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PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. — With a four-goal lead at halftime, Brewster appeared ready to cruise to victory against Putnam Valley on Thursday afternoon. It quickly became a game, however, when Putnam Valley scored two quick goals to start the second half.
The Bears responded and held off the Tigers’ charge to secure an 11-7 victory at Putnam Valley High School.
“I think we had to settle down offensively,” Brewster coach Michael Honey said. “I felt like we could score on them if we just took our time and worked our offense. We rushed a couple and let them get back in the game. Once we calmed down a little bit and got it back to a three, four goal game we kind of held on and just slowed it down in the fourth quarter.”
Junior Nick Dingee and senior Trevor Stubbs-Stroud each netted two goals apiece in the second half to help Brewster (9-6) pull away. Their consecutive goals answered a 2-0 Putnam Valley run to start the half and gave Brewster an 8-4 lead with 2:52 left in the third quarter.
Putnam Valley answered when Georgetown-bound junior Johnny Van de Veerdonk scored his third goal to cut it to 8-5.
Stubbs-Stroud and Fernando Solis extended Brewster’s lead to 10-5 early in the fourth quarter.
“We just kept at it and kept hustling and got a couple key ground balls,” senior Shane Flattery said of how they closed the game out. “It was just a team effort.”
The Tigers then went on a two goal run of their own with goals from Mike Adamski (2G) and Mike Benvenuti (1G, 1A).
The game was tied at 2-2 in the first quarter before Brewster went on a 4-0 run to grab a 6-2 halftime edge.
“We were aggressive and we were shooting well,” said Flattery, who scored three goals in the first half. “We were taking advantage of some match-ups. We’ve got a lot of guys who can dodge here, so we just went to the goal.”
“In that second quarter I thought we played very well defensively,” Honey said. “We weren’t in the box at all that quarter and we were able to stop them and get possessions.”
Adamski started the second half with a man-up goal just 19 seconds in. Van de Veerdonk followed with a tally to cut it to 6-4.
“Penalties killed us,” said Honey, whose squad was flagged five times. “We were a man down most of the third quarter and we didn’t play well man down. That let them get back into the game with some easy goals.”
Also contributing for Brewster was Liam DaRos (1G), Harry Erickson (1G) and Anthony Alfonzetti (1G, 1A). Goaltender Ed Schoenig stopped nine shots.
Mike Walsh had four assists for Putnam Valley (8-7), while Kevin Fitzsimmons notched one goal. Kyle Christopher made 11 saves.
Brewster will close out the regular season on Saturday when it hosts Ossining at 7 p.m. Putnam Valley also plays its last regular season game on Saturday against visiting Croton-Harmon at 1 p.m.
“We’re hoping for somewhere around a four or five seed (in sectionals) depending how the numbers work out,” Honey said. “I’m happy about it.”
The Bears are hoping to make some noise in a loaded Class B field that includes perennial powers like Yorktown, John Jay-Cross River and Somers.
“We’re always looking to get a little better,” Flattery said. “I wouldn’t say today was our best effort but we’re going to come out Saturday hard looking for a good win and we’ll go into sectionals looking to pull off some upsets.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD