put a stop to that, and I don’t think we adjusted well.”
Connor Schofner had three goals and an assist for the Vikings (5-2) and Andrew Alden had a goal and two assists. Ryan Bellandese and Scott Galbo both scored twice, too.
“We definitely focused in on winning the ground ball game,” Brodeur said about East Lyme’s improved play down 6-2. “We settled in on defense, we got our zone defense (going), it was key there. We got a lot of turnovers because of it, and because of that, we ended up having a lot of offensive possessions.”
Logan Bowdish had three goals and two assists for Waterford (6-2) and Caleb Holdridge had two goals and two assists. Michael LaForte also had a goal and two assists.
East Lyme may have won the game, but both coaches felt that battling another quality team will benefit both in the long run.
“Coach Landry has done an amazing job with Waterford,” Wight said. “Obviously, people know about them throughout the state. … It’s great to have that competition.”
Landry said, “This is a big game for us. We love playing East Lyme. Our school loves playing East Lyme just because they’re East Lyme, which is great. And they’re good.
“We’re just trying to get a seat at the table. We haven’t beaten them. They’re still the team to beat.”
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