SARANAC LAKE - The Saranac Lake boys lacrosse team is finding goals hard to come by this season.
That was the case again on Tuesday, as the Red Storm only scored once in the first half in a 14-4 loss to Potsdam in Section X action at Schroeter's Field.
Saranac Lake only trailed 1-0 at the end of the first quarter, but the visiting Sandstoners turned it on in the second, scoring six unanswered goals to surge to a 7-1 lead at halftime. Fielding a stronger, more experienced squad, Potsdam went on to find the back of the net seven more times after intermission to improve to 7-5 overall.
Saranac Lake’s Quinn Urquhart (17) and Idriz Cecunjanin (16) and Potsdam’s Hayden Hart (10) are among the players in a pileup battling for possession of the ball along the sidelines during Tuesday’s match at Schroeter’s Field in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Meanwhile, the young Red Storm dropped to 1-7 with five games left on the schedule, including their final four on the road.
"We just couldn't physically match up with them," Saranac Lake head coach Dermott Morgan said. "That team was just bigger and stronger than we are. We've only scored eight goals twice this season, and we're not going to win very often if we don't put the ball in the net."
Eight different players scored goals for Potsdam, and junior Kyle Grant led the way with four goals and four assists. Midfielders A.J. Landy and Brian Thomas netted two goals apiece for the winners and six more Sandstoners found the back of the net once.
Senior captain Josh Tremblay finally got on track for Saranac Lake, netting three of his team's goals, and junior Seth Pickerign scored one goal. The pair also notched one assist each and Oliver Holmes chipped in another assist.
Finding it tough to match up man-to-man with the 'Stoners, the Red Storm played a zone defense and found some success early on.
Hayden Hart scored the lone goal of the opening period to give Potsdam a 1-0 edge, and the visitors scored six more times before intermission to pull away. Potsdam got its seventh tally, a goal from Grant, just three seconds before halftime.
Goalie Michael Burpoe played three strong quarters for Saranac Lake, but like his teammates, the junior struggled in the second and was replaced for a while by sophomore Jacob Merrill. Burpoe finished with 17 saves, including seven in the third quarter.
"I feel that Michael Burpoe gave up some goals in the second quarter that he shouldn't have, but he came back and was sensational in the second half," Morgan said. "We just couldn't come up with enough offense to help him out. We struggled clearing the ball. Our inexperience is showing."
Jason Cardinal started in goal for Potsdam and played the majority of the game before giving way to Chase Palmer late.
Saranac Lake was already at a disadvantage before the game with sophomore Lance Ackerson out of the lineup after he broke a finger in Saturday's 10-8 setback against Salmon River. Morgan described Ackerson as one of the best faceoff players in the league, and his loss was evident during the match.
"Lacrosse is a possession game, and we didn't have the ball very much," Morgan said. "We really need Lance in their to get us the ball."
Potsdam head coach Todd Kaiser said once his team was able to break through Saranac Lake's defense, the goals started coming.
"Once we figured out their zone, we really moved the ball well and found some openings," Kaiser said. "We rely a lot on our seniors. We have a lot of experienced guys who work hard.
"I do think experience was a factor in this game, but have to tell you, Saranac Lake is going to be a good team down the road," Kaiser added. "They are really young right now, but they are headed in the right direction."
The Red Storm seniors will be honored Thursday when the team plays its final home match of the season against Canton starting at 5 p.m.