AUGUSTA — The Cony boys lacrosse team had controlled nearly every second of a rain-soaked contest, and only 14 seconds stood between it and victory No. 1 of the season.

And yet, the Rams still had one final test — perhaps their biggest — to pass.

Goalie Cam Gallant stopped a final Erskine attempt in the closing seconds, capping a superb game and lifting Cony to a 4-3 victory over Erskine Academy on Wednesday at Alumni Field.

“It felt good. We had a couple of rough games, we were missing a lot of key players that we just got back this week,” midfielder Nic Mills said. “They’re back now, they’re playing good, and it’s good to get off on a nice win, and hopefully we can use it, push forward and keep it going.”

Gallant made nine saves for Cony (1-2), while Quincy Tobias, Zach Whitney, Dalton Bowie and Isaac Beloff had goals.

Dominic Dyer helped keep Erskine (0-2) in the game, making nine saves as well, while Ethan Furlong scored twice and Chance Reed had the other tally.

“They beat us up a little bit in the first half, I thought we came back and did some nice things in the second half,” coach Jason Wade said. “Hopefully, my guys will realize that we can make some things happen.”

FINAL RUSH: Cony never trailed, and appeared to be putting the final touches on the victory when Erskine gained possession of the ball in its own end with 14 seconds left.

The Eagles needed one goal, and as it turned out, there was plenty of time left. Seth Reed whipped the ball upfield to Gavin Blanchard, who quickly passed the ball over to Furlong, who found Myles Nored cutting in front of the net.

Put in the crosshairs one final time, Gallant came through, knocking the quick point-blank shot aside for his ninth and final save.

“It’s all about what I’ve been learning all my life of (playing) goalie,” he said. “Just stay on my post and make big saves for the team. That’s what I needed to do at that moment.”

Wade said the play, called during a timeout beforehand, was executed the way he drew it up.

“We got the look we wanted at the end,” he said. “They made a nice save.”

TIDES TURN: If there was a turning point, it came in the second quarter. Erskine had narrowed the gap to 2-1 on Chance Reed’s snipe with 6:32 to go, and went on the man advantage with 5:43 left when Cony’s Scotty Charles was called for a cross check.

It was an excellent opportunity for Erskine to strike for the tying goal, but any momentum building for the Eagles was dashed in seconds. The ball was cleared down into the Erskine end where it found the stick of Bowie, who outraced the defense, made a quick move on Dyer and buried the shot for the shorthanded goal and a 3-1 lead with 5:18 to go.

“It was good because it just gave us more momentum,” Mills said. “It gave us a bigger lead, and we knew if we kept getting those key goals, we’d be able to keep up on these guys and we’d be able to stay ahead for the whole game.”

LACKING DISCIPLINE: Cony built its lead to 4-1 on Beloff’s goal with 6:50 left in the third quarter, and Wade said the offensive shortcomings were a result of his team trying to do too much when it got chances in the Rams’ end.

“When we try to do more elaborate things, when we try to beat guys one-on-one or two-on-one or three-on-one, it becomes really ugly for us,” Wade said. “Especially in conditions like this. You have to catch and throw the ball, and you’ve got to possess it.”

Still, Erskine rallied again with a pair of goals by Furlong, the first coming nine seconds after Beloff’s and the second coming on a two-man advantage with 4:39 left to play. Mental miscues for Cony led to Furlong’s second goal and nearly cost the Rams further, as Cony was called for eight penalties in the final two quarters.

“We did play hard, we didn’t play very smart. There were some penalties that we got that were just inexcusable,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “I’m not happy with that. I’m happy with the way we fought at the end, but we’ve got to get way better on offense. We didn’t move the ball very well at all, we didn’t make any cuts. We’ve just got to play a little harder when we get the ball.”

Foye said the penalties put a damper on the win, but that it was satisfying to see his team overcome them.

“I was fairly happy with how we reacted to it,” he said. “But we can’t get penalties for what we got. We had a couple for just inexcusable things.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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