By Craig Larson, Globe Staff
The road to the Catholic Central League title was hardly routine for the Austin Prep boys' lacrosse team.
The trip started with a 2-hour-45-minute commute from North Reading to Braintree Wednesday, resulting in a 7:45 p.m. faceoff.
In the third quarter of the league showdown against host Archbishop Williams, there was a power outage, resulting in darkness.
But when play finally did resume, Prep wrapped up its second CCL crown in three years with a thrilling 7-6 overtime win, thanks to a strike from sophomore Bobo Carpenter with a minute left in the extra session.
"Dodged a defender, sprinted down the alley, and let it fly," summed up Austin Prep third-year coach Peter Smyth of Carpenter, who finished the night with four goals, raising his team-leading point total to 49 (42 goals, 7 assists).
Senior goalie Luke Tetrault (17 saves) triggered the transition to Carpenter's game-winner with his biggest save of the night. Sophomore Matt Morgan (35 goals, 13 assists this season) had a goal and an assist.
Prep won the title in 2011 in Smyth's first season at the helm. Archies captured the crown last year.
Overall, it was a pretty draining but satisfying night for the Prep team (14-1 overall, 10-1 CCL), which did not arrive back at school until nearly midnight.
This week sees the return of Duxbury to the No. 1 spot in the Globe's Top 20 boys' lacrosse rankings. The Dragons have 13 wins (including the recent four-overtime victory over Lincoln-Sudbury) and their four losses have come solely against out-of-state competition.
Lincoln-Sudbury moves down one spot to No. 2 after suffering their only defeat of the season against Duxbury. Total number of wins and the schedule of both of these top teams factored into the decision making as to who would take the top spot.
The Reading Rockets moved up a few spots to No. 9. The team has not lost since mid April and are on a nine game winning streak.
Wellesley made its debut in the Top 20 this week at No. 12. The Raiders have won eight in a row and have done so in convincing fashion by outscoring their opponents 107-40 during this streak.
Westford fell this week to No. 18 from No. 8. The Grey Ghosts are 4-4 in their last eight games after starting the season 7 - 1.
Here are some things you should know this week in boys' lacrosse:
1. Here's your game of the week -- Lincoln-Sudbury vs Duxbury is the game of the week. Both teams will look to prove Thursday that they deserve to be No. 1. Two players to keep an eye on in this one are Duxbury’s JC LoConte and Lincoln-Sudbury’s John Sexton.
2. The last of the unbeatens -- Canton debuted in the Top 20 this week at No. 16. Along with Lincoln-Sudbury, they’re the only team that remain undefeated. They look to keep their unbeaten streak alive this week while facing off against Oliver Ames and Abington.
3. One hot player -- Nick Pino of North Andover has 44 goals and 20 assists this season. The Scarlet Knights look to continue their strong play in a tough matchup this Thursday against Billerica.
4. The battle for the Bay State Conference -- Newton North, the Globe's 11th ranked team, has won six in a row and is in a fierce battle for first place in the Bay State Conference with No. 5 Needham. The Tigers have a game with Wellesley (8-4) this Thursday while gearing up for a matchup with Needham next Tuesday.
5. One more game to watch -- Jay Drapo of Westford has been hot as of late. The Grey Ghosts have a tough matchup with Acton Boxborough this Thursday.
If you're questioning why Lincoln-Sudbury is at No. 1 over Duxbury in the Globe's boys' lacrosse Top 20, you'll have an answer Thursday as the two powerhouses meet in what’s sure to be a great game.
The Warriors remain undefeated on the season and atop the rankings. The Dragons meanwhile have won three in a row, defeating Hingham in overtime before handling a tough Medfield squad and Silverlake. Duxbury has lost four games to out-of-state teams. and remains at No. 2 in the rankings.
St. John's Prep moves up from No. 13 to No. 4 in the Top 20. The Eagles had three wins this past week, including a victory over the Needham Rockets.
Medfield comes in at No. 6. The Warriors went 2-1 this week and their strong play all season has shown that they deserve their spot in the Top 20. Their loss was a 5-4 final against Duxbury.
Wilmington makes its debut in the Top 20 at No. 13. The Wildcats started their season with an impressive 9-0 run before suffering their first loss this past Tuesday to Arlington.
Reading moves up one spot this week to No. 14. The Rockets have won five in a row and are led by Connor Frazier with 23 goals and 20 assists and Mark Denete with 22 goals and 22 assists.
See the full Globe boys' lacrosse Top 20 here.
Some quick tidbits in boys' lacrosse this week:
1. Who to watch -- Mike O'Brien of North Reading is off to a great start with 31 goals and 11 assists. The Hornets have games against Newburyport and Lynnfield this week.
2. Fast riser -- Acton-Boxborough rose in our Top 20 this week eight spots from No. 12 to No. 4 after winning eight games in a row before losing to top-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury on April 27.
3. Taking the Dragons down a notch -- Duxbury dropped from the No. 1 spot to No. 2 after suffering four losses, all coming against strong out of state competition. The Dragons will play Hingham, Medfield, and Silver Lake this week.
4. Big matchup this week -- No. 1 ranked Lincoln-Sudbury hosts No. 6 Westford on Tuesday. The top-ranked Warriors look to remain undefeated as they take on a strong Grey Ghosts team.
5. One more to watch -- Jay Drapeau leads the Grey ghosts of Westford with 40 goals 19 assists. Look for him to continue his great play.
Mike Giesta covers boys' lacrosse. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some interesting tidbits from girls' lacrosse in the past week:
1. The numbers are on their side -- Duxbury senior Hannah Murphy, who scored nine goals in just two games last week, received reinforcements from teammates Lilly Smith (four goals) and Christina Balzotti (five goals) in the Dragons' defeat of Pembroke and Cohasset. With such a talented trio on attack, Duxbury is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
2. Change doesn't change quality -- Andover (2-3-2), which is adjusting to a new coach this season, proved that they can still hold their own with the top programs. The Golden Warriors battled to a 17-17 tie against No. 11 Winchester on Saturday.
3. Good Friday -- Two Norwell senior captains had career-best performances in a 14-9 win over Lincoln-Sudbury on Friday. Mary O'Connell finished with six goals and five assists. Maddie Ward scored six goals as well and added two assists.
4. Westford stands tall -- Bishop Guertin (N.H.) nearly ended Westford's undefeated run. The Grey Ghosts were down as much as 5-1 in the first half, but the second half was all Westford. Junior defenders Rebecca and Cathrun Sennott helped keep the Cardinals scoreless for 23 minutes as the Ghosts came back to win the game 14-11.
5. The girl on fire -- Kristy Robertson scored 12 goals, a career high, and dished out four assists in Haverhill's 21-12 thrashing of Dracut on Friday. She now has 141 career goals.
Catherine Calsolaro covers girls' lacrosse. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @catrenee13.
Still undefeated, Westwood holds strong at No. 1 in this week's Globe girls' lacrosse Top 20. The Wolverines are strong on both sides of the ball, averaging almost 18 goals per game and allowing less than four. No. 2 Notre Dame (Hingham) took one loss against a strong St. Anthony's team on the road in New Hampshire, but have come out on top against tough in-state competition, including four Top 20 teams. The Cougars will travel to Westwood on Tuesday for a chance to claim the No. 1 spot in our Eastern Mass. rankings.
At 12-0, Westford Academy remains at No. 3 but hasn't yet had a chance to truly prove themselves against the some of the regions best. But the Grey Ghosts are definitely the top team North of Boston right now. Foxborough (9-0), North Andover (9-1) and Needham (8-1) come in at Nos. 4, 5 and 6, respectively. With loads of talent all over the field and no head-to-head matchups thus far, it is hard to tell which of these teams has the edge.
As for Nos. 7 through 9, Medfield defeated Dover-Sherborn who defeated Hopkinton who defeated Medfield. All three have two losses and schedules loaded with tough opponents. Franklin, which leads the Hockomock League with a 4-0 conference record, comes in at No. 10 this week.
Winchester, Norwell, Wayland and Duxbury -- all contenders for the Division 2 state title this year -- fill out Nos. 11 though 14. While Lincoln-Sudbury and Acton-Boxborough of the stacked Dual County League follow at Nos. 15 and No. 16. The final four teams, Norwood, Dartmouth, Masconomet and Marblehead, all lead their respective conferences.
1. Arlington Catholic upset Catholic Central rival No. 19 Archbishop Williams 10-8 on Friday. Junior Megan Messuri scored a hat trick and added an assist to lead the Cougars (5-1).
2. Keep an eye on goalkeeper Lauren Hiller of No. 20 North Andover (6-0). The freshman anchors the Knights' defense, making saves in the double-digits nearly every game.
3. No. 3 Westford Academy is undefeated through their first six games. Coach Julie Olivier has coached six of her nine seniors, including daughter Kathryn Olivier, since they were in the third grade.
4. Junior Louisa Gross continues the Gross family's dominance at Andover High. Big sisters Briana ('07) and Catherine ('09) helped build the Warriors' program and both went on to play lacrosse in college. Louisa could prove to be the most talented of them all.
5. Freshman Charlotte Allard is the breakout star at Notre Dame Academy (Hingham). In the last two games, she led the No. 2 Cougars (6-1) with 12 goals, outshining senior offensive powerhouse Alex Dalton.
Here are some tidbits for you to consider in girls' lacrosse this week to start the spring season.
1. 300 and counting -- Winchester head coach Suzanne Ontso captured her 300th career win April 6 in a 17-5 triumph over Belmont. Ontso is in her 19th season at Winchester.
2. Tough loss for Needham -- Needham will be without senior Sarah Morse this season after tearing her ACL in a preseason scrimmage. The Rockets' two other seniors are Maddie Stenberg and Molly Strakosch.
3. New to the head coaching ranks -- Kathleen McCullough steps up from assistant coach to head coach at Medfield. Jason Heim, who coached the varsity team for five years, decided to coach the junior varsity team.
4. Another changeover -- After eight seasons, John McVeigh resigns as Andover's head coach and Liz Keady will take over. McVeigh led the Golden Warriors to eight Merrimack Valley Conference championships and a 158-30 record.
5. Record-breaking performance -- Winchester senior attacker and Harvard-commit Megan Hennessey has set two new school records already this season: she passed Lauren Sullivan for the points mark with 333, and her 117 assists pushes her ahead of Katie Brooks for the program’s all-time lead.
As reigning Division 1 state champions and under the leadership of legendary coach Leslie Frank, Westwood begins the season at No. 1 in the Globe girls' lacrosse Top 20.
Notre Dame of Hingham (3-0) locked up No. 2 thanks to a large and experienced senior class. All-American and University of Notre Dame recruit Alex Dalton, who scored 87 goals last year as a junior, leads the Cougars. Coach Meredith Frank, in her third season at the helm, appears to have the best chance at taking down the Westwood Wolverines.
Other Division 1 South powerhouses are No. 4 Needham (2-0) and No. 5 Framingham (2-0). In the north, No. 3 Westford (2-0), No. 7 Lincoln-Sudbury and No. 8 Andover consistently have some of the best talent in Division 1.
Medfield slipped in at No. 6 thanks to their Division 2 state title run last year. No. 9 Winchester (1-0) and No. 10 Duxbury (1-1) are definitely two teams to keep an eye on in Division 2 action. Both teams are reigning league champions of the Middlesex League and Patriot League, respectively.
The back half of this week’s Top 20 was based primarily on how far each team made it in last year’s sectional and state tournaments as well as strength of schedule this season. View the entire girls' lacrosse Top 20 here.
When determining the first rankings many factors come into play: previous postseason performance, potential and consistency.
