by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- Trailing 3-1 and faced with a man-down disadvantage for five minutes, things were looking pretty bleak for the Hudson boys lacrosse team.
Oddly enough, that might have been the best thing that happened to the Explorers.
Hudson won its third consecutive game after posting an 11-5 victory over Massillon Jackson April 11 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
The Explorers, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit after one quarter of play, improved to 3-2 on the season.
With the loss, thePolar Bears' record fell to 2-3 on the season.
"Our biggest concern was our defense," Hudson head coach Dave Blue said.
"Our defense was aggressive in terms of forcing turnovers. Our defensemen can run. They are capable of covering anybody."
In the early stages of the game, the Explorers struggled to find their groove and Jackson took advantage.
After goals by Steven Coss and Santiago Gil in a span of a little more than 90 seconds, the Polar Bears had a 3-1 advantage with 6 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
And then things really got nerve-racking for Hudson.
The Explorers were called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that gave the Polar Bears a man advantage late in the first quarter.
No problem for Hudson.
Despite being a man down, the Explorers got back on track immediately.
Grant Elffers got the rally started when he scored 56 seconds into the second quarter. Less than two minutes later, Mick Mougey tied the game just moments after Hudson returned to full strength.
Elffers struck again to make it 4-3 with 7:10 remaining in the first half.
Hudson, which outscored Jackson 4-0 in the second quarter, never looked back the rest of the way.
"I think it sparked our defense," Blue said of the penalties. "I thought our defensemen, particularly Logan Malson, Jake Jesionek and Will Hogan, were aggressive. Those three are formidable on defense."
Ricky Spradling scored to cut the Explorers' lead to 5-4 nearly four minutes into the second half.
The Polar Bears never got closer.
Hudson, which was missing attack Zach Nye, scored four unanswered goals in the next nine minutes to seal the deal. Nye suffered a cut to his head and was unable to play. Blue said the injury was not serious and expected him to be back on the field this week.
Bo Lori had two goals and two assists and Elffers finished with two goals and one assist. Sam Gregory and Gabe Vehar each had two goals for the Explorers.
"Sam Gregory stepped up and Gabe Vehar had some nice goals," Blue said. "Our midfielders played aggressively."
Michael Charlton and Brent Zubal each scored once for Hudson, which had a 34-28 advantage in ground balls.
Spradling had two goals for the Polar Bears and Luke Remlinger scored once for Jackson.
Explorers' goalkeeper Jake Krone, who shared the game ball with Matt Rightnour, made six saves in the nets. Polar Bears' keeper Michael Winkhart stopped five shots. Jackson had a 29-25 shots-on-goal advantage.
"Jake did a fantastic job in the second quarter," Blue said. "He made a lot of great saves."
Hudson's junior varsity team fell to 3-1 after losing a 10-8 decision to Jackson. Luc Jambon led the Explorers with five goals.
Hudson was scheduled to host Westlake April 15 at Scott Malson Field. Results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to return to Hudson Memorial Stadium to play Solon April 17 at 7 p.m. Hudson is scheduled to visit Mason April 19 at 2 p.m.