AVON — On paper, Avon Lake and Avon were nearly even in every statistical category coming into their annual neighborhood rivalry Thursday at Avon Eagles Stadium.
The only thing separating the teams was that junior attack John Perry was dressed in maroon and gold.
Perry scored four goals, including three in the first half, to lead the Shoremen to a 6-4 win that improved their record to 4-6.
Perry credited his success to practicing every day against a tough Avon Lake defense, which has held three of its last five opponents to four goals or fewer.
“The biggest contributor to my scoring is going up every day against our defense,” Perry said. “It makes dodging (defenders) in a game seem that much more comfortable.”
The first of Perry’s goals came on an unusual play late in the first quarter, when he was trying to make a pass from behind the goal that hit the goalkeeper’s crosse and ricocheted into the goal.
He showed off his skills with two more goals in the second quarter, the second coming off a Tim Lubertozzi assist that tied the score at 3 with 18 seconds remaining in the half.
Avon Lake coach Kevin Bresnahan said he’s come to expect big things from Perry each time the team takes the field.
“John scores four goals every night. If he doesn’t, it’s a disappointment,” Bresnahan said. “We just love the way he takes the team on his shoulders and they feed off of that.”
When Perry wasn’t finding a way to score, the Shoremen defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Luke Farthing, did the rest, holding the Eagles to one second-half goal.
The score remained tied at 3 until senior Haden Johnson scored off of a Perry assist with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Ryan Sammon and Perry tacked on goals late in the fourth quarter to extend the Avon Lake lead.
The Eagles, who have lost five games by two or fewer goals, dropped to 6-8.
“It’s very frustrating,” Avon coach Paul Allen said. “We’re still a young team. I’m running out all sophomores at starting attack. We still have that senior leadership up front that we have at other positions on the field. We can play. We’ve got talent. It’s just a matter of getting that maturity. We’ll have our day.”
Avon Lake 6, Avon 4
Avon Lake 1 2 1 2 — 6
Avon 1 2 0 1 — 4
GOALS: (AL) John Perry 4, Ryan Sammon, Haden Johnson; (A) Austin Roman, Ian Dargal, John Kortowich, Connor Walsh
ASSISTS: (AL) Tim Lubertozzi, Perry; (A) Walsh
GOALIES: (AL) Luke Farthing (12 saves); (A) Matthew Schuler (11 saves)
SHOTS ON GOAL: Avon Lake 17, Avon 16
FACE-OFFS: Avon Lake 7, Avon 7
MAN-UP SITUATIONS: Avon Lake 3-for-3, Avon 1-for-4