By Zach Shugan
MILTON, Ga. — After a long 11 months away from competition, the Cambridge boys lacrosse team returned to action Wednesday and picked up a win over its opponent from across Cogburn Road at King’s Ridge Christian.
The win was the Bears’ first under new head coach Andy Pons, who brought with him several years of coaching experience as a head coach at Woodward Academy and offensive coordinator for a Major League Lacrosse team, the Boston Cannons.
“The kids were excited to play, so it was good,” Pons said. “We did a pretty good job. We have to clean some things up, but we played really hard. We’re just trying to compete.”
Pons is joined on the coaching staff by his son Mac, a former Maryland lacrosse player who helped lead the Terrapins to three national championship appearances and one NCAA title in 2017. Andy runs the Bears’ offense, and Mac focuses on their defense.
While the two have high pedigree in the sport, Pons said they aren’t focused entirely on the X’s and O’s of the game in their first year at Cambridge. The main priority is establishing a new culture.
“The big thing with our guys is when we get punched in the face a little bit and we face some adversity, what do we do? That’s a big thing for us. That’s what we’re looking for,” Pons said. “We’ll clean some things up in the field. Penalties are an issue for us.”
The Bears were led Wednesday night by sophomore Alan Drucker, who scored three goals and assisted on two others. Six other Cambridge players scored in a game the Bears led most of the night.
Following the game, Pons noted Drucker’s performance and praised two other Bears for their play in the opening game of the season.
“I think Danny Dexter in goal was good for us and Charlie Ciardullo facing off, obviously,” Pons said. Those are two of the better guys in the state at their positions.”
Cambridge jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than 10 seconds into the game, as Ciardullo won the opening faceoff and took it all the way for the Bears’ opening goal of the season. The score was tied 3-3 after one quarter, but Cambridge led 7-4 at halftime following a stretch of four unanswered goals in the second quarter.
Only two goals, one from each team, were scored in a defensive third quarter. Then, Cambridge exploded for four goals in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, stretching its lead to 12-6 with just under eight minutes left on the clock.
King’s Ridge sophomore Robbie Walker scored the game’s final goal with 5:18 left, completing a hat trick in the process. However, it was too little and too late to overcome the lead amassed by Cambridge.
“We did a good job,” Pons said. “We rode hard on attack, which was nice. We’ve taken a big step from our scrimmage to our first game, so we’ll continue hopefully to develop.”
Cambridge (1-0) hosts Creekview on Friday, while King’s Ridge (1-1) turns its attention to Pinecrest.
Alan Drucker (So.) – 3
Daniel Fazzari (Jr.) – 2
Eli Bibler (Sr.) – 2
Morgan LeeMaster (So.) – 2
Charlie Ciardullo (Jr.) – 1
Cole Gabriel (Sr.) – 1
Jack Marlow (So.) – 1
King’s Ridge Tigers
Robbie Walker (So.) – 3
James Davidson (Fr.) – 2
Asher Deady (Jr.) – 1
Charlie Howard (So.) – 1