BATH — Scoring goals wins games. Preventing them does as well.

The Mt. Ararat High School boys lacrosse team played to its strength, using solid defense and ball control to come away with a 9-3 victory in a Class B prelim game at McMann Field.

No. 7 Mt. Ararat will travel to Brunswick on Saturday for a quarterfinal match at 1 p.m. The Rams end their season at 4-9.

The Eagles set the tempo early, gaining possession in their own territory and moving the ball downfield, punching in the game’s first goal 31 seconds into the contest. Ryan Mello found Connor Brown as Brown’s shot beat Cony goalie Cam Gallant for the score.

Following a Mt. Ararat tally, the No. 10 Rams cut the deficit to a goal when Nic Mills scored with 5:09 left in the quarter. But Eli Schoenberg answered a couple of minutes later, finding the back of the net off another Brown assist, carrying the Eagles to a 3-1 lead after 12 minutes of play.

Schoenberg scored a pair of goals to open the second frame, including a score where the freshman picked up a loose ball in front and pushed it across an open net for the score.

Cony’s Nick Robinson registered the next goal for the visitors, scoring an unassisted tally with 7:29 left in the first half, but another quick pair by the Eagles pushed the lead to 7-2 with less than five minutes to play.

“The tempo of the game played to our advantage,” Mt. Ararat coach Matt Haskell said. “We had the slides and did a good job in transition. Neither team scored in transition, a lot of six-on-six scoring.”

Robinson and Mt. Ararat’s Jacob Sargent traded goals to close out the half, with the Eagles leading 8-3. Mt. Ararat outshot the Rams 22-7 in the opening half, also taking the slim advantage in faceoffs, 7-6.

Second half defense: Both teams came out of the halftime intermission, looking to clamp down on defense, keeping each other off the scoreboard.

“Our defense had to do something in the second half. We had to slow them down as they were scoring quickly,” Cony coach Chad Foye said. “When you do that, you need to transition well, and we didn’t do that.”

As a result, the Eagles defense, more notably goalie Daniel Jackson raised their game another notch, keeping the Rams from hitting the back of the net in the third.

“I like the six-on-six because I can see where everyone is,” Jackson said. “Our defense did really well today, we play well together and communicate a lot.”

Jackson turned away four shots in the third quarter, including a shot from Robinson out in front of the net late in the quarter. Jackson finished the contest with eight saves.

Despite being outshot 7-6 in the third quarter, Mt. Ararat managed the only goal of the frame with a Matt Lawrence goal from a Brown pass, putting the Eagles ahead, 9-3 heading to the final quarter.

Much like the third quarter, the fourth displayed tough defense from both squads.

“They’re good defensively,” Foye said. “Their defensive players kept up with our guys so we really couldn’t beat anyone on a dodge. We tried to run plays but we missed passes.

“It’s how it goes, it was a little bit of a combination of them being good and us not making the plays.”

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