All the energy was against the Northfield boys lacrosse team.
Scoring the game’s last four goals, Century had crept within 7-5 in the fourth quarter, looking to complete the comeback to shock the Raiders on senior night.
Northfield’s seniors were not going to let the loss happen.
Riding huge plays down the stretch by the upperclassman, Northfield regained composure to score the final four goals of the game to take the contest 11-5 on May 6 at the Raiders’ field.
“We were just able to finally start to play our game again. We made a lot of simple mistakes all throughout the game, and we cleaned it up,” said senior goaltender, Nolan Nagy on closing out the game.
It wasn’t the cleanest victory of the year, but a win is a win.
“It was an ugly one, but we give ourselves a clap and we celebrate a victory. A win is a win,” said coach Jeff Wright.
Already holding a 15-4 win over the Panthers back on April 18, the game appeared to be heading down that path again early on.
Raiders’ Spencer Klotz broke the ice on the scoring under a minute into the game to give Northfield the early 1-0 advantage.
After that early tally, both goaltenders put on a show.
Shutting out both offenses with strong goaltending sent the game to a nine minute plus scoring drought.
Preserving the Northfield lead was Nagy.
“He’s the backbone of our defense,” said Wright.
Holding on to the single-goal lead, it wasn’t until Klotz broke free again finding some space in the middle of the field to beat the Century goalie Javon Stocks doubled Northfield’s lead with 2:13 to go in the first quarter.
Sophomore Camden Waters piled on 30 seconds later after a dodge from up top put the Raiders up by three.
Klotz put it upon himself to add another score before the quarter ended.
With just seconds remaining, Klotz got loose on the crease, faking low and going high to find the back of the net to send the Raiders to the second quarter with the 4-0 advantage.
Following the flurry of scoring that Northfield ended the quarter on, the game reverted to the defensive battle.
The second quarter saw only three goals scored to send the contest into the break with Northfield ahead, 6-1.
Raiders’ Blake Foster expanded the lead to 7-1 with 10:11 to go back after the break.
Century then put on the clamps.
That goal by Foster was followed by a scoreless streak of just over 18 minutes of game time by Northfield.
During the scoreless drought by the Raiders, Century’s offense started to find some cohesion.
Rattling off four goals, the game sat at 7-5 with 7:30 left in the fourth.
The game hanging in the balance, all it took was one thing going Northfield’s way.
“It starts with one play,” said senior midfielder Matthew DeBuse.
Waters ended the scoreless streak by the Raiders’ offense, dodging from up top to find some space for a shot to put Northfield back up by three.
Waters’ goal led to three more goals, including the dagger by DeBuse with 1:43 to send the Raiders to the victory.
“We kept pushing. We knew the team we are really are and what we are capable off,” said Nagy, who finished the game with 15 saves to help Northfield to the win.
Offensively, Klotz paced the squad via his five goals on the night. Waters and DeBuse added three and two goals each.
The victory moved the Raiders to 6-1 on the year, 5-0 in the Big Nine.
Following the game against the Panthers, Northfield prepared for two big games inside the conference.
First the Raiders took Mankato on May 10, followed by a contest versus Mayo later in the week.
The two road games are important to what Northfield wants to accomplish this year said DeBuse.
“Our goal coming into the season is to win the Big Nine and it all starts here. It’s a huge week for us,”
His coach further emphasized how big these contests are.
“To me, they are must win games.”
Northfield would travel to Mayo on May 12.