Year after year, Duxbury has consistently shown that they deserve to be No. 1 atop the Globe's boys' lacrosse Top 20.
The Dragons have returning starter Jack Sullivan set to lead the midfield, and at attack senior captain CJ LoConte.
On defense the Dragons boast a strong crew with four seniors led by captain Jay Walsh.
The program is also able to utilize two very strong and capable goalies in junior Nick Marrocco and sophomore Jack Corbett.
Division 1 coach of the year last season, David Wainwright, is set to have another strong season in Needham. The Rockets begin the year ranked No. 2. The Panepinto brothers, Nico and Mike, are likely to enjoy another long run in this year's tournament.
Defending Division 2 state champions Concord-Carlisle came in ranked at No. 3. The Patriots looked to defend their title, and are certainly poised to do so, but must find a way without their former Division 2 player of the year and All-American goalie Doug Gouchoe.
BC High is ranked at No. 13. The Eagles finished last season 13-9 and made it to the East Division 1 semifinals where they were defeated by a strong Needham team. They will look to senior goalie and Merrimack college recruit Jonathan Barton to have a strong season in net.
With four goals and four assists in Winchester's 17-5 win over Belmont on Saturday, Megan Hennessey became the Sachems all-time leading scorer with 333 career points.
Hennessey, a senior, who has committed to play Lacrosse for Harvard University, already has 26 points this season. She passed Lauren Sullivan's mark from 2010. Sullivan is currently in her junior season playing for the University of Notre Dame.
The win was also the 300th of coach Suzanne Ontso's career.
Scituate senior attackman Tucker Ciessau reached the 300-point mark for his career with a four-goal, three-assist performance in the Sailors' 22-3 win at Whitman-Hanson on Thursday night.
The All-American, who had 110 goals and 35 assists last season, has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in two games this season for the Sailors (2-0).
Ciessau plans to play lacrosse for Division 1 Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., next season.
Duxbury junior lacrosse goaltender Nick Marrocco has committed to Georgetown, according to Dragons coach Chris Sweet.
Marrocco, who will join the Hoyas in 2014, saw limited playing time as a sophomore last season (behind senior Henry Buonagurio) for Duxbury (23-2), which won its ninth Division 1 state championship in 11 years.
"[Georgetown's] a great fit both academically and athletically," said Sweet, who has coached the Dragons for 16 seasons. "It's well deserved. Nick was really patient last year when he was our backup. He didn't let that discourage him. He practiced every day and turned himself into a great goaltender.
"I'm just glad we have him for two more seasons before he heads to Georgetown," he said.
For the second straight year, no team in Massachusetts could find a way to best Duxbury.
Three teams came close. Billerica and Lincoln-Sudbury were just one goal away, and if Needham had some more time on the man-advantage at Harvard Stadium in the Division 1 state championship, there’s no telling what could have happened.
For most of the spring, though, the Dragons were far and away the best lacrosse team in Eastern Massachusetts. If there were a ranking higher than No. 1, Duxbury would’ve gotten it.
But it’s hard not to wonder what would have happened if the Big Green Machine and Concord-Carlisle faced off in a battle of state camps.
The Division 2-winning Patriots were playing near-perfect lacrosse by season’s end, cruising to a 13-3 win over Algonquin in the final game of the spring. C-C finished the season with a 22-0 record, holding opponents to just 3.55 goals per game with All-American stopper Doug Gouchoe. Duxbury ended the year with a 4.40 goals-against-average, although the level of competition was premier.
Unfortunately, there’s no playoff series before Division 1 and Division 2 teams. So we’ll just have to call Duxbury No. 1 and Concord-Carlisle No. 2.
While teams like No. 3 Needham and No. 13 BC High had their fair share of early-season blunders, both teams showed how important it can be to peak at the right time, each making a run to the Division 1 semifinals where the Rockets advanced before losing to Duxbury.
Wellesley slid in at No. 4, giving C-C a close game in the D2 finals, while Division 3 champion Dover-Sherborn took the No. 5 spot.
The Dual County League might have been the best around this spring, with five teams in the top 20.
Monday's inaugural Agganis All-Star women’s and men’s Lacrosse Classics have been postponed due to inclement weather. The games will be played on Wednesday at Manning Field – women at 6 p.m., men at 7:30 p.m.
That means the first competition in Agganis week will be the men's and women's soccer games Tuesday at Manning Field beginning at 5:30 p.m. In addition to lacrosse, Wednesday will have also have baseball and softball at Fraser Field. Thursday is basketball with two games at Lynn Classical. And Friday is the 51st Football Classic at 7 p.m. at Manning Field.
Duxbury won the Division 1 championship on Wednesday night at Harvard Stadium, defeating Needham, 10-8, to extend its in-state winning streak to 37 games and give Chris Sweet his ninth trophy in 11 years.
But at least Needham made it interesting.
The Rockets (16-5) were right there with the Dragons in the first half, but couldn’t make enough stops to put together a run. Each time Needham scored a goal, Duxbury responded within three minutes. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Rockets were able to score back-to-back goals, rallying for four straight to cut the lead to two.
After Nico Panepinto scored his fourth of the game with less than eight minutes remaining, cutting the lead to 10-6, the Dragons picked up three penalties and were stuck playing with three defenseman. Needham scored twice in the next two minutes, but couldn’t keep the momentum once Duxbury was again at full strength.
Needham goalie Lucas Davis made some huge stops, but seven of 10 Duxbury goals were assisted. The Dragons are trained to make that extra pass, find the open man and bury the easy ones.
Sweet’s son, Sam, scored three times as a perfect send-off in his final game playing under his dad.
If a passerby were to walk by Harvard Stadium on Wednesday night and glance at the scoreboard, they likely would have thought a baseball game was being played, not an EMass lacrosse final.
That’s because throughout the entirety of the boys’ Division 2 EMass final between No. 2 Concord-Carlisle and No. 4 Wellesley, both teams were held to unusually low totals as Concord-Carlisle defeated Wellesley, 5-4.
Wellesley (19-4) dominated possession in the first quarter, with Concord-Carlisle (20-0) not seeing its offensive end until six minutes into the game. Despite the Wellesley's continued offensive attack, the Raiders were only able to get one goal when senior Oliver Saffery took a dish pass from Adam Horelick in front of the net and shot behind his back to fool Patriots goaltender Anthony West.
The Patriots got their opportunities in the second period, netting two goals, one from senior Tyler Koning just 10 seconds into the quarter and another from junior Charlie Painter with just under a minute remaining in the first half.
Concord-Carlisle had a chance to open up the game with a flurry of shots in front of the net, but Wellesley goaltender Connor Darcey was stellar, making consecutive close range saves to keep Wellesley in the game. The Patriots took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
The Patriots opened things up in the third quarter, scoring three goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead. They scored again less than 10 seconds into the frame, with freshman attack Will Blumenberg getting his first goal of the game. Senior Jackson Finigan and junior Tim Badgley joined the fun, each scoring strong goals to push the momentum in favor of the Patriots.
Wellesley buckled down defensively in the fourth quarter, which helped open up more offensive opportunities. Sophomore attack John Caraviello took advantage with 6:46 left in the game to net the Raiders' first goal since the 7:46 mark of the first and cut the Patriots advantage to three, 5-2. The Raiders managed another goal with 3:30 remaining, and made things interesting with 31.1 seconds left as Saffery scored his second of the game to put Wellesley within one, 5-4. The Patriots won the ensuing draw and held possession to take the victory.
Dover-Sherborn cruised to its first-ever state title in boys’ lacrosse on Wednesday afternoon, knocking out North Reading, 16-6, in the first of three title games at Harvard Stadium.
The Raiders were playing in their third Division 3 championship game in the last four years, having fallen to Weston in 2011 and Scituate in 2009.
The Hornets (22-2) took a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter, but D-S All-American senior Billy Polk discovered a little bit of magic on the faceoff in the second, winning the first 10 draws he took as D-S finished the game 18 for 24.
And once they established possession, the Raiders (18-5) were able put together a run with some slick ball movement that opened holes in the North Reading defense. D-S went into halftime with a 7-2 lead and never let up.
Senior attackman Jared Spence and junior attackman Brandon Jaeger each finished with four goals.
Westford came out strong, thanks to a goal 24 seconds into the game by junior Ben Katz, and held a 4-1 lead with four minutes to go in the first half. The Eagles battled back, however, and pulled within one going into the half, 7-6.
“I don’t think we were ready coming out for their speed and their shooting and that first half they just jumped on us quick, 4-1,” said BC High coach Ted Bibeau. “After that we tried to settle down and work our matchups. Once we got over that hump, we were able to hold on to [the lead].”
“Lacrosse is a game of runs and you have to weather the storms just like they did early,” said Westford coach Matt Tholander. “Our offense got away from what we normally do, which is to posses the ball and not force it. They’re a very solid, defense-oriented team and we forced the ball into some very bad looks, which caused them to get some good looks in transition.”
The Eagles’ performance featured five scorers. Seniors Brendan Hogan and Joe Buckley led the way with three goals apiece. Senior goalie and Merrimack college recruit Jonathan Barton made some key saves for BC High, holding sophomore sniper Jay Drapeau and senior captain Alex Eaton to three goals combined.
“It seems like all year, sometimes [Barton] is a little shaky but he makes the really timely ones,” said Bibeau. “He made some big saves for us all year and again today. We’re going to need that moving forward.”
Saturday is a good day to be a volleyball player.
Due to the inclement weather, most tournament events scheduled for Saturday have been been postponed. The baseball, softball, lacrosse games and tennis tournaments have all been effected.
Most games are scheduled to resume Sunday or Monday. The MIAA had previously moved the state track championship, scheduled for Saturday, to Monday.
Look for updates on postponements on the MIAA website.
While the top remains mostly the same with Needham hanging strong to the No. 1 spot, there were some big changes in this week's Top 20, the final one of the regular season.
Concord-Carlisle had a rough second half of the season, finishing at 12-6. The Patriots lost to both Norwell and Framingham, teams that were at the bottom of the rankings and completely out of it, respectively.
The losses coupled with the overall record, drop the Patriots all the way down to the No. 19 slot. Norwell, which also beat Duxbury, jumps from No. 20 to No. 18, while Framingham makes its way into the line-up at No. 20.
The Ipswich Tigers also made a jump from the No. 16 slot to No. 10, finishing the season a strong 13-3.
Duxbury, which received a No. 1 seed the Division 2 South for the MIAA tournament, finishes at 13-4-2 in the No. 15 spot.
Westford also had a strong end to its season, finishing at 16-4 in the No. 8 spot.
The Andover Golden Warriors (17-3) finished the season on an eight-game winning streak, solidifying themselves in the No. 6 spot. They're three loses have kept them from breaking into the strong all-Division 1 Top 5, but come tournament time, Andover could upset one of the top seeds.
On the other end of the spectrum, Archbishop Williams finishes at 18-2, but the Bishops play a weaker schedule. Their record gained them a No. 9 seed in the South Division 2 bracket and a first round bye. But the Bishops will have to put on a strong performance to avoid an upset.
The boys’ lacrosse pairings were released Friday afternoon and as the Division 1 East is set up, we could see a Lincoln-Sudbury vs. St. John’s Prep matchup in the first round.
The Eagles have had an uncharacteristically-mediocre season, finishing with a 9-9 record, but their strength of schedule (which concluded with a must-win, 15-12 triumph over Medfield on Wednesday) landed them the No. 13 seed and a preliminary game vs. Lexington.
Assuming the Eagles win that, they’ll have a chance to avenge an 8-6 loss to L-S from the regular season and knock off the team that many believe has the best chance to give Duxbury a run for its money.
