RALEIGH — Leesville Road’s boys’ lacrosse team was all too familiar with falling behind early against Conference 4 foe Broughton.
But unlike Monday’s loss at Broughton, the Pride recovered to hand the Caps their first conference loss Wednesday with a 10-9 overtime win.
Leesville Road senior captain Drew Farrell curled around Broughton sophomore Austen Bell in the final minute of the first overtime period and found just enough space to fire a shot past Caps keeper Paxton Massarelli for the winning goal.
“This is huge considering me and all my captains have started the program up from our club year our freshman year,” Farrell said of the third-year varsity program. “We got it started and didn’t think that we were maybe going to be a varsity team until our senior year. .... We have built up our program to be what it is now and we wanted to come out and beat Broughton. I’m speechless.”
Broughton has dominated the league in recent years, dropping just two conference games in the past three seasons.
The teams were each undefeated in Conference 4 entering the week before Broughton edged Leesville Road 8-7 Monday in the teams’ first meeting after rain postponed the original March matchup date.
“It’s tough,” Broughton coach Damian Hall said. “I’m very interested in seeing how my boys bounce back from this. ... We had every opportunity to win this game and we just really couldn’t put it away. I thought we had some really good opportunities in that last possession we had in overtime and we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net.”
The Caps led by as many as three goals in the first half and led 5-3 at halftime.
Broughton (10-2, 9-1 Conference 4) opened the second half with a goal 30 seconds after the break, but Leesville Road (10-1, 8-1) responded with five unanswered goals, tying the game at the 7:38 mark in the third quarter and taking its first lead 14 seconds later.
Broughton tied the game twice in the fourth quarter, but never regained the lead.
“If you look at those five unanswered goals, four of them were man-up. .... You can blame the refs or blame our guys for fouling, however you want to look at it, the bottom line is we were man down and they capitalized,” Hall said. “We have no excuse for this loss. I think we’ll see them again probably in the playoffs coming down the line and we’ll get the tiebreaker then.”
That response was key from a Pride team that fell short of a comeback effort after starting Monday’s game with a 4-0 deficit.
“Our game plan didn’t change a whole lot,” Leesville Road coach Jeremy Fullbright said. “We knew how to take advantage of some of our strengths after the Monday game and we started slow and we felt really good about starting the game tonight and the same thing happened. We got in a hole right away and to a credit, our kids recovered a lot quicker tonight, so I think the biggest difference was us growing up as a program.
“(Broughton has) been the high water mark in our conference and it’s been something that we’ve been aspiring to, and we talk to our kids at the beginning of the season about consistently competing for championships and we knew that we would have to go through them. It’s very big. You try as a coach not to make one bigger than another, but this is a landmark win for our program.”
A stick penalty held Farrell, who led the Pride with four goals and two assists, out of the game to start the fourth quarter during which time Broughton was able to tie the game at 8. Leesville Road again took the lead with 1:33 remaining in regulation, but Broughton responded 31 seconds later with the tying goal to send the game to an overtime that feature two missed shots for each team before Farrell’s winning shot.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Farrell said. “The defense held them off for three minutes unreleasable, which is outstanding and just being able to come back in it with a tie was remarkable, and my back-up stick came in handy obviously.”
Zach Burgess led the Caps with three goals.