DEXTER — In the midst of playing three games over the course of three days, General Brown’s boys lacrosse team’s showing Friday wasn’t exactly an offensive masterpiece for senior Corey O’Connor and his teammates.
Yet the Lions outlasted rival South Jefferson to claim an 8-4 victory in a Frontier League game on a rainy evening at Fisher Field.
O’Connor and sophomore midfielder Gabe Malcolm each scored two goals and assisted on another to lead a balanced attack for General Brown.
“It feels pretty good,” O’Connor, an attackman and co-captain, said. “We’re all right, the defense is solid, we just have to work on the offense a little bit and get some things rolling.”
The Lions, who defeated Jordan-Elbridge, 22-5, on Thursday at home, won their fourth consecutive game and improved to 4-1, including 3-0 in the league.
“It’s going great,” General Brown senior goalie Joe Clement said. “With COVID and everything, I think the whole team wanted to make the most out of this opportunity that we had and have a season. I think guys are really invested, trying to work hard and put something together here and have a good season.”
Clement, playing in his first varsity season, made 10 saves to record the win.
“This is my first varsity experience ever,” Clement said. “And it took a while to get used to the game speed and play with all the guys, some of the guys I haven’t played with before. The other guys have really helped me along a lot, the returning seniors have really helped me just buy in and be ready for whatever comes our way.”
In contrast, South Jefferson played its first game this season after the start of their campaign was delayed because of various factors, including a large portion of the team being under quarantine.
“Oh my God yes, it’s nice to get out here,” South Jefferson coach Randy Fuller said. “It’s been crazy, with the quarantine and football season cut short and guys had to quarantine amongst themselves. But this was awesome just to get out on the field.”
General Brown gradually took control in the first half by scoring the first three goals of the game and the last three goals of the second quarter to lead 7-2 by halftime.
“The thing is that we have three kids with varsity experience on a 25-man roster,” General Brown coach Rich Purvis said. “So the younger kids are getting accustomed, we’re starting to get some contributions from the underclassmen. We have 11 seniors on the team, one senior on offense is a returning player and two seniors on defense are returning players, so that’s it.”
The Lions, up by five, would generate only one goal the rest of the way on O’Connor’s tally with 1:44 left in the third quarter.
“We just have to put it together, too many turnovers tonight, a little sloppy,” Purvis said. “Great first half, but we have to score more than one goal in the second half.”
One player on South Jefferson, goalie Tim Williams, has plenty of varsity experience and finished with 14 saves, keeping General Brown at bay for much of the second half.
“For the first time playing, they played pretty good,” O’Connor said of South Jefferson. “Their defense locked us down pretty good and their goalie of course is good, Tim Williams is solid. But our offense just wasn’t there, we’ve got to get some things going.”
“He looked great,” Fuller said of Williams. “He made some great saves in the second half, he really got warmed up.”
Sophomore Ethan Hopkins scored all four goals to lead South Jefferson, including a man-up tally.
Clement and Purvis both credited the Lions’ defense, led by senior co-captain and long-stick midfielder Brennen Derouchie and senior defender Josh Bonham-Kovalik.
“Our defense was super awesome, they played really well,” Clement said. “The offense scored the goals that we needed to win tonight.”
The Lions have allowed only 32 goals over the past four games, holding the opposition to single digits in goals in each outing.
Jaren Peckham contributed a goal and an assist for General Brown and Hayden Coney, Carter Hunt and Devin Guerriero tallied a goal each.
South Jefferson didn’t start practicing fully as a team until last Friday and was required to have six full practices before it could begin its season.
“We started practice with everybody else on (April 19), but we had 11 guys and we had 10 guys quarantined,” Fuller said. “Our first practice together was last Friday. We’re trying to make the most of it.”
Fuller continued: “This was our first game, we had no scrimmages, we hadn’t seen another team. So a lot of the mistakes that happened tonight I think were things that you hopefully would pick up in a scrimmage. But I saw some of our guys really step up tonight.”
General Brown will continue its busy week when it hosts LaFayette at 3 p.m. today in a nonleague game.
The Lions have gone unbeaten since they lost at Tully on 11-10 in their season opener on April 27 in a game decided in the final seconds.
“It feels nice that we have a whole season together, I think we have a total of 16 games,” said O’Connor, who entered the game leading the Frontier League in goals (18), assists (14) and points (32). “It just feels good to be out playing again, we haven’t played in a while.”