The Warriors took the Dragons down to the wire in a 10-9 loss in late April. If L-S and Duxbury each advance, they’ll meet in the semifinals.
On the opposite side of the D1 bracket we find Acton-Boxborough with the No. 2 seed and No. 7 Westford standing in its way. The Grey Ghosts served them one of three losses on the season, though A-B got some revenge with a 10-goal win later in the year.
Masconomet earned the No. 3 seed with a 16-4 finish, while Needham got a tough draw at No. 6 with a potential date with Andover in the first round.
Prediction: It’s going to take someone’s best game paired with Duxbury’s worst to keep the Dragons from winning another state title, but there are certainly teams capable of doing that. We saw L-S come close earlier in the year, and you can’t count out St. John’s Prep or Billerica when the calendar flips to June.
Masconomet and Needham have the talent to be disruptive, but the way Acton-Boxborough has been playing, the Colonials appear destined for a matchup with Duxbury in the D1 East finals.
Duxbury over A-B.
It’s a little surprising to see Hingham (17-3) earn the No. 1 seed over Concord-Carlisle (16-0), a team that beat the Harbormen, 9-4, in the Coaches Challenge Cup earlier this season.
The Patriots will now likely have to beat either Reading or Foxboro, two teams who have played very well at times this year, to reach the semifinals.
Catholic-Memorial earned the No. 3 seed but it’s not as rewarding as it may seem – the Knights will have to beat reigning state champion Medfield to advance. The Warriors have played much better the past few weeks and might be peaking at the right time.
Don’t look past Wellesley as the No. 4 seed. The Raiders have all the ingredients that bode well for a long tourney run: An experienced coach, a top-notch goalie and a tight defense. They’ll have to get by Scituate, which turned in a delightful season this spring, but Wellesley is more than capable.
Prediction: Hingham is talented, no doubt, but they were exposed by Hanover two weeks ago and nearly lost to Scituate three games later, holding on for a 9-8 win. Bottom line: The Harbormen are beatable, and Wellesley should be the team to knock them out.
Concord-Carlisle has looked near-perfect on the field this season. The only concern is the number of young players in important roles, but Tom Dalicandro has yet to have a problem rallying his troops.
C-C over Wellesley.
Dover-Sherborn might be far-and-away the class of Division 3, but the Raiders enter the tournament coming off two tough losses, one to Medfield and another to Franklin.
If two-seeded North Reading is going to take that next step toward being a championship contender, this is the year to do it. Seniors Cody Carbone and Eric Valenti are capable of putting up crooked numbers on the attacking end.
No. 4 Newburyport had a strong year and could make a run, while Norwell is a very good three-seed.
And don’t overlook Weston from the No. 6 seed. The defending state champs haven’t had the team chemistry they possessed a year ago, but Jared Fong and Joey Pasquale are talented enough to steal a few wins.
Prediction: There are more than a few teams capable of rattling off three or four in a row, but when it comes down to it, this is Dover-Sherborn’s title to lose.
D-S over Norwell.
For the first time this season, there is not a new No. 1 in the Globe's girls' lacrosse Top 20. In fact, the top six team all remain in tact.
Needham (No. 1), Winchester (No. 2), Lincoln-Sudbury (No. 3), Notre Dame Hingham (No. 4) and Westwood (No. 5) all finished their week without a loss, keeping them in the top five slots.
Andover stays at No. 6 despite also winning out this week to push their winning streak to eight games. Their three losses keeps them from breaking into the top 5.
Concord-Carlisle jumped over Reading in the standings, after defeating the Rockets 13-10 Saturday.
Wayland and Central Catholic both had tough weeks with multiple losses, shifting them down in the standings. Those two teams' downward movement left room for Westford and North Andover, each 12-4 to slide up to No. 12 and No. 14 respectively.
After re-enetering the standings for the first time since week 1 last week, Wellesley has gone on a solid five-game winning streak to keep themselves in the Top 20 at No. 19.
Taking over the bubble position is Norwell, which entered the rankings for the first time last week, but had a multiple-loss week to slide them down to No. 20.
After the sides were done scrapping Friday night following No. 11 Medfield’s 14-7 victory over No. 7 Dover-Sherborn in lacrosse, Warriors co-head coach John Isaf settled his players down and said two words: ‘‘Message sent.’’
The Warriors had been held to a season-low five goals while getting served their first loss of the season the last time these teams met in April. And a year ago, D-S had won its first Tri-Valley League title in school history. Medfield wasn’t going to let it happen again, and earned a share of the TVL with the victory at Medfield.
‘‘This feels amazing,’’ said Medfield senior attack Calvin Given, who notched a hat trick. ‘‘We were really focused on coming out and showing them we played a terrible game [the first time]. And we didn’t just want to beat them by a few goals. We wanted to step on the gas when we had it.”
Although the game looked like a wrestling match at times, the Warriors believe they were able to get into their opponents’ heads and run free.
Medfield’s midfield scooped up almost of the groundballs and worked seamlessly with the attacking unit to find clean looks on goal, while the Raiders appeared out of synch from the opening whistle.
Here was Medfield (14-3), playing one of its best games of the season (‘‘I hope we didn’t just peak,’’ co-head coach Mike Douglas said), while D-S (15-4) played one of its worst. D-S coach Brian McLaughlin said he’s never seen his squad make that many errant passes and sloppy turnovers.
The difference-maker might’ve been Warriors attackman Conor Roddy.
Roddy was forced to watch from the sideline with a concussion the first time these squads met, but on Friday he required constant attention from Raiders sophomore Zach Abrosino.
Roddy was electric off the ball and just as good with it, dishing out three gift-wrapped assists.
‘‘It was terrible watching from the sidelines the last time,’’ he said. ‘‘And everyone on this team wanted it really badly. This is probably the most intense game we’ve had in a while.’’
Warriors senior Chris Diana scored four goals and sophomore Matt Crowell added three.
The Andover Golden Warriors defeated Central Catholic, 16-6, in girls’ lacrosse at Andover’s Lovely Field Wednesday night.
‘‘It was a big game,’’ Andover coach John McVeigh said. ‘‘I think we always try to treat our games as big, but we wanted to send our seniors off on a good note.’’
Six of Andover’s seven seniors scored, including all of their field players.
The Golden Warriors (13-3) opened a 5-0 lead before the Raiders (11-4) scored their first goal with just less than six minutes gone in the first half.
‘‘It’s always important to set the tone. I think we pride ourselves on trying to come out and win a couple of draws and get some pressure,’’ McVeigh said. ‘‘I think we did a good job.’’
Andover senior Ally Fazio (two goals, three assists) dominated the draws, allowing the Golden Warriors to control possession and sustain pressure in the offensive end.
‘‘Ally all year in our biggest games has been fantastic,’’ McVeigh said. ‘‘The thing that Ally does is she finds other people. It’s not all about her scoring, she makes the people around her better.’’
The Raiders cut Andover’s lead to 6 before the Golden Warriors went on a four-goal run, which included a man-advantage goal after Central Catholic took a two-minute yellow card with 9:10 left in the half. The Golden Warriors went into the intermission leading, 12-3.
The second half had more balance as both teams had periods of sustained offensive pressure. But the Golden Warriors took charge, outscoring Central Catholic, 4-3, in the second half.
After the last 10 days Acton-Boxboro has had, defeating No. 5 Westford, No. 6 L-S, and No. 14 Weston, it’s hard to argue the Colonials deserve anything less than the No. 3 spot.
And it’s the way they did it – winning three games by a combined 27 goals – that makes this move justified.
With Tyler McKelvie up front and Kyle Soroka in the midfield, this could be a dangerous team come tournament time.
While the Grey Ghosts of Westford also pulled off a defeat of L-S, they moved up four places and sent the Warriors down to No. 6, the lowest they’ve been all season. It’s likely just a bump in the road for Brian Vona’s squad, which has come as close as any team to ending Duxbury’s in-state winning streak this spring.
Reading earned a big jump after earning some revenge on No. 17 Winchester, as the Rockets slid into No. 12 with another solid defensive performance.
North Reading (No. 18) and Newton North (19) made season-debuts in the Top 20, though each squad has a big league test coming this week against Newburyport and Wellesley, respectively.
With a big 12-10 win over Westwood Thursday, Needham catapolts from the No. 5 spot to No.1 for the first time this season, in the Globe's girls' lacrosse Top 20. The Rockets are 14-1 with their only loss coming to Cold Springs Harbor (N.Y.).
Winchester drop to No.2 while one-loss squads Lincoln-Sudbury (No.3) and Notre Dame (Hingham) (No.4) remain in the top five, with Westwood (13-2) rounding out the group at No. 5.
A strong week from Reading pushes the Rockets to the No. 7 spot, while Concord-Carlisle's loss to Wayland drops them to No. 8. The win moves the Warriors to No. 11, up two spots from last week.
A two loss week by Westford, with setbacks to Lincoln-Sudbury and Algonquin, drops them from No. 10 to No. 15.
Archbishop Williams sits at No.9 with a strong 15-1 record, but their weaker strength of schedule keeps the Bishops just on the outside of the top teams.
Entering the poll for the first time this week are Wellesley (8-6, No.20) and Norwell (8-4, No. 18). They booted Hamilton-Wenham and Franklin out of the rankings.
Falmouth coach Greg Gilbert wasn’t just impressed with his team’s performance against Marshfield. The visiting team’s sportsmanship overshadowed the 10-9 thrilling win.
“(Marshfield) is getting my vote for sportsmanship in the [Atlantic Coast League] this year,” Gilbert said. “I was real impressed with Marshfield’s class.”
Falmouth hasn’t beaten Marshfield since 2006, and Gilbert is in his 18th varsity season with the Clippers. Down 9-8 at home, Falmouth senior midfielder Devon Soares scored with 28 seconds left, giving the Clippers a lifeline.
After Gilbert called a timeout with 19 seconds left, his senior midfielder, David Hamill, was supposed to take it behind the net and swing a pass out in front of the goal.
“It’s never exactly like you draw it up,” Gilbert said. “It seemed like forever, but he got behind the goal and cut it back on his right hand.”
Hamill managed to find sophomore midfielder Cody Garcia, who struck with just one second remaining in regulation. Garcia had four goals and two assists. Falmouth qualified for the state tournament with its win.
The Clippers lost to Marshfield in double-overtime earlier this season at Marshfield. Even then, Gilbert said his opponents' sportsmanship was evident.
“This is what lacrosse is about,” said Gilbert. “It was a tribute to both schools. There’s a lot of mutual respect, and going through the line and shaking hands after the game, it’s a nice atmosphere.”
Falmouth didn’t dominate ground balls or faceoffs according to Gilbert, but that was irrelevant to him after the game.
“Teams with great sportsmanship aren’t always the great teams,” he said. “Marshfield is a great team, and (the sportsmanship) is a good reflection of their coach and program.”
The Needham controlled the opening draw, and thus the game as the No. 5 Mustangs (15-1) defeated No. 4 Westwood (11-2) 12-10 in girls’ lacrosse action on Thursday afternoon.
Needham took the opening draw straight down the field for the first goal and their first lead. While the game went back and forth for the majority of the first half, the Mustangs were able to dominate on the draws, which head coach Beth O’Brien said was the key to winning the game.
“When two great, talented, competitive teams play, the draws are huge,” O’Brien said. “Absolutely, it was probably one of our biggest things. We didn’t want to allow them to have the ball.”
Needham went up by two goals in the first half, before taking a yellow card that put them down a man for two minutes. Westwood was able to take control and tie the score with two man-advantage goals. The Wolverines kept the momentum rolling scoring two more to take a two-goal lead on the Mustangs.
Needham got the two goals back and goaltender Annee O’Connor made a big save at the end of the half to send the two squads into the break tied at 7-7. The sophomore had eight saves on the afternoon.
