BARRE — The Spaulding boys lacrosse team kept its perfect record intact during Wednesday’s 9-7 victory over defending Division II champion Harwood.
Colby Berard (three goals, one assist) and Cam Kearney (two goals, two assists) paced the Crimson Tide offense.
“Colby had a monster game,” Spaulding coach Ian Thomas said. “He was cool, calm and collected even though it was a big game at home. He was patient and capitalized on his opportunities when he saw an opening.”
Ely Kalkstein (two goals, one assist) and Jonathan O’Brien (two goals) led the Highlander offense. Harwood goalie Sully O’Hara kept his team in contention with some impressive saves.
Spaulding’s Myles Aja, Cam Gosselin and Travis Roy all contributed one goal and one assist. Gosselin won 14 of 18 face-offs, giving the Tide a crucial advantage against a Highlanders side that has struggled in the circle this season.
“I’m really proud of the way we played today,” Thomas said. “We were short a few guys and we had some younger players step up and play huge roles in the game. We moved the ball well on offense and our defense made great plays throughout the game, especially in the fourth quarter. I’m just really proud of the way we’ve been growing as a team this season.”
The score was 2-2 after the first quarter before Spaulding opened up a 5-4 halftime lead. The Highlanders committed 10 penalties throughout the game, and several were especially costly in the second half.
“It was a physical game, which we expected,” Thomas said.
Spaulding earned a two-man advantage at one point in the third quarter and took advantage, extending its lead to 7-5 by the start of the fourth quarter.
“Harwood did a great job in the first half of controlling the ball, and controlling the pace of the game on offense,” Thomas said. “And then we were able to control the ball in the second half.”
Spaulding goalie Attilio Perantoni (20 saves) was peppered with shots but held his ground. He denied Harwood’s shooters at key moments, and no HU player scored more than two goals. Spaulding (6-0) has also beaten Rutland, Stowe, Lamoille, St. Johnsbury and U-32 this season.
“We’ve had a few games where we’ve been able to take over and control, so we’ve been looking to get pushed by another team,” Thomas said. “We knew Harwood was going to be a good opponent, and my boys were up for the challenge. Harwood had a lot of chances in the fourth quarter, but our defense was able to stand strong and get the ball back to the offense.”
Spaulding will travel to play Hartford (7-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday. Harwood (3-3) will host Mount Abraham the same day.