Comets Hold On To Top Tigers In Season Opener
by Jared Barton
The comeback was on for the North Allegheny boys’ lacrosse team but the effort fell short, however, as the Mason Comets edged the Tigers 10-9 at Newman Stadium on Saturday. Trailing by four goals late in the third quarter, the Tigers trimmed the deficit to one in the fourth and narrowly missed tying the game on their final possession in the waning seconds. The visitors from near Cincinnati, OH, held on for the non-section win.
NA started the game fast and scored the first two goals in a three-minute span. Senior Marco Pascarella found the twine first with 10:31 left in the opening stanza. Senior Marc Bartolomucci scored to put the Tigers up 2-0. Mason countered with two goals courtesy of Aiden Schramm and Mason Levin and the game was tied at 2-2 with less than four minutes to go in the quarter. The teams traded goals to end the first. Junior Evan Lyon scored, while the Comets’ Eli Natorp responded a minute later. Pascarella cashed in with a transition shot to end the frame with the Tigers holding a 4-3 edge.
Mason stepped up the pace in the second quarter, as Michael Niere registered the first of four goals just 30 seconds in. Tiger freshman Nick Sichak took a cross-crease feed from Bartolomucci and tallied his first varsity goal giving NA the 5-4 edge. But Mason countered by scoring the next five goals in a row to take a 9-5 lead late in the third quarter. Sichak wasn’t the only first-year player to find the back of the net, as fellow freshman Jonathan Castillo scored late in the third to make it 9-6.
Sichak added his second goal of the game to cut the lead to 9-7 with just over nine minutes left in the contest. Mason held possession for long periods of the fourth quarter and scored what would end up being the game-winner courtesy of Peter Marietta with 2:27 left. About 30 seconds later, Lyon cut the lead back to two, then with just 30 seconds left, Pascarella secured the hat trick on a man-up opportunity and brought the Tigers within one, 10-9. NA had a final push into the offensive zone with 13 seconds on the clock but Lyon’s shot missed the net wide left.
Senior Beck Taucher and sophomore Logan Lyle spilt time in the cage each facing 10 shots apiece. Taucher made three saves, while Lyle stopped seven total.
Pascarella earned Wright Automotive Player of the Game Laurels for his four-point afternoon.
North Allegheny falls to 0-1 on the season and is back in action against Upper St. Clair on Monday night from Newman Stadium. That 7:30 p.m. matchup will be broadcast live on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Boys Lacrosse Summary vs. Mason (OH), 3-18-23
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