STRATFORD—At some point on Tuesday night, former Stratford High boys lacrosse goalie Dan Cox, who had manned the cage at Penders Field for four seasons, received a text message from his kid brother, Thomas.
To sum up what it probably said: Stratford 5, Brookfield 4 … 20 saves.
Tommy Cox, who as a sophomore has taken over the goaltending duties for the Red Devils, did just that at Penders on Tuesday, to backbone Stratford’s 5-4 win over Brookfield in an SWC league opener.
“Yeah, it felt pretty busy,” Cox admitted after Stratford improved to 1-1 on the season. “I felt like our defense was actually playing really well, with slides and talking and communicating.”
It was a performance that impressed Stratford coach Brian Mayglothling.
“Tommy was on fire. He played really well,” Mayglothling said. “If he’s seeing the ball really well, it’s tough to score on him.”
Tyler Ciccia scored three goals to lead the offense while Devin Brainard and Casey Havee had single goals. Trevor Marks also had an assist.
“They kept us out of states last yaer (after a 9-8 loss) and it’s a game we felt we should have won,” Mayglothling said. “That still irks a lot of guys. For this early in the season, this was a big win for us.”
That Red Devils clinched the game in very intense fashion.
Leading 5-2, the Bobcats crawled back to within 5-4 in the closing minute when a Stratford penalty put the Red Devils in a man-down situation.
The defense proved it was up to the task, however, forcing a turnover that clinched the win.
“The reason we won the game was our defense,” Mayglothling said. “Our defense played great. It’s only fitting we ended the game man down and forced them to turn the ball over.”
The way the Red Devils also gave the team an added boost heading into Wednesday’s practice.
“I think it’s a win that boosts everybody’s confidence,” Cox said. “We just have to keep getting better with every practice, every game.”