Governor’s Opens ISL Play In Impressive Fashion

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By Jake Levin @jakelevin09

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — Big things are expected for No. 4 Governor’s Academy in their first year under head coach Steve Moreland.

If the first 48 minutes of ISL play for fourth-ranked Gov’s is any indication as to what’s ahead, the sky could be the limit for this group after a 15-2 runaway win over the St. George’s Dragons on Saturday afternoon.

“Going in, all we want to do is play our game,” Moreland said following his ISL debut after 12 years as the head coach at Phillips Andover. “The first half went pretty well, so I think at that point whether they started slow or we started fast, it was a big hole for them to dig themselves out of. I’m just glad that we got off to a good start and got off the bus well.”

Middie Ben Murtagh’s take to the crease opened up the scoring for Gov’s just 1:13 into the first quarter, a dominating first 12 minutes in which the team racked up seven goals.

Gov’s (1-1, 1-0 in ISL) excelled in every facet of the game, whether they were at even strength (four goals) or man-up (three goals) in the first quarter. They barely had a chance to play defense in the first half, thanks in large part to the outstanding work by sophomore faceoff middie Nate Laliberte, who won all eight of his draws at the faceoff-X in the first quarter, finishing the game 14-for-16 overall. Along with Laliberte’s work at the X, Gov’s dominated the ground , collecting 19 in the game.

“He’s terrific,” Moreland said. “He’s a very good faceoff guy and a very capable player. He’s a wonderful kid, he just competes very, very hard. He’s a special player and it’s great to have him. Certainly, a huge addition for us.”

Another bonus of Laliberte’s performance for Gov’s was their ability to run a quick-strike offense. On four separate occasions in the first half, Gov’s scored within a minute off of Laliberte’s win at the faceoff-X, including two sequences which included goals in a span of 23 seconds.

Gov’s is hoping to build off today’s offensive showcase, as Ohio State-commit Zach Ludd and Colgate-commit Brendan Jordan each recorded hat tricks to lead a well-balanced attack that featured seven different goal scorers.

“Everyone’s really good this year, our team’s really deep,” Ludd said. “Everyone can score. There’s not one kid that we really look to, everyone can take their man to the rack. It’s awesome.”

With the game out of reach so early, nothing jumped out for Moreland as a need for improvement heading into the next game for Gov’s on Wednesday vs. Groton. He said that he’d always like to see his team move the ball quicker, but that was no issue on Saturday.

Still, he’ll be preaching a one game at a time mentality for his team in the buzz saw that is the ISL.

“The league we play in, you’re capable of losing them all if you don’t show up,” Moreland said. “We want to win them all, but we’d better take them one at a time and prepare for the opponent and take care of business and then start thinking about the next one.”

Ludd looks to be taking the same approach but didn’t mince words when he said what the team’s ultimate goal is for the 2018 season.

“ISL Championship,” he said. “One goal.”

 

Game Stats

Gov’s 7 5 2 1 – 15

St. G 0 0 0 2 – 2

 

Gov’s

Zach Ludd – 3 goals, 2 assists

Brendan Jordan – 3 goals, 1 assist

Jack Wood – 2 goals, 4 assists

Will Murtagh – 2 goals, 1 assist

Zadoc White – 2 goals, 1 assist

Sam Winneg – 2 goals

Ben Murtagh – 1 goal

Joey Bradley – 2 assists

Kyle Gaffey – 3 saves

Andrew Brown – 1 save

 

St. George’s

Justin Newman – 1 goal

Ben Jenkinson – 1 goal

Zane Cowans – 1 assist

Ryan Matarese – 7 saves

Archer Newsome – 1 save

Sebastian Boivan – 1 save

 

Faceoff-X: Govs 16, St. George’s 4

*Nate Laliberte was 14/16

 

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