“Balls are going to go into the net, especially against a potent offense like Westwood,” O’Brien said. “Annee and I have been talking about making the best saves at the right time and she certainly made that big save at the end of the half. And she made some big saves in the second half that were momentum changing.”
During halftime, O’Brien stressed to her team that the second half was like a new game. With the scored knotted up, all they had to do was win the draws and control the pace and they could pull off the upset.
“I said, ‘Guys, you’ve played really really hard, now you’ve got to go back out and you have to take it up a notch,' ” O’Brien said.
The Mustangs took the lead in the second half and never relinquished it, although Westwood gave them a run.
“It was really tight,” said O’Brien. “We were up by three and then they chipped back and we had to hold on to the ball and fight for the last five minutes.”
The Wolverines scored with just over four minutes to play to cut Needham’s lead to two, 12-10. The Mustangs played a stalling game for the last four minutes to take the win.
Needham’s offense was led by Catherine Conley’s three goals and assists and Maddie Stenberg contributed two goals and two assists.
O’Brien noted that freshman Audrey Walsh had a standout game with two goals and an assist.
Once again, the top team has fallen, allowing for a new No. 1 in the Globe’s girls’ lacrosse Top 20.
Former No. 1 Notre Dame (Hingham) was upset by a strong Andover team under the lights in Golden Warrior territory Wednesday. The 13-11 loss, slips NDA to the No. 2 spot, while the victory catapults Andover to No. 6.
Taking over the top spot is Winchester. The Sachems were the last undefeated team remaining, until a tough loss to a good Westwood squad Tuesday. Despite the win, Westwood (No. 4) stays put along with Needham (No. 5), rounding out the top five.
Jumping up in the rankings this week is Reading (No. 8), which had a big week with wins over Masconomet and Framingham. The loss was Masconomet’s second of the season, pushing it down to the No. 11 slot.
Archbishop Williams sits in the No. 9 slot at 12-1, but play a weaker schedule than some of the top teams, keeping them in the middle of the pack.
Ashland lost to Westwood this week, pushing them to No. 17, while North Andover (9-3) had a three-win week to solidify themselves in the standings at No. 15.
Still on the bubble are Ipswich (6-2, No. 18), Hamilton-Wenham (5-2, No. 19), and Franklin (6-5, No. 20).
The Notre Dame (Hingham) girls' lacrosse team stepped onto the field at Andover High School undefeated at 11-0 and walked off with an 13-11 loss.
The second-ranked Cougars beat No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury, 14-10, just a week ago, but according to coach Meredith Frank, her players didn't bring the same tenacity to Wednesday night's game.
"I think we were a little scared to play Andover at Andover under the lights," she said. "Against L-S we had the comfort of home field and could put those fears aside, but we didn't seem to be able to do that tonight."
The Golden Knights (10-3, 5-0) capitalized on the Cougars' timidity and came out firing, taking an early 6-2 lead. Andover coach John McVeigh praised his team's draw control as the key to the quick start.
"We won several draws early on," he said. "Both teams have strong attacks so it was a really even game."
Andover finished the half up 10-5, extending their lead to 12-6 with 11 minutes left in the game. But Notre Dame, seeing the clock winding down, dug in their spikes and made a furious comeback.
Senior Alex Dalton (five goals) and sophomore Isabella O'Connor (four goals) led the Cougars on offense while midfielder Madison Caron dropped back to help out on defense. The tactic cut Andover's lead to 12-10, but the effort fell short.
"I think we started off pretty sluggish and just weren't able to truly close the gap they created in the first half," said Frank. "Once our back was against the wall, we had some players make plays, but it just wasn't enough."
Senior Ally Fazio led Andover with five goals and two assists but senior goaltender Jill Beucler also made a huge difference for the Knights, recording 12 of her eight saves in the second half. "She made big saves down the stretch for us," said McVeigh.
The victory is Andover's second big win this week. They handed L-S a 15-9 loss on Sunday, making a strong case to be the team to beat in girls' lacrosse.
Lincoln-Sudbury, Weston, and Acton-Boxboro can ponder the “what-ifs,” but all three teams fell one goal short of blowing this week’s Top 20 into a whirlwind.
No. 3 L-S gave up a late lead to No. 1 Duxbury while No. 2 Concord-Carlisle fended off both No. 8 A-B and No. 13 Weston in a pair of nail-biters to maintain its perfect record.
The Patriots have won three one-goal games against top-15 opponents this year, a product of what many coaches call “the most patient attack in the area.” They hardly give away costly turnovers and play a tight game of pass-and-catch while waiting for the perfect shot to open up. Check out this Thursday’s Globe West for a full feature on what makes C-C so good.
Meanwhile, No. 5 Wellesley needed a near-perfect game to sneak by the No. 7 Rockets of Needham. No. 9 Dover-Sherborn took out No. 10 Medfield to send the Warriors back five spots. Scituate makes its debut in the rankings this year at No. 18 after a double-overtime victory over No. 11 Catholic Memorial.
The biggest movement though comes from a pair of Dual County League foes in No. 5 Westford and No. 8 Acton-Boxboro. Westford moved up thanks to a convincing win over Weston, and even though A-B lost against C-C, the Colonials showed the athleticism and speed that has led some coaches to say A-B could be the premier DCL team by season’s end.
A once-crazy thought, perhaps, but there’s still a lot of season to be played.
With a 14-10 win over formerly undefeated and top-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury, the Notre Dame of Hingham girls' lacrosse team has taken over the top spot in the Globe's Top 20.
The loss slips the Warriors down to the No. 3 spot as Winchester's strong 10-0 record puts them firmly in second. After opening their season with a narrow 13-12 loss to Lincoln-Sudbury, Westwood has rebounded, winning nine straight games to put them at No. 4. Needham's 9-1 record rounds out the top 5.
Concord-Carlisle moves up three spots to No. 7 after a three-win week, including handing No. 9 Masconomet its first loss of the season. Westford Academy also jumped three spots to No. 11.
Entering the rankings for the first time this week is Ashland, which sits at 8-0.
North Andover has climbed out of the bubble into the No. 17 spot after defeating ranked teams Ipswich and Hamilton-Wenham this week.
Those losses place Ipswich (No. 18) and Hamilton-Wenham (No. 19) at the edge of the standings with No. 20 Franklin (6-3). They'll have to contend with Wellesley, which just slipped out the rankings this week after a disappointing 3-5 record to begin the season.
Archbishop Williams’ Meg Kiley continues to stack up milestones after clinching her 100th career goal, sending the ninth-ranked Bishops (10-2) to the state tournament in a 14-1 win Saturday over Lowell Catholic.
The junior posted five goals and an assist in the win.
Last season, Kiley led the Catholic Central League in assists (57) for a school record. The transition to the team’s ‘go-to’ person for scoring opportunities has been a promising one for the Bishops, who look to Kiley to score three or four goals per game.
So far, the three-year starter has notched 54 goals, earning her recognition as the Boston Cannon’s Muscle Milk Player of the Week.
“She’s definitely a leader and one of our best players and she’s having a great year,” said sixth-year coach Gordie McClay.
McClay describes Kiley as unselfish.
“She’s not a limelight kind of person but she has done a great job,” he said.
Before achieving her milestone, Kiley worked to feed fellow junior Blayne Baker goals so that she too could reach her 100th goal mark, Wednesday, against Matignon.
“How do you have two better kids on your team, even willing to get one another to score?” McClay said.
There are three other student athletes in Archbishop Williams’ school history with 100 goals, but there has never been a pair that has reached the mark in the same season, according to McClay.
“They’re two outstanding young ladies and we are having success because we have great kids and there is not one in the lot I would change,” he said.
Finally, after eight games, the seventh-ranked Wellesley boys’ lacrosse team was able to put it all together.
With a ton of preseason hype surrounding Penn State-bound goalie Connor Darcey and the rest of the Wellesley squad, two early losses to Billerica and Concord-Carlisle may have deflated that some.
But after the Raiders (6-2) stormed back from a four-goal deficit to defeat sixth-ranked Needham (4-3), 10-9, in overtime Wednesday afternoon, it might be safe to start up the hype machine again.
Just don’t run it so hard this time.
“For at least those 12 minutes, we hit our stride,” said coach Rocky Batty. “If we can stay where we are, we’ll play anybody right now.”
Led by juniors Nico Panepinto and Robbie Pisano, the Rockets held an 8-4 lead late in the third quarter, but Wellesley senior John Caraviello scored with 28 seconds left to turn the tide. With Needham a man down, Caraviello had some time and let one rip from about 10 yards out.
The Raiders then scored the next four goals, including two by senior Adam Horelick – who played the game of his life, according to Batty – but Pisano found the net for Needham with 1:33 left to send the game into overtime.
Darcey made two big stops in OT before senior Peter Crane finished things off with his third goal of the game as the Raiders claimed some local pride. Darcey finished with 20 saves.
“The key was we had possession the whole game,” Batty said. “I think we did a great job on faceoffs and Darcey had a huge game. He made great saves, great clears that protected us and the defense locked out.”
After St. John's High (Shrewsbury) beat St. John's Prep and Masconomet beat Billerica on Tuesday, there's sure to be some shuffling in the rankings come next Monday.
If you're looking for a big game to get to on Thursday, here's three:
No. 13 Weston @ No. 9 Westford Academy, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Concord-Carlisle @ No. 14 Acton-Boxborough, 5:30
No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury @ No. 1 Duxbury, 6
In other boys’ lacrosse news, Archbishop Williams senior attack Cam Joyce passed the 300-point mark for his career, according to the school’s Twitter feed. Joyce, who broke his collarbone last year, is AW’s all-time leading scorer. He will play at Southern New Hampshire next fall.
The Notre Dame of Hingham girls’ lacrosse team went on a six-goal scoring spree to start the game en route to a 14-10 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury Tuesday at Hingham.
The loss was the first for the Warriors, who entered 8-0. The Cougars are 10-0.
‘‘Any team can beat any team on any day,’’ Notre Dame coach Meredith Frank said. ‘‘Lincoln-Sudbury is a tremendous team. I’ve seen them play a number of tremendous opponents and come out successful. It’s a belief that you can win any game that you’re thrown into.’’
Sophomore attack Isabella O’Connor scored three goals in Notre Dame’s early outburst.
“[Getting the lead] was huge. I just think it’s big for our girls’ confidence to know they can compete against a team of this caliber,’’ Frank said. ‘‘So I think that kind of helped them set the tone for the rest of the game.’’
Lincoln-Sudbury won the draw following Notre Dame’s sixth goal and took the ball down the field for its first goal of the match. The Warriors quickly netted three more to cut the deficit to 6-4.
The Cougars then focused on winning draws and maintaining possession. They netted three more goals before the half to push the score to 9-5.
‘‘Every single draw, every single possession matters,’’ Frank said. ‘‘You just have to figure out what you are not doing, figure out what is going wrong and see if you can fix it. And I think our defense did a good job of getting together and figuring out something that would work.’’
Notre Dame started the second period with two goals in the opening minutes. O’Connor led the charge with her fourth of the day.
‘‘She is a fighter. She is tremendously aggressive and she is fearless,’’ Frank said. ‘‘I think her fearlessness is what sparks our offense.’’
Notre Dame charged to a 14-7 lead in the final five minutes of the game. Lincoln-Sudbury made a final offensive push, netting three goals in the final minutes.
Two years ago this spring, Masconomet boys’ lacrosse coach Tom Cobb was walking off the field at Lincoln-Sudbury in the pouring rain.
