MONTROSE – After coasting through a string of blowouts, Thomas Tenney welcomed the late-game tension.
Actually, the sophomore attackman excelled under pressure.
Each time Hen Hud pulled even in the fourth quarter Monday, Tenney answered. Emphatically. He scored four goals in all, helping Fox Lane to an 11-10 win in a highly-anticipated showdown.
“This one feels pretty good,” said Tenney, a Denver commit. “The last three games, we’ve had a big goal differential, so to come out here and win a close one, it gets the blood pumping. Hopefully, it will help us going forward, knowing that we can win a game like this one.”
Neither team was able to create much breathing room.
Ryan Tandy got the Sailors even, 8-8, with 11:43 to play. Tenney came off a pick and found the bottom right corner for Fox Lane 35 seconds later. Hen Hud’s Michael Smith collected a spot-on feed from Matt Kolesar and knotted the score, 9-9 with 8:13 to play. Tenney improvised on a set play three minutes later and scored again.
Liam Belhumeur added to the lead, making it 11-9 with 4:18 to play.
The Foxes have improved steadily in the opening weeks of the season, and crisp passing and movement off the ball is leading to goal after goal.
“I think we have a lot of good players on the offensive end,” said Belhumeur, a sophomore midfielder who had three goals and one assist. “After working on it for a few weeks, I think we have a lot more chemistry, and that will help as we move forward.”
Nicky Marra brought Hen Hud (4-2) within a goal with 2:11 remaining, forcing both sides to be careful with the ball. Fox Lane (5-1) was killing the clock with a solid possession, but lost the ball with 37 seconds to go. Ryan Tandy got the last shot, and he was looking for revenge.
The senior attackman had a critical turnover last season when the Sailors lost to the Foxes in overtime, so he was looking to make amends. He already had five goals when the final attempt was unleashed, but the ball went off the feet of goalie Colin Smith just before time expired.
“He’s got my number,” Tandy said. “The last two shots I took went off his feet, and that’s going to stick with me for a while. I came into this game thinking about what happened last season, and now I’m going to have to deal with this. It’s frustrating to lose like that, but maybe it propels us forward.”
Matt Mangan and Cullen Morgan each scored twice for the Foxes. Marra had two goals for the Sailors.