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Thunder fall to St. Joseph’s

PHILIPSBURG–After being absent from the post season, the Belleville Mennonite team showed that they were back and ready to contend.

In its game against a second year program in St. Joseph’s Academy, the Thunder and Wolves put on a great defensive effort pushing the game to the final minutes before producing a winner.

Tied at two going into the final five minutes, the Wolves’ Noah Ladlee sent a screaming shot, which found the back of the net with 4:23 left, ending the scoring and giving his team the 3-2 victory.

Despite the loss, Belleville coach Brian Renno was happy with the effort he got from his players.

“I’m pleased with the effort we put out there today. We had our numbers down. We had two guys that were injured and medically unable to play. Another one was fighting Pneumonia. So to be down three starters and put up the fight and the grit that we displayed, I’m very proud of them,” said Renno. “I’m disappointed that we had the lead and didn’t hold onto it. But I’m pleased with the effort they displayed.”

Both teams opened the game with a back-and-forth battle for possession.

St. Joes put the first goal on the board.

On a free kick opportunity, the Wolves’ Ladlee scored his first of two goals on a blast that curved to the right corner of the Thunders’ goal at 29:47.

But not to be outdone, the Thunder scored minutes later on a free kick of their own. Jared Flood tied things at one on an unassisted blast of his own, less than a minute later.

For the rest of the period, both defensive back fields shut down the passing lanes and were stingy on allowing anyone in the box.

The score remain knotted at one as both teams went into the intermission.

The stats showed how evenly matches this contest was as each side had six shots on goal, while the Wolves led 2-0 in corner opportunities.

The excitement was just beginning as the second half got underway.

The two defenses made heart-stopping after heart-stopping play to keep the other from taking the lead.

But BMS broke through and took a 2-1 advantage when David Yoder fought off a double team, and the Wolves goalie Isaac Bevilacqua, to smack a blooper that just crossed the line, at the 25:10 mark in the second half.. The Thunder’s Gabe Lucci was ready to send it home if Yoder’s shot wasn’t declared a goal.

With 21:35 remaining, St. Joseph rallied back to tie the game up once again. This time it was Spencer Gigante who sizzled an unassisted goal past the Thunder’s goalie, tying at two.

As each second wound down, the intensity picked up, as both teams went back and forth trying to crack each other’s defensive back line.

It was a fast paced back-and-forth battle for the ball.

As the game dropped below the 10-minute mark it looked as if it was headed for an overtime period, but that would change as the clock dropped below five minutes.

With 4:23 left in the contest Ladlee blasted a shot from beyond the 20 that just sailed over the outstretched arms of Rhiley Parks.

Parks was a workhorse as he finished with nine saves while Isaac Bevilacqua tallied six.

Despite the loss, the Thunder finished the season with its first winning record in four years and made a strong showing in the ACAA tournament this season as well.

St. Joseph’s 3, Belleville Mennonite 3

First half

SJ – Noah Ladlee, 29:47. BMS – Jared Flood, 28:57.

Second half

BMS – David Yoder , 25:10. J – Spencer Gigante, 21:35. SJ – Ladlee, 4:23.

Shots: 16-16. Corners: SJ 5-3 Saves: BMS-9 (Rhiley Parks), SJ-6 (Isaac Bevilacqua).

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