He carried no umbrella, and after watching from the sidelines as his squad was exposed by the high-powered Warriors during the 17-6 loss, Cobb was already soaking wet and seemingly OK with it. He talked about how he wanted the Masconomet program to someday reach a comparable level to L-S and the other “Big Four” Division 1 schools (Duxbury, St. John’s Prep and Billerica). And while Mike Magnifico did what he could for the Chieftains in 2010, they simply didn’t have enough.
But the future was still bright. Cobb had three outstanding sophomore midfielders at the time: Tim Towler, Jake Gillespie and Kurt Hunzinger.
“I remember that day,” said Cobb. “We got beat in every area on the field. Those three were on the team. And those guys have all been playing together for a long time, since they were real little.”
Now they’re seniors, and with eight other classmates on the team, they’re expected to do a whole lot. Hunzinger, a hulking, 6-foot-3, 200-plus-pound short-stick midfielder, is a matchup’s nightmare heading to University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the fall. Towler (Merrimack) and Gillespie (Tufts) add two more scoring threats from the top of the crease, creating quite the problem for the opposition.
And it’s not as if area coaches don’t know about them – “Everyone has pretty much seen the show now,” Cobb joked – but containing all three of them at the same time remains quite the challenge. The Chieftains have averaged almost 15 goals per game.
“The cool thing about having three guys,” Cobb said, “is that you can only have four poles on defense. So you have to make a decision what you want to do. If you want to pole all three up top, which some coaches have done, the attackmen have a couple nice looks. And if you short-stick one of the three midfielders, that one picks up the slack.
The Chieftains, who beat BC High for the first time ever, were off to a 6-2 start before Monday’s showdown with Billerica – the third consecutive challenge for Masconomet after falling to Westford Academy (7-2 through Sunday) in a one-goal game and beating Reading (6-3 through Sunday).
Sure, it’s early. But this just might be the year Cobb was anticipating from the rainy sidelines at Lincoln-Sudbury in 2010.
“You always hope that,” he said. “Right now, I think we’re within that top group. And when you get to that group, it’s whoever plays best that day who is going to win.”
Hard to predict
Trying to predict outcomes between some of the top teams in Eastern Mass. this season? Good luck. One look at Masco’s schedule shows why that’s nearly impossible.
Masco got smoked by Acton-Boxboro to start the season. Westford went on to beat A-B decisively. Reading then got the best of Westford in an overtime thriller. And on Saturday, Masco beat Reading, 9-6, to complete the full circle.
The only sure thing, according to many area coaches, is Duxbury, which has just two losses, both of which came to nationally-ranked teams from New York. Meanwhile, Concord-Carlisle shocked Lincoln-Sudbury, Hingham and Wellesley all in the same week. And to think coach Tom Dalicandro said his squad was in a bit of a “rebuilding” stage.
Other coaches laugh at the thought.
“Not many teams can play the way that Concord-Carlisle plays,” Cobb said.
“Front to back, that’s a good, smart, well-coached team,” said Wellesley skipper Rocky Batty. “And they’re deep.”
There was a scary moment for Medfield during the Warriors’ 17-7 loss to Duxbury on Wednesday when high-scoring attackman Connor Roddy was pummeled while taking a shot and sent to the hospital with a concussion.
“He had his clock cleaned,” said one area coach who was at the game. “The kid who hit him got a one-minute penalty, but it didn’t look malicious at all. That happens when you’re coming across the crease.”
Losing Roddy for a significant amount of time would certainly be a big loss for the Warriors, who then squeaked by Xaverian (3-5 record), 10-8, just three days after the injury.
Don't we know you?
Here’s something you don’t see every day: Dick Kerr (Concord-Carlisle) and Steve Connolly (North Andover) were coaching against each other this weekend – except for the first time, it was at the junior varsity level.
The two coaching legends are often credited with growing the sport of lacrosse in this part of New England, though Kerr retired from his varsity post in 2008 and Connolly stepped aside after last season.
“They just never leave the game,” marveled Dover-Sherborn coach Brian McLaughlin. “The two old pioneers of lacrosse. That was pretty neat.”
The No. 14 Concord-Carlisle boys lacrosse team jumped out to a 5-1 lead after one period, then leaned on goalie Doug Gouchoe and a steadfast defense for an 8-7 victory over No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury in the first round of the Coaches Challenge Cup on Thursday in Andover.
"We came out really strong," said Lincoln-Sudbury coach Tom Dalicandro, whose team got three man-up goals in the first period. "That start gave our guys a lot of confidence."
After carrying a 6-3 lead into the half, the Patriots (4-0) found themselves up, 8-6, heading into the final frame.
The Warriors (4-2) scored midway through the fourth period to pull within one, 8-7, and then controlled play over the final minute as they looked for the equalizer.
"We really pride ourselves on sound defense," said Dalicandro. "I knew that they would probably need to make 3 or 4 sounds passes in order to get off a quality shot."
With time running down, the C-C defense frustrated the L-S attack and Gonchoe (12 saves) picked off a cross-crease pass with five seconds left to seal the victory.
"[Gonchoe] and the whole defense played exceptional today," said Dalicandro. "[Lincoln-Sudbury] is the class of the league and we measure ourselves against them. For us it was a huge win."
The Patriots offense was led by seniors Kevin Delehey (3 goals) and Mike O'Brien (2 goals).
Defensively, captain Henry Bumpus led the unit, flanked by Evan Boynton, Sam Barrett, Javier Flores, Matt Salemy, and Nick Erozowski.
Concord-Carlisle will play No. 8 Hingham - who defeated No. 13 Dover-Sherborn 9-5 in Round 1 - Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in round two of the Coaches Challenge Cup at Dover-Sherborn High School.
This awards ceremony and program are designed to recognize Massachusetts high school student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in three disciplines: academics, athletics and citizenship. The ceremony will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Curry Student Center Ballroom at Northeastern University.
The theme of this year’s event is “How Can Student-Athletes Make a Difference in the Community?”
The event, which is being sponsored by Sport in Society at Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, is open to schools in Districts A, B, C, D, E and H.
Each school can nominate two male and two female students that merit this recognition and have participated in community service. One faculty member, coach, or parent representative should also be willing to provide transportation and accompany the students.
For more information contact Ted O’Reilly at 617-373-4025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early season rankings (or preseason rankings, still, for some teams) are always difficult to craft considering we haven’t seen a lot of these teams in action yet, and most of the coaches don’t even know what they’re squad is going to give them.
But at least at the very top of the Boston Globe boys lacrosse Top 20, the choice was easy.
There’s little doubt around Massachusetts that Duxbury is the clear No. 1. Boasting a slew of Division 1 recruits (12, to be exact) and eight of the last 10 state championship trophies, the Dragons have gained national attention as one of the premier teams in the country. But that doesn’t mean no one else has a chance.
Of the other “Big Four” teams – Lincoln-Sudbury, St. John’s Prep and Billerica – No. 2 L-S appears most primed to make a run. The Warriors had an up-and-down season last year filled with injuries, but a lot of young players earned some valuable experience and coach Brian Vona will have a ton of talent to work with.
No. 6 St. John’s Prep is very raw, but talented, and John Roy always seems to have his team in top form by tournament time, and that’s when it counts.
No. 7 Billerica, meanwhile, could really sneak up on people. The Indians are being discounted after the graduation of Grant Whiteway, but Cam Slatton and Ben Melaugh have formed a dangerous 1-2 punch at the attack, on perfect display during a 6-5 win over Wellesley on Thursday when the two combined for four goals and three assists. And with goalie DJ Smith between the pipes, the typical hard-nosed Billerica defense could give any team trouble.
At No. 3, Needham is full of promise. They’ve gained national attention in some rankings and David Wainwright returns 10 seniors, mostly on the defensive side. But with the graduation of All-American Will Stenberg, sophomore UMass-Amherst commit Mike Panepinto was expected to play a huge role, and he suffered a broken collar bone in the preseason that could keep him out all year. His brother, Nico, is a scoring threat, though, and while Needham could be one of the first teams to fall from the top-five, don’t count them out. The Rockets might just need some time to peak.
No. 5 Wellesley is loaded with talent, including All-American goalie Connor Darcey, but there’s a lot of football players on that roster and their over-aggressive style could haunt them with too many man-down situations. If the offense can score, this team could be as good as it gets.
No. 4 seems like a good spot for Medfield, which lost its coach and starting goalie, among others, but remains very deep as usual. It’s all about going back to basics for the Warriors, and if John Isaf and Mike Douglas can get their players to buy in, a three-peat is possible.
No. 14 Acton-Boxboro has a chance to really surprise people this year. The Colonials are athletic, and their schedule is tough, so if they can stay healthy and get better as the season goes on, they should be dangerous.
At the bottom of the list, Newton North is an intriguing team. Perhaps not a squad with the most talent, but there’s some serious size on that defense, and long-time head coach Bussy Adam has 14 returning players. A lot rides on junior goalie John Hogan.
Remember, there’s a lot of season to be played, and this list could look entirely different in a few weeks. See the full Globe boys lacrosse Top 20.
Qualms, comments, story ideas or anything else? Email me at email@example.com
Last five out (in alphabetical order): Andover, Cohasset, Foxborough, Lexington, Walpole
The first thing one might question upon first glance at the Boston Globe girls lacrosse Top 20 is the placement of Westwood.
Some will wonder why the Lady Wolverines are in the No. 2 slot instead of at the top, while others wonder why they are ranked second and not further back. So let’s just lay out the facts, because they speak for themselves.
Westwood only has five returning starters. Of them, three are seniors. All three of those seniors -- Kate Rich, Laura McHoul, and three-year starting goaltender Mollie Brown -- are committed to play lacrosse in college. Brown will play at Plymouth State, but Rich (Boston College) and McHoul (UNH) are headed for Division 1. They will give opponents headaches all season. The Lady Wolverines are also the defending Division 1 champions, and coach Leslie Frank has been fielding the most successful team in the state for the last decade.
Is Westwood a serious contender for the Division 1 title? Absolutely. The only thing that keeps them out of the top spot on this list is that they lost to Lincoln-Sudbury. The Warriors are expected to run away with Dual County League and contend for the Division 1 title, and they have already made a case for themselves by taking down Westwood in the season opener. Right now, they are the top team in the state.
Andover held off No. 9 Framingham on Wednesday to improve to 2-0, and is a serious threat in the North. Notre Dame has 10 returning starters and is currently unbeaten at 4-0. Hopkinton returns nine starters, and has a real chance to repeat in Division 2, which rounds out the top 5.
More than one Division 1 coach has stated how dangerous Needham looked throughout the preseason, and the Rockets won handily to open their season.
See the full Globe girls lacrosse Top 20.
There aren’t many familiar faces on St. John’s Prep's lacrosse team after advancing to the Division 1 Eastern Massachusetts finals for the third straight season last year, but the Eagles survived a big early season test on Thursday night, beating BC High, 9-7.
Without All-American Jimmy O’Connell (playing at Trinity College) and the speedy Colin Blackwell (playing hockey at Harvard), among others, the Prep used three goals from sophomore midfielder Drew O’Connell and two from junior attack Dan Mini to improve to 2-0.
“Confidence is a big part of this game, and getting confidence early in the season is huge,” said coach John Roy.
St. John’s Prep took a 5-4 lead into halftime before scoring the first two goals in the second half. BC High eventually narrowed the lead to one, but couldn’t finish the comeback.
BC High won both regular season matchups between the two teams last year.
“It was a tough, physical game,” Roy said. “It’s not what we want to do, but if it’s called for, we can play like that.”
Though young, the Prep is considered one of the few area teams capable of stopping Duxbury – who has 12 Division 1 college bound players on its roster – in the state tournament this season. The Dragons have won eight of the last 10 state titles.
