Norwell’s Paul Donovan drawing attention for Bates lacrosse

Paul Donovan of Bates College.
Paul Donovan of Bates College.

Donovan boosts Bates’s score

Paul Donovan (inset) usually does not show up on the scoring sheet for the men’s lacrosse program at Bates College. The Bobcats are piling up goals at their fastest rate in more than five years. And Donovan is a major reason why.

A 2010 graduate of Norwell High, Donovan is the top faceoff man in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, winning an uncanny 63 percent of his draws for Bates (6-4, 4-3 NESCAC).

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Donovan has controlled 43 of his 68 draws, while teammate Mac Jackson has won 86 of 149 (57 percent). Thanks to their proficiency, Bates (60 percent) ranks 31st out of 203 Division 3 programs.

“We are blessed that we have not one but two really good faceoff guys,” said Bates coach Peter Lasagna. “Paul’s win percentage is just astounding. We try to go with the hot hand, and Paul and Mac have taken turns being that guy.”

Donovan, a junior majoring in political economy, has one goal this season, matching his total of a year ago. That’s a far cry from his production at Norwell High, where he racked up 68 points as a junior and collected 28 goals and 22 assists during his senior season, when he was a South Shore League all-star, when the Clippers advanced to the Division 3 state final, falling to Cohasset, 10-8.

Lasagna calls Donovan one of the team’s best midfielders, and has challenged Donovan to score more down the stretch.

“He’s been dealing with some nagging injuries but now that he’s getting healthy, I’m hoping . . . he becomes a major fixture on one of our best offensive midfields,” said Lasagna.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Donovan has been working on his offensive game recently and sees improvement.

“It was definitely an adjustment coming to college and having all of these better defenders on you,” he said. “Also, with Mac playing so well, it has taken a load off me having to take faceoffs, so I can concentrate more on offense.”

But even if his scoring does not pick up, Donovan still is contributing by helping the Bobcats to control possession. In addition, he has collected 24 ground balls, tied for second on the team, and has nine caused turnovers.

“It can be a big momentum swing if you win a big faceoff and start a fast break for a goal and maybe help your team get back into a game,” said Donovan.

The key to winning so many faceoffs? “I’ve been practicing a whole lot,” said Donovan, who converted at a 52 percent rate as a sophomore.

Young boosts Yale

After nearly two periods of scoreless hockey in Saturday’s NCAA Division 1 championship game, Yale defenseman Gus Young stole a Quinnipiac pass and fired a shot toward the net. Teammate Clinton Bourbonais redirected the puck into the net with 3.5 seconds remaining for a 1-0 lead. The tally triggered a three-goal outburst in the third period for Yale, the school’s first NCAA title in any sport since 1953.

Young, a Noble & Greenough graduate from Dedham, finished the season with two goals and seven assists, but the 6-foot-2, 207-pound junior will remember his ninth point of the season more than the other eight. In 77 career games, Young has five goals and 17 assists.

Milton Academy graduate Rob O’Gara , a 6-4 freshman defenseman from Nesconset, N.Y., played in all 37 games for Yale, recording seven assists. He was a fifth-round pick by the Bruins in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Delano to pitch for Vermont

Pat Delano, a 6-foot-5 freshman right-hander from Braintree, will redshirt this season at Vanderbilt according to coach Tim Corbin. He will pitch this summer for Vermont in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Delano was highly recruited out of Braintree High, where he missed his junior season recovering from Tommy John surgery to his right elbow. Corbin believes that the injury set Delano back in his development, and that he will benefit from a year of watching and learning.

“We’re just trying to give him a year of development more than anything else,” said Corbin. “ Pat invests a great amount into the game and he’s learning what he needs to do to play at this level.”

Mass Maritime milestone

Sophomore righthander T.J. Notarangelo of Foxborough threw the fifth no-hitter in the history of the Massachusetts Maritime baseball program in a 7-0 victory over Fitchburg State Sunday in the second game of a double-header. Notarangelo struck out two batters and overcame four walks while throwing 90 pitches (54 strikes) to improve to 2-0. He owns a 2.40 ERA and has only allowed 13 hits in a team-high 30 innings.

“T.J.’s command was very impressive, but his poise was extraordinary,” said Mass Maritime coach Bob Corradi. “He has been solid for us all year long, but today he took it to a new level.” Freshman Jake Petruzzelli (Abington) supported Notarangelo’s no-no with an RBI double, while Tyler Genereux of Duxbury contributed a two-run single. The Bucs took advantage of RBI singles from Genereux and junior Ben Maher (Plymouth) and an RBI sacrifice fly by junior Bob Lee (Braintree) to score a 7-6 victory in the opener.