No. 1 Duxbury 14,
No. 6 Cohasset 11
DUXBURY -- Following an 8-7 win over Scituate Tuesday in which his Duxbury boys' lacrosse team gave up a four-goal lead in the third quarter, Dragons coach Chris Sweet admitted he hadn't seen enough of a pattern for the third-quarter meltdown to worry him.
Thursday, his charges showed why.
After visiting Cohasset tied the game with a goal early in the third frame, the top-ranked Dragons embarked on a run in which they scored seven of the game's next eight goals.
Nursing a two-goal advantage in the fourth quarter, Duxbury (5-4) erupted with a four-goal barrage over a 1 minute and 56 second span en route to a 14-11 triumph at Taylor Memorial Field.
The sixth-ranked Skippers (4-2) scored the game's final three goals over the final 2:22 to make the end score a bit easier on the eyes, but Duxbury dominated the final 24 minutes of play. Asked if his team changed anything up in the second half, Sweet was honest.
"Strategically? No," he said. "I just told them, 'We gotta have a better effort in the third than we have in the past and we have to work harder than we did in the first half to see if we can win the third quarter.' They did. They responded, which is great.
"We're beatable if we don't play well. When you have a close game against Scituate, other teams see that and they say, 'OK, we do have a chance.' The truth is, teams can beat us, but if we play well, I think we win. If we don't play well, we lose."
Few teams can hang with Duxbury when it breaks out the offensive firepower like it did in the second half Thursday.
Cohasset's Mike Grimm scored just over a minute into the fourth quarter to trim his team's deficit to 9-7, but Duxbury quickly made the final eight minutes perfunctory.
Derek Sweet went sidearm on a goal with 10:10 remaining and Gus Guinzani scored 28 seconds later on a long rumble from midfield off a feed from defensive midfielder Craig Sullivan.
Ben Cederberg scooped up a groundball outside the Cohasset cage a little more than a minute later, made a brilliant run behind the goal, and scored with a leaping toss as he got drilled by a defender with 8:24 to play.
If Cohasset was still in striking distance, it wasn't for long. Duxbury won the ensuing face-off and Tory Neville scored just eight seconds later for a 12-7 lead.
"(Duxbury is) a good team, I see no reason why they shouldn't defend that state title again," said Cohasset coach Stew Curran. "Because we think we're that good, too. A couple fewer miscues on offense and a couple face-off wins for us, and that's a one-goal game. I'm unhappy to lose, but we'll learn from these lessons. A lot of lessons out there. But we kept fighting to the end and got a couple goals in the final two minutes. The heart of the kids in Cohasset is not to be questioned."
Curran chalked up Duxbury's win to the out-of-state competition it played while tuning up for this season. The Dragons went 1-4 in New York, but certainly appear to be an area juggernaut.
"This is a great squad, they've been out of state playing real great competition and I know their kids have been working hard," said Curran. "Our kids are working hard, too, but (Duxbury) just had a little bit more on the number side today ... We're a prideful bunch, we'll bounce back."
Despite being hampered by penalties -- Sweet would likely prefer to never see that officiating crew again -- Duxbury still carried play in the second half. Both teams finished with a trio of hat tricks as Neville, Sweet, and Scott Austin recorded three goals apiece for Duxbury, while Mike Grimm, Mark Flibote, and Chris Davis did the same for the Skippers.
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