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IRVINGTON, N.Y. — Trailing Dobbs Ferry by three goals with a little under four minutes to play, an Irvington comeback looked pretty improbable.
But Sam Winton and the Bulldogs made the improbable possible.
Winton netted the final three goals of the game and capped off the Irvington (8-5) comeback by scoring with just three seconds left on a feed from Jon Cofre to boost the Bulldogs to a huge 11-10 victory over the visiting Eagles on Wednesday.
“My guys were relentless,” Irvington coach Drew Werney said. “They just kept grinding away and kept pushing. We were able to chip away and score one goal at a time. I told my guys that we can’t score three goals on one shot. We were able to score one goal, got the face-off and went from there.”
Prior to that, Winton tied up the game on an assist from Corey Devlin (four assists) with 2:16 remaining. Winton finished with four goals.
“I was preaching ground balls the entire game,” said Werney, a Somers alum who played collegiately at Stony Brook. “The first half we were getting beat on the ground ball battle. In the fourth quarter, we really started getting the ground balls. We made a few adjustments offensively. I’ve just got to give credit to the players because they wouldn’t accept losing.”
Dobbs Ferry (13-2) had just one loss coming into the game. In their first meeting, Dobbs Ferry defeated Irvington 14-10 on April 27.
“It was an emotional win just because it was senior day and it’s a crosstown rival,” Werney said. “Whenever we play them it’s always a good game. They have a great coach (Greg Lewis) and they have a good team. We enjoy playing a team like that. It’s competitive and back-and-forth. Anyone can win on any given day and luckily we came out on top today.”
The game was tied at 5-5 at halftime and the Eagles held a 7-6 edge after three quarters.
Irvington’s Kevin Degnan also had a big game with four goals. Cofre had two goals and two assists. Ronan Devlin added one goal and one assist. Phil Joy made six saves.
Dobbs Ferry was paced by Spencer Avalos, who tallied four goals and one assist. Matt Latainer (2G, 2A), John Yozzo-Scaperrotta (2G, 1A), Ken Marshall (1G, 1A) and Ryan Moynihan (1G) also contributed. Muhammed Hashimi stopped 10 shots.
Since the beginning of the season, Werney has seen his Bulldogs take plenty of positive strides.
“We’re playing more team defense and communicating a lot more,” Werney said. “Offensively, we’re moving the ball around and not playing selfish. Everyone is contributing on the offensive end. One game we can have one person break out for four goals and then another game we can have seven different players score goals. We’re starting to play more players which gives us more depth on the offensive end and our goalie has been helping out a lot with stopping shots. Our face-off guy, Nate Long, gives us so many extra possessions and that is a huge advantage for us.”
The win over Dobbs should give Irvington quite the momentum boost heading into the Section 1 Class C playoffs.
“It definitely builds confidence,” Werney said. “Dobbs Ferry is a good team. It gives us confidence, but at the same time we don’t want to get overconfident because we still made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of work to do. It gives us confidence in the sense that we can compete with some of the better teams, but we can’t be too overconfident and say, ‘That’s the high point of our season, we’re happy with that.’ We want to still get out there and compete with the top teams in our class.”
Follow Rob DiAntonio on Twitter @MSGV_RJD