On April 6th, Benjamin traveled to Orlando for a Top 5 matchup with Bishop Moore and came away with a grind it out 5-4 victory over the Hornets.
But at what cost?
A week later the team failed to fire against St. Andrew’s and after a semifinal win in the District they also failed to fire against Jupiter.
And you have to wonder if they left their season in Orlando.
Just about every Jupiter-Benjamin game I’ve covered in the past 6 years (I think it’s 9 at last count) has been different from this one. Even when one team or another pulled away late to a 4 or 5 goal win the games were high energy and competitive all game long.
Not this game.
This time Benjamin ran out of gas as Jupiter amassed a large margin in time of possession and late in the third quarter it was looking like it was not going to be Benjamin’s night.
It was a difficult task coming into the game. When you look at the whole season you could make the case that Jupiter had a gear that Benjamin didn’t and if they played at that gear it would carry them through. There was more depth on Jupiter this year. And Benjamin would need to climb up there.
But late in the third, after taking their best shot with two goals to make it 9-6, Jupiter was able to respond quickly, with two goals of their own to re-take the 5-goal lead and the air went out of the game. And the fourth was mostly like watching an NFL team that could chew clock and move the chains and there was no comeback on the horizon.
The statistics of the game clearly show how it played out. Even with Michael Lobosco neutralizing Dylan Frankhouser at the faceoff (12-11 Benjamin at my count), the Benjamin offense struggled to get shots off. 15 attempts all game long, compared to Jupiter’s 14 goals. Jupiter turned the ball over 4 times in the first quarter and only 5 more times the rest of the game. And most uncharacteristically, Benjamin took 5 third quarter penalties and you have to wonder if some of those were fatigue-caused too.
10 different players scored for Jupiter and many were individual efforts aqs they only recorded three assists.
And one more interesting thing from Friday . . . I’m so used to hearing both side’s fans engaged at high pitch but the game ended with an anti-climax, almost like the sides didn’t really want to cheer too much. Sure, there was an appreciative hand clapping from the Jupiter side but it was hardly a raucous celebration, and that’s good, because after the past two-plus seasons there’s a perception that there’s plenty of work ahead, both on the field and in the stands.
And that should be a good thing, because it looks like a 3 1/2 hour drive to Sarasota will be required, and as STA found out, that’s not an easy place to play.
Chris Radice opened the scoring for Jupiter as 8:56, as he worked from right behind before leaning in on the alley for the left hand low shot. Just 13 seconds later it was Lobosco winning the faceoff and going through 3 defenders on the right alley and finishing right hand high to tie it at 1. Less than a minute later Jupiter regained the lead as Benno Janssen worked the low right wing and nailed a high short side shot after spinning left and at 6:31 it was Kenny Cronin dodging to the middle from the top left for the low right hand shot and a 3-1 lead. Radice found Denver Aranda at 3:53 on the right alley cut from behind for the shot to the top left corner for 4-1. That was answered by Will Nicklaus as he gained a step down the right wing to the low rightg and his right hand found the top left with 2:36 left to make it 4-2 after one.
Benjamin cut it further to 4-3 at 9:26 as Nicklaus found Chase Farris on the left wing from behind for the step down to the top far side but only 26 seconds later a massive faceoff battle was finally won by Jupiter’s Joey Bretz, who took off from midfield near the sideline, getting free down the wing for the right hand high shot for 5-3. Janssen added one at 7:26 as his dodge from right wing to the middle was finished off by a low to high bullet to the top right for 6-3. Farriss got one back at 6:23 on EMO, as he took the Erik Sorenson feed from up top on the right wing for the step down to the top left but Jupiter regained the 3-goal lead on Garrett Vincent’s left wing spin move and he finished to the low far side to end the half.
Riley Linden was able to beat Benjamin goalie Bryce Kendrigan early in the third to make it 8-4, as the shot snuck barely across the line at 10:39 and a little over two minutes later it was a 5-goal lead as Max Sanderson found himself all alone at right GLE and he finished from in front at 8:33. Sorenson was able to go down the right alley and bounce a shot high to the top left for 9-5 and at 4:16 it was Trevor Natalie finishing off the fast break pass from Payton Sukhu down low to make it 9-6, but that was Benjamin’s last hurrah.
Two goals by Devon Rasmus on the EMO and Janssen from Cronin on the fast break put the lead back to 5f after the third and goals by Trevor Sousa, twice, and Radice, ended the game at 14-6.
On the field after the game you could see the dichotomy, as you always do when these two play. One side celebrating the achievement and one looking on with only one thought . . . how much more am I going to work over the summer to change that result.
As the two of them always do. It might not have played out as TBDDFP this year, but trust me, it won’t be long before itg does again . . . it’s only 363 days away . . .
As usual, I wish the seniors on Benjamin all the best in the future, you certainly gave me a lot of memories . . . and site content! All the best to you!
Faceoffs: Benjamin 12-11
Shots: Jupiter 35-15
Shots on Goal: Jupiter 20-10
Turnovers: Benjamin 15-9
Penalties: Benjamin 7-5
Benno Janssen 3G
Chris Radice 2G/1A
Trevor Sousa 2G
Kenny Cronin and Denver Aranda 1G/1A
Joey Bretz, Garrett Vincent, Riley Linden, Max Sanderson and Devon Rasmus with 1G each
Riley Quinn & Hunter Bracci combined for 4 saves
Chase Farriss 2G
Will Nicklaus and Erik Sorenson with 1G/1A each
Michael Lobosco and Trevor Natalie with 1G each
Payton Sukhu 1A
Bryce Kendrigan with 6 saves
Thanks to Coach Lowe and Coach O’Hara for speaking to me before and after the game.