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May 14—BOXFORD — Ground balls scooped. Possession dominated. Patient offense.

Momentum swung for good.

It all happened in the second quarter Thursday afternoon on the Masconomet campus as the host Chieftains scored six unanswered goals to snap an early tie and run away from Danvers for an 11-3 victory between these Northeastern Conference rivals.

Captains Keo Kiriakos at attack and midfielder Trent Bunker both scored three goals for the winners while junior attackman Andrew Aylwin had a game-high six points, courtesy of two goals and four assists.

“After we were forcing things a bit in our first game (against Winthrop), we talked today about the first minute of possession offensively being only quality looks,” said Chieftains head coach Andrew Boepple. “If a chance wasn’t there, pull it back and start it over again. In that way, we did a great job drawing slides, moving the ball and finding the open man for shots. The guys weren’t selfish at all.”

Max Rosenbaum made 14 saves in net for Masconomet, while his counterpart Donovan Biersteker stopped 11 shots for the Falcons.

An Alywin goal sandwiched by two Kiriakos strikes gave the home team a quick 4-1 lead early in the second quarter, one they would never relinquish. Before the intermission horn, senior middie Will Neuenhaus (2 goals, assist) and a pair from Bunker increased their advantage to six goals.

“They were able to win some consecutive faceoffs and play make it, take it,” Danvers coach Wes Chittick said of the Chieftains. “I think we played defense for at least nine of the 12 minutes in that quarter, which makes it tough.”

Christian Burke scored for Danvers late in the first quarter to tie the contest at 1-1 before Masconomet went on its scoring rampage. By the time teammate Christian Harvey (2 goals) finally got the Blue-and-White back on the scoresheet, the damage had been done.

Once they fell behind, Danvers started to rush when they did have the ball offensively. That resulted in poor shot selection, missed passes or ground balls that wound up as turnovers.

Going up against Masconomet’s defense was a big reason for those woes, naturally. Captain Jake Mair (“he’s like an assistant coach back there,” said Boepple) spearheads the unit surrounded by fellow long poles Teddy Fellows and James Berry, two sizable seniors who also happen to be all-Northeastern Conference linemen on the football field. Junior Nick McMillan, a first-year player, also showed aggressiveness and went after everything playing short stick D-middie.

“You cant get it all back in one shot,” said Chittick. “We got into the habit of trying to score quickly instead of not maintaining possession, work the ball around and make the defense work. One of our coaching points near the end of the game was that we wanted to do a better job of possessing the ball and have an awareness of how much our defense was playing.”

In an early season battle for NEC supremacy, the Chieftains will host defending champion and fellow unbeaten Marblehead (3-0) Saturday at 11 a.m.

“We’ll have to take away their strengths and not make silly mistakes, like throwing the ball away,” said Boepple. “We have to win the ground ball game, too. If we can control the ball and match up against their strengths, it’ll be a good game.”

Danvers is also back in action Saturday, taking on winless Salem at home (10 a.m.).

“When you lose a game like this, it’s eye-opening,” admitted Chittick, who praised the play of Nate Sher defensively. “I think it exposes the faults on your team, so we as coaches and players need to attack those weaknesses so hopefully they become strengths by the end of the season.”

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