Sophomore attacker Amy Cunningham scored half of Wayland's goals, and outscored the entire Bedford team, in Wayland’s 18-6 girls’ lacrosse win Thursday afternoon.
“She’s very, very fast. She’s one of these kids that just has a nose for the goal,” said Wayland coach EJ Kluge. “She will do whatever it takes to get a shot off and she’s got a good, strong shot.”
It is not the first time she has scored nine goals in a game. She also did it last season, when she was starting as the only freshman on the roster.
Kluge has only seen one other player in her time at Wayland come close to scoring in double-digits.
Cunningham leads Wayland in goals this season with 16. She had four in their opener against Tantasqua on Monday, and three on Wednesday against Newton South, both victories.
In the latest installment of High School Weekly, the Element Productions crew takes a look at Needham High's girls lacrosse defender Shelby Aubin. The four-year starter will go on to Georgetown after this season. But first she's got some high goals.
And not only is Aubin a great athlete, she also gives back to the youth program in her community and is an excellent student.
Also, if you missed it, the High School Weekly crew put together a spring preview.
High School Sports Weekly profiles the student-athletes from around the region who make high school athletics so compelling. Check out High School Weekly on Facebook.
Senior defenseman Dimas Bordales scooped up a loose ball and fired it into the back of the net to lead the Malden boys’ lacrosse team to 16-15 overtime victory over GBL rival Cambridge, Monday at home.
“Our team fought hard, kept working, getting ground balls, hustling and chipping away and eventually we persevered with our teamwork,” said Brenden Maney, third-year head coach. “There wasn’t any great coaching move that I made, it was the kids that made gritty plays, dug in, and controlled the game.”
The Golden Tornadoes (1-1) turned the ball over and trailed, 15-14, with two minutes left in regulation after senior midfielder Stanley Chan (two goals) was stripped of a goal late in the game following a stick check penalty.
The Tornadoes' fortunes then changed as junior goalie T.J Ruddock (13 saves) made a key save that allowed senior captain Dan Glynn (eight goals and an assist) to march downfield and drive the ball into the cage and force overtime.
“Both teams made sure to capitalize on each other’s mistakes, but late in the game we maintained our composure and played through the stick check penalty that left us one man down,” said Maney.
The Tornadoes led, 10-6, after the first half, and created many of their scoring opportunities through their defense. Long stick midfielders Justin Pham, Patrick DiCicco, Allan Delva set the tone on defense early and allowed Glynn, who notched six goals in the second half, and Dimas (one goal, two assists) to create one-on-one opportunities and attack the Falcons’ defense and convert at the cage.
“We are getting better playing team defense, especially off-the-ball defense,” said Maney. “Everyone has improved since our last game where we had a lot of mental errors, and we are all growing together as a team.”
Shawn Anderson has been named the new boys' lacrosse coach at St. Mary's.
The Tewksbury native led Becker College to its first winning-season in 2008 and was nominated for Conference Coach of the Year. After assisting at Belmont Hill last season, he takes his first head coaching job for lacrosse at the high school level.
Anderson has only been coaching lacrosse for five years, but his experience as a football coach spans three decades--including stints at Boston University, Curry, Merrimack, West Virginia Tech, and Belmont Hill.
He takes over a Spartans program that finished 0-11 last season.
In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, Westwood's girls lacrosse coach Leslie Frank was featured in the magazine's "Faces in the Crowd" special coaches edition.
Frank guided Westwood to a Division 1 state title in a 15-9 win over Longmeadow in June after a 25-0-1 season. According to the magazine, she has a career record of 269-22-6 and has sent 15 students on to Division 1 schools for lacrosse in the past 13 years.
Frank wasn't the only coach in New England to make it in the section. Rhode Island's Bill Haberek, Chariho Regional's track and field coach, was also featured. Haberek led the boys track team to its first state title in school history last spring and was voted the state's outdoor track coach of the year.
As if Sarah Biron, Westwood’s face of the lacrosse program the past few years, needed another accolade from her high school playing days, the soon-to-be freshman at Johns Hopkins was named Northeast Girls Player of the Year by Lacrosse Magazine in the August issue.
“I admire her,” long-time Westwood coach Leslie Frank said Tuesday. “It wasn’t about stats with her, and certainly she accumulated enough points. But she did whatever it took for the team to win. She’s certainly among the top of the players to ever come through our program.”
The do-it-all midfielder led the Wolverines to their third straight state title with a victory over Longmeadow, capping off an undefeated season. Westwood was ranked No. 4 in the final Northeast region rankings in Lacrosse Magazine.
Biron finished her Westwood career with 234 goals and 103 assists, including 119 points her senior season, earning her Globe Player of the Year honors.
Perhaps her most defining moment came in the Eastern Massachusetts title game against Lincoln-Sudbury in mid-June. With a hip injury limiting Biron’s ability to shoot, Frank asked her to take a back seat on the offensive end, focusing on winning possession off draws and collecting ground balls. Biron didn’t score, but she played a big part in the 15-7 win.
“We played with a lot of freshmen and won a state championship because [Biron] was such a great teacher,” Frank said. “They don’t get to where they need to be learning just from me, they have to learn from each other. And Sarah was a leader.”
Just before the start of the biggest game in school history, Natick girls’ lacrosse coach Ashley Mabardy decided to make a change. The team’s defense had struggled all season. She decided the Red and Blue would go with a four-man defense if they started to get worn out.
The decision was the right one. Natick beat visiting Weymouth, 17-7, yesterday to clinch the program’s first state tournament berth.
‘‘Making adjustments 25 minutes before the game and having them work shows we’re ready to go on short notice,’’ Mabardy said. ‘‘Our seniors were so psyched and they wanted it so badly. They were willing to do anything to win.’’
The player Mabardy called on to switch positions and protect the second-half lead, however, was a freshman. Midfielder Megan Tingley, who usually is deployed as a defensive wing, switched to the point on defense to give the Red and Blue the boost they needed. Although Natick led, 11-2, at halftime, Mabardy said Weymouth’s speed was exhausting her players.
She didn’t want to take any chances.
‘‘We were getting burned in transition,’’ she said. ‘‘Normally, we rely on the attack wings to help out on defense, but it was too much for them in the first half. Knowing they had extra support on defense was really helpful. They communicated really well at the restraining line.’’
Tingley’s versatility and stamina allowed her teammates to get the rest they needed to close out the win.
‘‘She will do whatever you ask,’’ Mabardy said. ‘‘She can shadow players. Sometimes we’ll ask her to play man-to-man while everyone else is in zone. She’s quick enough to do it.’’
Tingley wasn’t the only player to lock down the Weymouth attack, though. Hayley O’Loughlin made 11 saves.
‘‘One of our biggest challenges has been goaltending,’’ Mabardy said. ‘‘We have three fairly new goalies, and it’s been a struggle. Halfway through the season, we went with our hockey goalie [O’Loughlin], who had played attack for us. She’s been great.’’
Junior wings Cat Steckbeck and Annie McElaney generated most of the offense. Steckbeck registered four goals and five assists and leads the team in both categories. McElaney added four goals and three assists.
A few upsets have caused some big changes in this week's boys lacrosse Globe Top 20.
Marshfield fell out of the top 5 for the first time since early April after nearly being defeated by unranked Malden Catholic in overtime on Monday.
Dover-Sherborn moved up from No. 9 to No. 7 after securing the Tri-Valley League title on Thursday with a big win over Medfield. That loss was the Warriors' third straight, and that streak has sent them down six places to No. 16.
St. John's Prep has continued to rise after dropping off the Top 20 early this season, playing well against Billerica in a 13-6 loss and defeating Catholic Memorial 17-8. The Eagles are No. 17.
Lexington moves back into the Top 20 for the first time since April 21st after wins against Winchester and Reading, and now sits at No. 18. Lincoln-Sudbury (No. 20) returned to the elite ranks with wins over Acton-Boxboro and Cohasset.
With few matchups between the best teams in Eastern Massachusetts this past week, there has been little movement in the Globe's boys' lacrosse Top 20.
Walpole made the biggest jump this week, going from No. 18 to No. 12 after battling to a one-goal loss against No. 7 Needham.
St. John’s Prep has re-entered the top 20 for the first time since late April. Last year’s Division 1 champions got off to a rough start after struggling to replace key seniors, but they seem to have righted the ship. The Eagles played well against No. 8 BC High in a 12-10 loss Tuesday, and took a strong 15-9 win against Lincoln-Sudbury Saturday. They are ranked No. 20.
Newton North is out of the top 20 after a three-game skid, taking losses against No. 14 Framingham, No. 18, Natick and unranked Brookline.
The top 10 teams of the Globe girls lacrosse Top 20 remain almost exactly the same as last week, with the lone exception being Winchester and Notre Dame (Hingham) switching spots. The Sachems lost their first game of the season at the hands of No. 1 Westwood, and with the Cougars winning three times to remain undefeated the Sachems must slightly drop.
However, the bottom half of the Top 20 was shaken up. Three new teams enter the mix: Franklin, Hopkinton and North Andover. Franklin (11-1) and Hopkinton (10-3) make their return to the Top 20 at Nos. 12 and 13 after making the preseason Top 20.
North Andover debuts in the Top 20 at No. 17. They are 10-1 on the season and have won eight straight games including two this week.
Masconomet held steady at No. 16 while Weston moved up a spot to No. 18 after its win against Acton-Boxborough this week.
There has been little movement among the best teams in EMass lacrosse since last week, and the top 12 positions haven’t changed in the last week.
Duxbury has yet to drop a game to a state opponent this season, and until they do, they’ll hold onto the top spot in the Globe boys lacrosse Top 20.
No. 2 Wellesley has put together a strong season so far and is undefeated. With their toughest tests behind them, the Raiders have a solid chance at finishing the regular season with a donut in the loss column.
No. 8 BC High may lead the Top 20 in losses, but they also face one of the toughest schedules in EMass. Three of their losses have come at the hands of top 5 opponents.
No. 17 Reading dropped three spots this week after a 6-5 overtime loss to Winchester, which makes its first Top 20 appearance of the year at No. 20.
Framingham moves up four spots to No. 15 after strong wins over Foxboro and Newton North last week.
With the match tied at 10 with seven seconds remaining in regulation, Hingham junior midfielder Karl Weller set up in front of Lincoln-Sudbury junior goalie Dan Shaughnessy and bounced a shot off the grass and over Shaughnessy’s head to provide the 11-10 Harbormen win.
It was an impressive comeback for Hingham (6-1) considering L-S led by four goals midway through the second quarter.
“I think it comes down to, just like anything else – we didn’t play well together as a team the other day and we got beat up pretty badly,” said Hingham coach John Todd, referring to an 11-6 loss to Concord-Carlisle in the Coaches' Challenge Cup earlier this week. “We’ve got kids that can play. They’re young and they have to believe in what they’re doing.
“Sometimes they don’t and they try to do what they think they’ve been doing on their own and then it doesn’t work. Today we did a ton right as a team, clearing, dividing, offense, and defense. That’s the difference. We needed all that to beat a team like [L-S].
Hingham trailed 6-5 at halftime but kept chipping away and managed to tie the game at 7-7 early in the third quarter with junior midfielder Thomas O’Neill’s only goal of the morning. Sophomore attack David Freitas and junior captain Kevin Blair gave the Harbormen a 9-7 lead, their first of the morning, early in the fourth.
But Warriors’ senior midfielder Dylan Pike and junior midfielder Nate Gyory knotted it back up at 9-9 with 7:22 left to play.
With 1:08 remaining, Hingham’s Blair crossed Shaughnessy’s face and fired a jump shot to put the Harbormen up 10-9. And again, the Warriors had an answer – this time a goal from sophomore attack Matt Hall at 46 seconds left to tie it at 10-10.
