SUFFIELD, May 25 – It was a great day to be inside a nice, warm house. Outside, it was raining, the temperatures were in the 40s and the wind was blowing.
But a few dozen hearty Avon fans drove to Suffield to see if the Avon High boys lacrosse team could extend its unbeaten season with a victory in the championship game of the NCCC Tournament in miserable conditions at Suffield High.
A six-goal surge in the second quarter lifted the Falcons to a 13-5 win over Somers in the NCCC Tournament final in tough conditions. It was Avon’s second straight NCCC Tournament title and fourth in the last six years.
The game played on the plastic turf field at Suffield High but the rain was steady and cold. The wind blew across the field right into the faces of the fans trying to watch the game, nullifying their attempts to use umbrellas to remain dry. Several were turned inside out by the wind gusts.
“It was difficult as first but once you got wet, it really didn’t matter,” said Avon goalie Cameron Dowd, who made 12 saves and was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament.
Jeff Demers, Taylor Maniatty and Tyler Mattioda had three goals each to lead Avon’s balanced attack. Colin Moore added two while Jackson Davey had a goal and three assists. Maniatty also had an assist.
Avon led 2-1 after one period and Somers tied the game at 2-2 early in the second period on a power play goal. But the Falcons scored seven of the next eight goals to take a commanding 9-3 lead at halftime.
In less than a minute, Demers had two goals with one coming thanks to a nice assist from Mattioda. It was Mattioda who scored from near the goal to give Avon a 5-2 edge with a little over nine minutes left in the first half.
Somers cut the lead to two on a power play but Avon responded quickly on goals from Demers from Maniatty with 5:35 left in the quarter for a 6-3 advantage.
Maniatty extended the lead to four, 7-3, when he took a pass from Davey behind the net. Moore scored on a power play goal with 1:37 remaining and Mattioda scored off a Davey assist with 1:10 left for a 9-3 lead at halftime.
“We love to run the field, pass it up to the attack and let them finish it,” said Davey, a midfielder. “Offensively, it is one of the things we do best.”
Avon (18-0) hosts Wilton in its second round contest in the Class M tournament on Tuesday. The Falcons are the No. 1 seed in the tournament with its undefeated record while Wilton is 9-8 and winners over North Haven, 17-6 on Saturday.
ALL-NCCC: Six Avon players were named to the All-NCCC boys lacrosse team – Andres Bill, Jackson Davey, Colin Moore, Taylor Maniatty, Ben Hartigan and goalie Cameron Dowd.
Previous NCCC Tournament championship games
2007: Somers 8, Avon 7
2008: Avon 9, Somers 7
2009: Avon 13, Suffield 8
2010: Granby 11, Suffield 10
2011: Somers 5, Avon 4
2012: Avon 12, Granby 3
2013: Avon 13, Somers 5
Avon 13, Somers 5
Somers (13-5) 1 2 2 0 — 5
Avon (18-0) 2 7 2 2 – 13
Goals: Jeff Demers (A) 3, Taylor Maniatty (A) 3, Tyler Mattioda (A) 3, Colin Moore (A) 2, Patrick Driscoll-Kelly (A), Jackson Davey (A); Connor Wylie (S) 2, Ed Hill (S), Ryan Lynch (S), John Albert (S); Assists: Maniatty (A) 3, Davey (A) 3. Saves: Cameron Dowd (A) 12, Patrick Tynan (15)