GARDINER — This wasn’t the defense Logan Crowley is necessarily used to in front of him.

The Gardiner boys lacrosse team’s senior goaltender can’t complain with the result, though — not after the Tigers earned one of their biggest wins of the season Monday in the form of a 7-4 victory over visiting Oak Hill.

“We pulled out a zone, and usually (with a zone), we don’t really run it much; it depends on the offense,” Crowley said. “The guys in front of me got it done today, so that really helped out.”

Gardiner limited an Oak Hill offense that was averaging 13.1 goals per game and had scored 65 over its past four games to a season-low. Crowley made 11 saves for the Tigers, who got two goals each from Brayden Elliott and Owen Chadwick offensively.

Gardiner (7-4) shined in the first quarter, getting goals from sophomores Chadwick, Elliott and Logan Cote to take a 3-0 lead into the second. The Raiders’ Kaiden Delano then scored the second quarter’s only goal with seven minutes to go before freshman Eben Whalen scored for the Tigers seconds into the third.


“We were more disciplined than we’ve been all season long,” said Gardiner head coach K.C. Johnson. “When the boys played very good lacrosse, it’s exciting to me; it’s the way the game is supposed to be played. Other times, we take it down the wrong path, and it’s not pretty.”

Delano scored his second with 2:15 left in the third quarter before Lukas Bergeron cut Gardiner’s lead to one with 10:56 left in the fourth. Yet the Tigers would get tallies from Elliott, Chadwick and Cody Dingwell over the next seven minutes before Dylan Spier added a consolation score for Oak Hill (7-4) with 2:31 left.

Crowley said his defenders in front of him did a great job of marking Oak Hill’s attackers, which enabled him to succeed in stopping numerous shots. Johnson said his players did a good job of slowing down the Raiders’ transition game, which had excelled all season but couldn’t break down the Tigers in this one.

“I’ve been around for 26 years, and (Oak Hill) has always played transition lacrosse; they’re fast, furious and super disciplined, which they were today, but we were more disciplined,” Johnson said. “Logan sees the ball very well, and our sticks in passing lanes were very good today. I don’t know if they’re always going to be that good, but they were today.”

The win was the third in a row for Gardiner, which had previously lost three games in a row prior to a 4-1 start to the season. This one, which came against a Class C contender, will provide some much-needed Heal points for a Tigers team looking to improve its positioning in a logjammed Class B.

“(It’s all been about) team bonding,” Crowley said of his team’s turnaround over the past three games. “We’re hanging out with the team more and having everyone come together as one. That’s really what’s done it for us.”

Carter Austin had six saves in net for Oak Hill. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Raiders.

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