Riding a stretch in which it defense allowed only one goal for more than 33 minutes and strong netminding from senior Sean Halloran, Xaverian rode away with an 11-6 triumph over St. John's of Shrewsbury Thursday afternoon at Pioneer Field.
Brendan Grant provided the offense for the Hawks, striking for six goals, including four in the first quarter. Teammates Garrett Buckley and Chris Rigoli sandwiched goals around a Grant score as part of a three-goal outburst in the third quarter that helped Xaverian pull away.
The Hawks led 11-4 with under four minutes to play in regulation before St. John's pulled a couple back.
"I think you have to come out out of the half ready to go; ready to regain that momentum," said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner. "They did a good job of keeping us off rhythm in the second quarter and we needed to get that back."
Xaverian, which led 5-3, after the first quarter, lumbered through a scoreless second quarter before erupting for five more goals in the third frame to carry a six-goal cushion into the final frame.
We'll check back with a longer recap and game highlights later this evening.
Xaverian, 10-4 (end of 3rd)
Xaverian leads St. John's, 10-4... and this one is pretty much over and out.
The Hawks struck for five third-quarter goals, including a three-goal blitz over a 55-second span midway through the frame, to open a six-goal lead. Brendan Grant (six goals overall) had two goals, while Garrett Buckley, Chris Rigoli, and James Vickery added the others.
Nick Papoojian ended a 25:29 scoring drought (an eternity or two in lacrosse) for St. John's by scoring his team's lone goal with 3:54 to play in the frame.
Xaverian, 5-3 (half)
After a first quarter decorated by offensive fireworks, the defenses took center stage in a scoreless second frame that kept Xaverian out front, 5-3, at the intermission.
The two teams combined for eight goals over the first 10:17 of play. The last 13:43 have featured few chances as both teams seem to have a renewed emphasis on defense. Xaverian netminder Sean Halloran and St. John's counterpart Kyle Cordaro are playing with more confidence after quieting the offensive players that seemed to run free in the first frame.
Brendan Grant scored four times in the first quarter for Xaverian, while Ryan Abely added the other tally for the Hawks. Junior Nick Yacuzzi has been the offensive catalyst for St. John's thus far.
Xaverian, 5-3 (end of 1st)
Xaverian senior attack Brendan Grant scored four times in the first quarter to help the Hawks open a 5-3 advantage over St. John's after one quarter.
The Pioneers simply have no answer for the lanky Grant, who is rumbling unfettered from behind the net and using his size to zip balls into the twine.
Welcome to Shrewsbury, we're the Xaverian boys' lacrosse team meets Central Mass. power St. John's in a nonleague showdown this afternoon.
We'll have live updates and video highlights. Stay tuned for much more.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.
- Waiting for Twitter...