Almeida Gets Fancy

Falmouth senior Collin Almeida scores the first goal of the game in Falmouth’s 10-4 win against Dartmouth with a behind-the-back, over-the-shoulder shot that beat the goalie. The Clippers advanced to face top-seeded Hanover on Friday afternoon on the road.

When Dartmouth High School’s boys’ lacrosse team last visited Falmouth, the Indians had the benefit of playing against a Clippers squad that had been on the road at Catholic Memorial the evening before their Saturday morning tilt. The fatigued Falmouth club played the entire roster that day and got through by just doing enough in a 6-3 win.

Facing that same Dartmouth team in the first round of the MIAA state tournament on Tuesday, June 4, a rested FHS squad came out with purpose and dominated from the outset. Nick Champani and Jonah Schlezinger each potted hat tricks as the Clippers dominated Darmouth by a 10-4 score.

Most of the Clippers’ heavy lifting was done in the first quarter. Falmouth sizzled from the start and sprinted out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the period. It was 6-0 at halftime.

During the first half the Falmouth defense surrendered just one shot on goal, keeping things very clean in front of goalie Jack Hamilton, who was only called upon to make five saves before turning things over to Ty Halpin in the fourth quarter. Halpin did a nice job during his stint, making a couple of big saves, including one with his facemask.

Nate Carr won the opening draw and most of the ones he took in the game, and then Falmouth went about possessing the ball for nearly all of the first quarter. Just under three minutes in, Penn State commit Collin Almeida scored the first goal of the game, and the day’s prettiest, with a behind-the-back, over the shoulder rip that beat the keeper to the far pipe for a 1-0 lead. Champani picked up as assist on the play.

Just 55 seconds later FHS went up 2-0 on a goal from Connor Shea that Schlezinger created. The freshman came up with a steal in the midfield to spark a fast break. Shea finished off a pass with a nice shot from the doorstep. A little over a minute later FHS made it 3-0, and Schlezinger set that one up as well with a similar play. The rookie came up with a steal and got it to Champani in transition for a three-goal lead just 5:02 into the game.

Two minutes later Enneguess bombed away from 10-yards out on the right side for a 4-0 lead. With 1:12 left in the period Jaiden Gaudet set up Champani to make it 5-0. Before halftime Schlezinger got his first of the day and the Clippers took a half-dozen goal lead into the break. That was all that they needed.

“We switched things up, we had gotten to see them, so we made some adjustments and knew what to do. Nate (Carr) completely dominated the faceoff X, and we’re just winning possesions, and that’s so important,” Coach Rory Morse said. “I was just happy with how fast we started, knowing that was what we were going to have to do because last time we kept them in the game.”

Schlezinger and Mike Commesso drew high praise from their coach for making plays all day through the midfield, creating havoc that was problematic for the visiting team. “We have so many midfielders, and they all want to play offense. We need guys that can play two ways the best that they can, and the guys did a good job with that,” Morse said.

“Those are two workhorses that do it every single game,” Morse said. “They might not be huge guys on the stat sheet, but what they bring to the team is so valuable. Schlezinger as a freshman, and Commesso as my senior dirt dog, captain, go-getter, do everything for me, long pole, short stick, it doesn’t matter, he’s been great.”

Each team scored four times in the second half. Schlezinger and Champani had goals in the third quarter, and in the fourth the Clippers got strikes from Schlezinger and Kevin Coyne.

The Clippers move on to face No. 1-seeded Hanover, in Hanover, on Friday, June 7 at 3:30 PM. The winner advances to the regional semifinals.

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