Todd it was Hingham’s best team performance of the season.
“It is right there with the Needham game [a 12-11 win],” Todd said. “I think it being a little later in the season it is because all teams are getting better each and every day. Lincoln-Sudbury is a quality program that brings it every year.”
Blair finished the game with four goals for Hingham while fellow captain Tim Driscoll, a senior, had two scores.
Lincoln-Sudbury fell to 3-4 with its fourth straight loss.
Westwood took over the No. 1 spot in the new Boston Globe Top 20 for girls' lacrosse. But a quick look at the schedule says the Wolverines shouldn't get too comfortable. Westwood will travel to No. 3 Framingham Thursday for a 10 a.m. vacation week matchup of the last two Division 1 state champions.
Defending state champion Framingham dropped from the preseason No. 1 ranking to No. 3 after losing to No. 2 Wellesley, 9-5. Westwood, the 2009 state champion, remains unbeaten at 2-0.
Lincoln-Sudbury is No. 4, followed by Norwell, Winchester, Needham, Notre Dame of Hingham, Concord-Carlisle and Acton-Boxboro.
Foxborough senior attack James Stather proved unstoppable with easy layups in front of the Canton net as he paced the Warriors’ offense with six goals. Three of Stather’s goals came within less than a 1:30 span late in the third quarter.
“I don’t know that we’ve ever had somebody score six before,” Foxborough coach Matt Noone said. “We have a team that’s very unselfish. They don’t mind making the extra pass, because these guys have been playing together for so long. But a lot of them are the result of making one extra pass to find the guy that has the easy layup. James Stather happened to be the guy that was the end result of that today.”
Warriors’ senior captain Connor Whalen, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound attack, dished out six assists for the defending Hockomock League champs. Foxborough junior goalie Greg Stamatov was largely exceptional in net despite giving up goals in the second and third quarters.
Foxborough (3-0, 2-0 Hock) led 2-0 at the end of the first and 6-1 at halftime before exploding out to an 11-2 lead to start the fourth. Noone pulled his starters up 13-2 with 5:51 remaining in the contest. He’s been on the other side of such scores before.
“I never take [a 14-3 win] for granted,” Noone said. “I’ve gotten killed, killed, 14-3, so I want to enjoy it, but at the same time this one’s over and we’ve got to look forward to our next game which is Oliver Ames on Tuesday.”
Earlier this week the Warriors had a 9-4 win over Acton-Boxborough and a 13-4 win over Sharon. With Villanova-bound Stamatov in net, the Warriors are expected to compete for the Hock title again. But complacency is not an option.
“Am I confident? Absolutely not,” Noone said. “I’m never confident. The second you let your guard down is the second you get bit. We play with confidence and I want them to play with confidence, but am I confident? I feel like the second I feel over-confident I’m going to let my guard down and pull off the gas a little bit on these guys and set them and myself up for disappointment so. But I love our chances, I love our team. We’ll take it one game at a time.”
The spring sports season is finally upon us as many high schools have already began to play games.
If you are looking for info about your favorite team or to see which teams are the best in Eastern Massachusetts, look no further. We've got the Globe Top 20s right here. (You can also find them here.)
Here are the links to our preseason Top 20s for Spring:
Longmeadow may have gotten off to an early start with a first-minute goal, but their day was over almost as soon as it began.
Medfield responded with a four-goal streak, following that up with 14 consecutive scores through the second and third quarters as the Warriors exploded to a 19-6 state title win, their first since 2007.
Jack McDermott led Medfield with five goals and four assists, followed closely by Matt Bletzer, who had five goals and three assists. Teammate Ed Foster had four goals and an assist.
Far be it of a state final to end without some theatrics.
With 15 seconds left in the Division 1 girls lacrosse state title game, Longmeadow senior Paige Cuscovitch scored a goal to tie Framingham 7-7. However, what looked like a game heading into overtime ended with Framingham celebrating an 8-7 win over their opponents as senior Tanner Guarino scored with one second remaining in the fourth quarter.
Framingham senior Moira Barry had four goals in the game.
St. John's Prep outscored Duxbury 8-4 in the second half to send the would-be rout into overtime with an 11-all score.
Two minutes in, keeper Nick Triano made a game-saving stop and pushed the ball up to defenseman James Fahey, who took it coast to coast for the score. The win marks the end of Duxbury's six-year reign atop Division 1.
Prep's Garrett Campbell scored four goals, including the tying tally, and teammate colin Blackwell managed a pair of goals and an assist. Duxbury's Bryan Barry and Nick Woodgate each had three goals and an assist.
Both teams had solid workers between the pipes, with Duxbury's Mickey Zaverucha making 15 saves and Triano making 12.
Cohasset’s brutal defense and patient attack proved to be the difference against Norwell as the Skippers were able to reclaim the Division 3 state title at Harvard Stadium on Wednesday night with a 10-8 win.
Norwell (15-6) was rarely able to set up anything at the attacking end, while Cohasset’s (20-2) smooth ball movement, let by senior Will Rise (two goals, two assists) and junior All-American Thomas Flibotte (three goals), was too much for its South Shore League rivals to handle.
Cohasset has now won three of the last five D3 state titles, the most recent victory coming in 2007.
Thanks to Matt Bletzer, Medfield will play for the Division 2 state lacrosse championship Saturday. The senior midfielder scored in the second overtime to give Medfield an 8-7 win at Harvard. Medfield will face Longmeadow in the state final.
In the Division 2 North girls’ lacrosse tournament last year, the top three seeds came from the Catholic Central League, and they were each bounced in the opening round.
With the new power-ranking system used to create the tournament pairings this season, outlined here, the three teams – St. Mary’s (18-0), Bishop Fenwick (13-4-1), and Arlington Catholic (15-3) – received much lower seeds, but still lost in the opening round.
No. 8 St. Mary’s had its undefeated season ended by No. 9 Wayland in a 16-7 loss, No. 11 Arlington Catholic was barely defeated by No. 6 Marblehead, 10-9, and No. 10 Fenwick couldn’t get past No. 7 Pentucket, losing 21-14.
But despite these three squads losing in the first round again, the new tournament pairings offered matchups between teams that appeared to be similar in skill.
“I actually like it,” said Fenwick coach Karen Guillemette after her team’s season ended on Wednesday. “I think it’s a better, fairer system. I think this was a good matchup for us. It gave us a good opportunity to win, even though we didn’t.”
Seven of the top eight seeds advanced in the first round of the Division 2 North, and seven of the top eight remained in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 North, both signs that the new system is working.
In the South, seven of the top eight remain in Division 1, while all eight top seeds made it to the quarter finals of Division 2.
To view the complete results and follow along, click here.
All the familiar faces are present atop this year’s D1 bracket.
Duxbury may be the high seed of this year’s D1 tournament, but the Dragons will not have an easy task in taking their seventh straight state title. St. John’s Prep (No. 2 seed) had the Duxbury boys’ number during the regular season, handing them their only loss this season in a 12-7 rout that wasn’t half that close. Bear in mind though, the Dragons’ lost to Prep in last year’s regular season as well.
Third-seeded Lincoln-Sudbury and fourth-seeded Billerica boast some explosive offense that should shred the competition in the early rounds. This year’s championship crown will almost certainly belong to one of the top four seeds, but just which one is a toss-up.
Most of the rest of the top 10 have some real viability, but Masconomet’s spot near the top is a dubious one: though the Chieftans went 17-3 in the regular season en route to their six seed, they faced few real tests along the way. Expect a tough loss in or before the quarterfinals.
Hingham suffered a few painful losses this season, but they came at the hands of three of the top five seeds in this year’s D1 tournament. Anyone waiting for the Harbormen to suffer a defeat within the division in the postseason shouldn’t hold their breath.
Reading may have started the regular season on a tear, but the loss of star attackman Pat DeBenedetto in early May due to a broken wrist kicked off a precipitous decline. If he’s not healthy by playoff time, the Rockets have little hope at a championship.
No. 11 seed Wellesley suffered a rare misstep when it finished at .500 last season, but this year’s squad looks to have reversed its ill fortune. Expect this dark horse to hand out a few upsets by the end.
This year’s title is Cohasset’s to lose, and that isn’t likely. The Skippers had just a pair of losses this season despite a killer schedule, and they came against the likes of Duxbury and Hingham. This big fish team has definitely outgrown its’ small D3 pond.
The race for second-place is the most open one in all three divisions. Though Arlington Catholic (No. 7 seed) and below need not get their hopes up, anyone above has a good chance at playing No. 2 to Cohasset, and there’s no shame in that.
View all of the seeds here.
Here are the seedings for the boys lacrosse state tournament.
Division 1 East
1. Duxbury (19-1)
2. St. John's Prep (16-2)
3. Lincoln-Sudbury (17-1)
4. Billerica (18-2)
5. Needham (18-2)
6. Masconomet (17-3)
7. Barnstable (17-2)
8. Marshfield (15-5)
9. Franklin (15-3)
10. Lexington (13-7)
11. Westford Academy (12-5)
12. Malden Catholic (12-5)
13. Bridgewater-Raynham (15-3)
14. Chelmsford (12-6)
15. Waltham (11-8)
16. Central Catholic (12-7)
17. Mansfield (10-8)
18. North Quincy (15-5)
19. Weymouth (10-10)
21. Medford (10-6)
Click here for the bracket.
Listed are all of the seeds for the state tournament in girls lacrosse.
Division 1 North
1. Framingham (18-1-1)
2. Lincoln-Sudbury (14-4-0)
3. Acton-Boxboro (15-3-0)
4. Andover (14-6-0)
5. North Andover (13-5-0)
6. Masconomet (13-5-0)
7. Reading (13-6-0)
8. Lexington (14-5-1)
9. Westford Academy (10-10-0)
10. Chelmsford (11-6-1)
11. Billerica (11-7-2)
12. Central Catholic (14-4-0)
13. Concord-Carlisle (10-7-0)
14. Woburn (12-6-1)
15. Medford (12-4-0)
16. Peabody (10-5-1)
17. Lowell (8-9-0)
18. Haverhill (5-11-0)
Division 2 North
1. Winchester (16-2-0)
2. Danvers (17-3-0)
3. Weston (15-3-0)
4. Triton (17-1-0)
5. Hamilton-Wenham (12-4-0)
6. Marblehead (14-6-0)
7. Pentucket (13-7-0)
8. St. Mary's Lynn (18-0-0)
9. Wayland (10-8-1)
10. Bishop Fenwick (13-4-1)
11. Arlington Catholic (15-3-0)
12. Georgetown (8-8-0)
13. Ipswich (7-9-0)
14. Swampscott (7-7-1)
Division 1 South
1. Westwood (20-0-0)
2. Franklin (17-1-0)
3. Wellesley (16-1-2)
4. Needham (14-6-0)
5. Hingham (15-5-1)
6. Walpole (15-5-0)
7. Notre Dame (8-4-4)
8. Braintree (14-6-0)
9. Mansfield (9-9-1)
10. King Philip (12-7-0)
11. Falmouth (12-4-0)
12. Plymouth North (9-8-1)
13. Newton North (9-8-1)
14. New Bedford (11-5-0)
15. Quincy (8-8-1)
Division 2 South
1. Norwell (16-1-1)
2. Hopkinton (14-4-0)
3. Scituate (14-4-0)
4. Medfield (14-5-1)
5. Duxbury (12-7-1)
6. Martha's Vineyard (15-3-0)
7. Sandwich (17-4-0)
8. Dover Sherborn (11-6-1)
9. Cohasset (12-6-0)
10. Canton (10-5-1)
11. Ashland (12-8-0)
12. Bishop Stang (14-2-2)
13. Hanover (11-4-1)
14. Archbishop Williams (11-6-1)
15. Bourne (10-7-0)
16. Foxboro (8-10-0)
17. Ursuline (8-8-0)
18. Hull (7-5-1)
19. Cape Cod Academy (7-4-1)
Rose Lincoln / For the Globe
The girls' lacrosse pairings were announced Thursday and the new power-ranking system to determine seeds produced familiar results, with one surprise. Westwood, Winchester, Framingham and Norwell earned the No. 1 seeds, but in Division 1 South, Franklin (17-1) was a surprising No. 2 seed, ahead of Wellesley (16-1-2). The Panthers have only played four teams with a winning record this month, while Wellesley lost to unbeaten defending state champion Westwood, 16-15, on Tuesday. Franklin's lone loss was to Division 2 Hopkinton, a school that had four losses this spring. In Laxpower.com's power ratings, Wellesley is ranked 5th, Franklin 9th. But that aside, teams will decide on the field just who deserves the seeds. Franklin and Wellesley could meet in the South semifinals. Preliminary round play begins Saturday.
