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Sports · March 19, 2013

Eagles boys lax falls to 0-2 after loss to Riverbend

Photos/Mark Trible
Liberty boys lacrosse coach Scott Girolmo gives advice to his team in the first quarter of Tuesday's 8-5 loss to Riverbend.
Photos/Mark Trible
Eagles junior Tyler Jones maneuvers around two Riverbend defenders. Jones scored one of Liberty's five goals.
We were down three goals and had plenty of opportunities; we were just a couple inches away each time.
— Liberty sophomore Tommy Smith
Liberty’s boys lacrosse team fell to 0-2 on the season with an 8-5 loss to Riverbend on Tuesday night in Bealeton.

The Eagles held a 2-1 advantage late in the second quarter. Junior Parker Smith and sophomore Tommy Smith notched the goals.

As time wound down in the first half, Riverbend senior Joe Webb tied the game at 2-2. Webb’s goal came with 12 seconds left in the half.

“The most important times in any game are the opening three minutes and the last minute of every quarter,” Liberty Coach Scott Girolmo said. “You have to open and finish each quarter strong.”

After the goal, the Bears were penalized for an illegal stick. The penalty gave the Eagles a three-minute man advantage.

Liberty opened the second half with several chances to take the lead. The Eagles shot seven times, yet registered just one shot on goal during the penalty.

Inaccurate shots continue to be a concern for Girolmo’s squad. Liberty put just 18 of its 36 shot attempts on net in the loss.

“Right now, that’s a major point of emphasis for us,” Girolmo said. “In our first game (a 9-8 loss at Fluvanna), we came in firing and had at least nine shots that hit the goalie.

“There were some open opportunities tonight that we have to finish.”

With 9:20 left in the second quarter, the Eagles finally found the back of the net when Tommy Smith scored.

Then, Riverbend took control of the game.

The Bears scored three goals in just 1:46 to quickly take a 5-3 lead. Senior Andrew Givens finished Riverbend’s strong quarter with a goal with 1:23 left.

Givens scored again just 2:31 into the final frame to extend the Bears’ advantage to 7-3.

After Tommy Smith and junior Tyler Jones scored to cut the lead to 7-5, Givens scored his third goal with 6:14 left to round out the score at 8-5.

“The biggest thing we can improve is executing as a team,” Tommy Smith said. “We were down three goals and had plenty of opportunities; we were just a couple inches away each time.

“If we can execute as a team, we can win some games.”

The 6-foot-2 attackman was a bright spot in Liberty’s loss. Smith’s three goals gave him seven in two games. He scored 28 times last season for the Eagles.

“He’s an exceptional kid with great hands,” Girolmo said. “He finds himself in great shooting position and with his height; he gets a lot of velocity on the ball.”

Liberty returns to action at 6 p.m. on April 1 against Fluvanna in Bealeton.
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