PEABODY — On a day when both Kyle Russell and Mark Nalesnik had huge games, the Bishop Fenwick lacrosse duo saved their best play for last.
Nalesnik fed Russell for the game-winning goal with 1:07 to play as the Crusaders scored a 13-12 non-league victory over Ipswich on a windy day at Donaldson Field.
Russell wasted little time getting his shot off as it sailed over Ipswich goaltender Jeff Statile’s shoulder, allowing Fenwick (3-3) to win its second straight contest.
“I knew we had over a minute left and when you get an open shot you have to take it,” said Russell, a senior tri-captain who wound up with eight points on the day. “We battled from being behind to having a lead, then seeing Ipswich come back to tie it. Fortunately, we were able to pull it out.”
When the final horn sounded the Crusaders mobbed goalie Nick Finan; he made several big saves, especially late in the game. The visiting Tigers had possession for over a minute with the score tied at 12-12 and took several shots, with Vinny Martineau having a couple of chances to put his team ahead. Fenwick’s defense was tough in front of Finan, however, and the wind caused other shots to go wide of the net.
Finally the Crusaders picked up a ground ball to set up Russell’s game-winner.
“Finan is so tough. Early in the game his chin strap came loose when he got hit in the mask and the ball popped up under his chin,” said Fenwick coach Ralph Ruocco. “He had to come out for a bit to ice it (Dylan Maida took over in goal), but got back in there.
“Offensively, Nalesnik (5 goals) and Russell are the key to our success. They work well together moving the ball and cutting. Russell had a mismatch on the winning goal with a short stick on him instead of a long one. He didn’t hesitate to let it go.”