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Explorers boys lacrosse falls in overtime thriller to Olentangy Liberty

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: April 19, 2017 12:03 AM
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HUDSON -- David Blue recently celebrated one of his sweetest victories.

Two days later, the longtime Hudson head boys lacrosse coach had to deal with one of his tougher losses.

The Explorers fell to 7-2 on the season after suffering an 8-7 loss to Olentangy Liberty in overtime.

The contest took place April 14 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.

On April 12, Hudson earned a 14-3 victory over Jackson in Massillon.

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The win was a glorious one since it was career victory No. 300 for Blue.

Unfortunately, No. 301 will have to wait.

"We had way too many turnovers and way too many penalties," Blue said. "I think the guys get nervous during tight situations. It's part of learning and maturing."

John Paolo scored the game-winning goal with 55.7 seconds left in the overtime period. The Patriots (7-4) led much of the way and were up by as many as three (5-2) late in the first half.

The Explorers, who committed eight penalties and had 18 turnovers, had the ball with a little more than 90 seconds left in overtime.

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But Hudson was called offside, which gave the ball back to Olentangy Liberty.

"I thought the effort was much better in the second half," Blue said. "We challenged them a bit more. Our defense was much better."

Paolo had two goals for the Patriots and Griffin Hughes and Spencer Towne added two goals apiece. Paolo and Hughes each had an assist.

Vincent Ramondelli and Johnny Wiseman each scored once for Olentangy Liberty, which won 11-of-19 face-offs. Ramondelli, Wiseman and Dylan Comella added one assist apiece for the Patriots.

Hudson trailed 7-5 with a little more than six minutes left.

Merrick Widdoes put in a hard shot from the right side to make it 7-6 and then Max Cole found Cole Miller for the tying goal with 3:46 left.

Explorers' goalie Stroud Corr made a key save with less than two minutes left and Hudson had possession on the Patriots' end in the final seconds of regulation.

But the Explorers could not find the net.

Miller led Hudson with three goals and Cole had three assists. Will Orazen, Patrick Burdett and Blake Lori each scored once for the Explorers.

Corr finished with 11 saves in the cage. Olentangy Liberty goalie Skyla Wahlund made 10 saves.

"We made some adjustments defensively that helped us out," Blue said. "Stroud made some nice saves. The turnovers killed us."

The Patriots had a 36-28 advantage in shots and both teams scooped up 21 ground balls.

Hudson was scheduled to entertain Westlake April 18. Results were not available at press time.

The Lady Explorers are set to visit Rocks Stadium to play Dublin Coffman April 21 at 8 p.m.

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