Harrison Halts Stepinac Rally to Escape With Win

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WHTIE PLAINS, N.Y. – Harrison buried Stepinac in a deep 6-0 hole in the first quarter of Thursday’s lacrosse game, but the Crusaders would not go away quietly.

Stepinac climbed all the way back to tie the game, 8-8, midway through the fourth quarter. All the momentum seemed to be on the Crusaders’ side, but Harrison (1-0) fired off two quick goals and held on for a 10-9 win.

First-year Harrison coach Jay Rabinowitz has a young squad. Ten of the 18 players on the roster are sophomores, so he expects “moments during the season where that happens,” referring to losing the lead.

Despite the scare, Rabinowitz earned his first win as head coach of the Huskies and the first of Harrison’s 2012 season.

“Nice to get it out of the way,” Rabinowitz said of winning the opener. “What we did was accomplish what we wanted to do here and get the W, and then move on from here and we’ll figure out better things during the season.”

Stepinac (0-2) played its home opener Thursday and lost its second straight game by one goal. Coach James Goldmann said his team simply did not play well to open the game.

“We came out, I don’t know if it was the jitters of playing on the new field for the first time, playing at home, but we came out flatter than a pancake,” Goldmann said. “That was one of the toughest I’ve ever seen. Harrison’s a good team, by all means, but they’re not six goals better than us in the first quarter.”

The Crusaders had the ball down one in the final seconds, but their last chance fell short and Harrison escaped with the win.

“We got the look we wanted. We got a look around cage. Our attackman hesitated a little bit. The goalie made a phenomenal doorstep save, but eight out of ten times he makes that shot,” Goldmann said. “Hats off to the goalie for doing what he did right there.”

Stepinac lost its opener, 7-6, at Tappan Zee. After dropping two straight close games to start the season, Goldmann and the Crusaders are looking for answers.

“We’re just trying to look to break the hump somehow,” Goldmann said. “We don’t know how, but we’re going to get back to work tomorrow.”

Spencer O'Toole finished with four goals for Stepinac. Nick Shaw added three goals, and Dom Vallario chipped in one goal. Bobby DiNapoli had 22 saves in net for the Crusaders.

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