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Koch, Zych lift Midwood over Columbus in overtime

John Murphy watched his attack ride Columbus defenders well all game, so he wasn’t surprised when Blake Koch knocked a ball free in the Sharks’s end with the clock winding down in overtime.

“It was the perfect opportunity,” the Midwood coach said. “They made the mistake and we capitalized.”

The junior found a cutting Artur Zych for a point blank score with 40 seconds left in overtime to give the Hornets a thrilling 7-6 win over previous unbeaten Christopher Columbus in PSAL Blue Division boys lacrosse in The Bronx Saturday afternoon. The Sharks, an up-and-coming program, tied the score at 6 on Ronald Barrera’s fourth goal of the game with 30 seconds left in regulation.

Midwood (4-1) led 4-2 at the half and 6-5 after the third quarter. Zych had three goals and Koch added a goal and an assist. Joseph Chazen had two goals. Prince Jackson had a goal and an assist and Eric Ketemepi collected two assists for Columbus (4-1). Star Billy Nguyen managed just an assist.

Murphy emphasized the importance of the play of freshman goalie Billy Ardamis in just his second varsity game. He made 14 saves including a key one on a shot from 10-yards out in overtime. Ardamis was thrust into the starting role with Albert Dmochowski out sick. He is playing in front of a revamped Hornets defense which got Leon Zavos and added the versatile Chris Doyle from the midfield.

“They really solidified the defense,” Murphy said. “The guys take their lead from the goalie behind them. They have confidence in him.”

A win would have been a major statement for Columbus. Midwood lost in the PSAL Class A title game last year and it is the league’s perennial power. The Sharks had already beaten Tottenville and a good Cardozo team and a victory would have gone a long way toward distancing themselves from the pack. For Midwood, it is a step forward in its goal to regain the title.

“I can’t single out one particular game that will define our season except the championship game. Is this game important for us to win? Yes,” Murphy said. “I think this game was more important for them than it was for us.”

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