BRICK TOWNSHIP — After a disappointing loss to Toms River North over the weekend, Brick Memorial went back to work on finding the missing element ahead of its game against unbeaten Lacey on Tuesday.

“It was just the intensity, and it all stems from practice,” said Brick Memorial head coach Brent Middlemiss. “The Friday before the North game we were lackadaisical. We had a hard two-hour practice yesterday and that got us ready.”

Junior attackman Joey Ferrera pumped in a career-high five goals and senior attackman Gavin Murphy scored three goals with three assists to eclipse the 100-point mark for his career as the Mustangs bounced back with an 11-6 Shore Conference nondivisional victory over the Lions on the turf at Veterans Memorial Middle School. Senior attackman Henry Moran added three goals and one assist and senior goalie Matt Wood made 11 saves to get the Mustangs (3-2) back into the win column.

“It felt really good to bounce back after North, that was a tough loss,” Murphy said. “We played a full game today and played really well as a team. We gave 100 percent, and we have to do that every game.”

Senior midfielder Connor Wilson led Lacey (3-1) with two goals and junior goalie Justin Covey had a very good game with 14 saves, including six in the third quarter. Clayton Humcke, JoeCarlo Chimenti, Mike Sabarese and Dylan Vitale each scored once for the Lions. The loss was the first of the season for Lacey after an 11-5 win over Toms River East and blowout victories over Barnegat and Point Boro.

“Lacey hasn’t been challenged this year and we’ve been battle-tested with North and Howell, so we’ve been in this situation before,” Middlemiss said. “The seniors turned it up.”

The biggest change since Saturday was Brick Memorial played a much cleaner and deliberate game on offense. The Mustangs were patient in offensive sets and significantly cut down on unforced errors.

“We knew we had to pressure out on clears and make them drop it instead of us dropping it,” Murphy said. “The name of the game is holding the ball for a score.”

“When we play 6-on-6 defense most teams don’t score on us,” Middlemiss said. “Where we get burned is in transition, and that comes from sloppy passing on the offensive end or clearing the ball. On ball they can play with almost anybody. Hunter (Vojtko), Adam (Plumacher) and Mikey (Ferrera) can play almost any attackman in the Shore.”

Lacey controlled the first 12 minutes of the game, however, to grab a 3-1 lead heading into the second quarter. Humcke opened the scoring with an extra-man opportunity strike 2:37 into the game and Sabarese followed with a goal at 8:43 off a feed from Jared Lotruglio.

Brick Memorial answered when Murphy scored unassisted at 4:47 for his 100th career point, but Lacey closed the quarter with another goal as Wilson bounced one past Wood with 1:52 to go in the opening frame. Lacey out-shot Brick Memorial 10-5 in the first quarter, due in large part to senior face-off middie Nick DeOliveira winning all five draws. DeOliveira exited the game in the third quarter after injuring his knee, finishing 10-for-12 in the face-off circle.

The Mustangs found their game in the second quarter by scoring the only two goals to tie the score, 3-3, heading into halftime. Moran set up Murphy for a goal 46 seconds into the period and Ferrera scored less than two minutes later. Wood had his best quarter with five saves against seven Lacey shots to help Brick Memorial draw even.

The teams traded goals in the first four minutes of the second quarter as Wilson scored unassisted for a 4-3 Lacey lead, Moran struck off a pass from Murphy to tie the score at four and Vitale found the back of the net off a pass from Ryan Giles to give the Lions a 5-4 advantage.

Brick Memorial then went on a four-goal run in the final five minutes of the quarter to take the lead for good. Moran, who scored all three of his goals in the third quarter, scored unassisted at 4:52, then scored once more off a pass from Murphy at 3:43 to put the Mustangs ahead, 6-5. Ferrera scored again to make it 7-5 and Murphy struck with 19 seconds to play to make it 8-5 Brick Memorial. JoeCarlo Chimenti was able to get one back for Lacey with a blast from just inside the restraining line with eight seconds left.

A takeaway by senior defenseman Hunter Vojtko led to a transition goal by Ferrera at 8:25 of the fourth quarter that put Brick Memorial back up by three goals. Ferrera then scored two more goals in the final six minutes to provide the final margin of victory.

“We knew we had advantages at attack against their poles and that their goalie was good,” Middlemiss said. “Without him the game is more of a blowout. He kept them in the game. We had to possess the ball on offense and with that we did a great job.”


Box Score

Brick Memorial 11, Lacey 6

Lacey (3-1)               3 0 3 0 —  6

Brick Memorial (3-2) 1 2 5 3 — 11

GOALS — L: Connor Wilson 2, JoeCarlo Chimenti, Dylan Vitale, Clayton Humcke, Mike Sabarese; BM: Joey Ferrera 5, Gavin Murphy 3, Henry Moran 3.

ASSISTS — L: Jared Lotruglio, Ryan Giles; BM: Gavin Murphy 3, Henry Moran, Hunter Vojtko.

SAVES —L: Justin Covey 14; BM: Matt Wood 11.

SHOTS: Brick Memorial, 35-33.


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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