For the girls lacrosse seedings, click here.
The girls’ lacrosse state tournament seedings will be released on Thursday, and for the first time ever will be based on more than just won/loss records.
The new seeding system will be based on power rankings that include won/loss record, strength of schedule, and a coaches’ poll, similar to the method used for the boys’ tournament.
“I know the tournament kind of got chaotic in the past,” said Peter Foley, the former Weston High athletic director and current girls’ lacrosse state tournament director. “I think this will be more fair and more accurate than strictly going by the won-loss records. We want to be as fair as we possibly can, hopefully it will work.”
Introduced in 2008, the new system will be used for the first time this season. The year in between was to give the coaches ample time to schedule more difficult opponents if they chose to do so.
The teams that qualify for the tournament this year will be ranked in three categories:
- Won/loss record.
- Strength of schedule – measured by how many tournament-qualifying teams were played against.
- The league representatives will agree on a ranking based on observations such as how a team is playing toward the end of the season and how they fared against common opponents.
Combined, the three categories will determine each team’s seed, with any ties being settled through a poll of coaches.
While the top three seeds in the Division 2 North were all eliminated in the first round last season, the hope is that the new system will create more competition.
“The goal in any tournament is to try and keep the best teams playing as long as possible,” said Andover girls coach John McVeigh, whose Golden Warriors were knocked out in the first round of the Division 1 North last season by a strong Reading squad. “Sometimes if you just do [the seedings] on wins and losses you get two very good teams matched up early.”
While the new method will aid teams such as Andover, which plays a very strong schedule, it will also hurt teams with strong records that play in weaker conferences. St. Mary’s is currently 17-0, but there’s a chance the Spartans may not even play a home game in the postseason.
“Nothing’s perfect,” Foley acknowledged. “But I definitely feel it’s a step in the right direction. After we get through with it once, there may have to be some tweaks, but this will be a better system where you’re rewarding teams for going out and playing a tougher schedule.”
Foley also believes that the seedings will likely look similar to that of LaxPower.com, a popular tool among coaches that uses a variety of measurements to create power rankings.
Check back here on Thursday when the final tournament seedings are released.
In the backdrop of this week's Globe Top 20 for boys lacrosse, the Division 1 race is heating up just in time for the tournament, as St. John’s Prep handed Billerica just their second loss of the season with a 15-10 win on Friday.
A few strong wins, including one over high-ranked Walpole, are giving Wellesley some momentum going into the post-season.
Belmont defeated ailing Reading 11-5 last week and decimated Cambridge on their home turf to make their re-entry into the Top 20.
Marshfield put up a good fight in a loss against top-ranked Duxbury early in the week to demonstrate its mettle against tough competition.
This week's Globe Top 20 showed a bit of movement from No. 4 down to No. 20. The top three teams (Westwood, Wellesley and Framingham) didn't budge following strong weeks. But with unbeatens No. 1 Westwood playing No. 2 Wellesley on Tuesday, the final Top 20 will likely feature the winner as No. 1 with Framingham sliding into the No. 2 slot.
Elsewhere in the Top 20, Norwell moves up from No. 8 to No. 4 following a strong week, and No. 5 Winchester moves up a slot. Franklin also moved up from No. 9 to No. 6 after they clinched their first Hockomock League title in the program's 10-year history.
Hopkinton fell a bit from No. 4 to No. 9 following a 20-11 drubbing at the hands of Westwood, while Walpole also dropped from No. 7 to No. 10 after losing to Wellesley and Framingham.
Mayflower rivals South Shore (7-7) and Tri-County (7-8) have been at each others throats since last season when they were forced to split the league championship.
This year, they're at it again.
South Shore was riding high in the rivalry, winning the last game between the two teams in overtime, 6-5. On Monday, the South Shore fell 6-5 to the Cougars in triple overtime, splitting the season series is at 1-1.
Tri-County's Chace Mechlinski dashed all of the Vikings hopes quickly in the final overtime, scoring his only goal of the game with 23 seconds into the third overtime, clinching the win for the Cougars.
The Globe Top 20 for girls lacrosse didn't feature too much movement during a stagnant week, but did welcome No. 17 Medfield, No. 19 Hingham and No. 20 Marblehead to the rankings.
The notable climbing squads are No. 5 Acton-Boxboro (up from No. 8), No. 15 Sandwich (No. 18 a week ago) and No. 16 Andover (No. 20 last week). Each squad enjoyed a strong week, highlighted by Sandwich's big wins over Falmouth and Notre Dame.
Among the Top 5, the team to watch in the coming days is Framingham. The Flyers's unforgiving schedule has them playing No. 14 Needham, No. 7 Walpole, No. 16 Andover and an 11-5 Braintree squad this week. A strong week could vault them to the second spot, but a poor showing could knock them out of the Top 10.
After a misstep earlier in the month against rival St. John’s Prep took a chink out of the Dragons’ armor, it seemed like the boys from Duxbury might lose their perennial Eastern Mass supremacy -- or at least the top spot of the Globe Top 20. After a solid win against Billerica this past week, Duxbury has re-earned the top spot.
Hingham handed Division 3 powerhouse Cohasset just its second loss of the season to earn itself a rise in the rankings and drop the Skippers down a few spots.
Reading continued its downward slide without the aid of star senior attackman Pat DeBenedetto, who was sidelined early this month with a broken wrist. If the Rockets don’t stabilize, they may soon find themselves outside the Top 20.
After a good start to their season, BC High slumped following a drubbing at the hands of Duxbury. After a tight overtime loss to St. John’s Prep and a strong win over Division 1 power Marshfield, the Eagles seem to be back on track.
Zack Buscanera spurred Falmouth boys’ lacrosse (10-4) team to a 9-8 victory over Hanover, scoring a goal with only 2:46 left in the game Sunday.
Buscanera's goal was assisted by senior captain and midfielder Kyle Bouderot to finish off Hanover (8-6).
Freshman Clipper goalie Joe Molani kept Falmouth in the game with 12 saves.
Playoff-bound Falmouth will play next against Nauset at 4 p.m. Monday at home.
Following a week full of upsets and Top 20 matchups, this week’s Globe Top 20 is very different from last week’s list. After the top three teams (No. 1 Westwood, No. 2 Wellesley and No. 3 Framingham), only one squad (No. 6 Triton) stayed put and the Top 20 plays host to five new teams.
Lincoln-Sudbury is one of those new teams as the Warriors jump from unranked to No. 11. After handing Acton-Boxboro its only loss of the season April 29, the 9-2 Warriors made the leap by blowing out Arlington at home and Wayland on the road this week. Lincoln-Sudbury can prove they belong with a strong performance against Westwood Monday afternoon.
Needham also found itself in the Top 20 for the first time this season following a 3-0 week that included a victory over a tough Braintree team. The Rockets four losses this season were to the top three teams and No. 9 Acton-Boxboro, giving them big-game experience that will serve them well come playoff time.
Scituate, Danvers and Notre Dame of Hingham are the final three teams that entered into this week’s Top 20 rankings. No. 15 Scituate downed three teams with winning records this week, No. 16 Danvers snuck in based on their season-long body of work and Notre Dame of Hingham earned a No. 19 ranking after going 1-1-1 against teams with a combined 27-7 record.
Tri-County attackman Chace Mechlinski isn’t one to pass up a good opportunity.
Called up to starting status after a teammate traded lacrosse practice for driver’s ed, the sophomore’s performance so far has been anything but second-string.
After a pair of middling starts against Blackstone Valley and Medway, Mechlinski has settled into the new role quite nicely, with seven goals and six assists over the past week.
“He has come out firing, he’s doing everything right,” said Tri-County coach Matt Murphy.
Going into halftime in Tri-County's game against Upper Cape Tech last Monday, the Cougars were trailing 5-1. Mechlinski drove in a pair to cut the deficit to two.
He scored another pair later in the game, including the game-winner to give his team the 8-7 victory.
“He was huge in that game,” Murphy said. “He was in on seven of the eight goals.”FULL ENTRY
Barry Chin / Globe file
In Duxbury, the road to the Division 1 state championship begins long before the Green Dragon boys step onto the field.
For 20 years, the town's expansive youth program, known as Duxbury Youth Lacrosse, has honed a talented pool of local athletes into lacrosse champions.
"We get kids who have been playing lacrosse for several years, who come out with good skills, who've got a good knowledge of the game," said Duxbury high school coach Chris Sweet. "The youth program is really key to any successful high school program."
In 1986, DYL founder Burke Walker moved from lax-hotbed Lutherville, Md., to Duxbury, where he noticed the conspicuous absence of a lacrosse program.
The Baltimore-bred Walker grew up with the game running through his veins, a trait his grade-school son Justin inherited. For a few years, soccer scratched Justin's athletic itch, but as he neared high school the beautiful game was no longer a substitute for the Native American one.
"I thought by  somebody would have done this thing, but nobody had, so it looked like if it was going to happen, I better do it," said the elder Walker, who is now the varsity coach at Lowell high school.FULL ENTRY
The Falmouth boys lacrosse team came from two goals down in the fourth quarter to defeat King Philip 10-9 in overtime yesterday in Wrentham.
With 1:30 left in the first overtime period, Sean Powers scored the game-winner off an assist from Mike Thines.
Sean Williamson (two goals, two assists) tied the game at nine with 2:49 left in regulation. The sixteenth-ranked Clippers (6-1) survived a penalty before scoring the winner in OT.
Zach Buscanera scored three goals and added an assist, while Cody Leaf led the defense, scooping up 12 ground balls.
This spring, the Globe’s high school standings will be based entirely on game results and not on Sunday phone calls or emails from league representatives. We think the change will be a huge benefit to spring fans looking to see where their team stands every day of the week, not just on the one day standings are updated.
How does it work?
When coaches call in their games scores during the week, our database will compile the standings and they will be available 24/7 on Boston.com/schools. This is what we’ve done the past two years for football and we’re now expanding that system to include spring sports. The only information we need from league representatives are the league’s leading performers, whether hitters, pitchers, goalies, or runners.
What are the benefits of doing this?
Under the old system, standings we took on Sunday afternoons were only accurate until a team played its next game. This meant that after a big Tuesday of baseball, fans had to wait until the following Monday’s paper to see the league standings. Now, after you watch your team beat its cross-town rival and your coach calls in the score, you can go home, click on Boston.com and see the league standings.
What are the drawbacks?
If your school doesn’t call in the scores, then your record will be 0-0 all year. Even if a league representative says your team is 10-0, the only way we can make the standings agree is to get the scores of the 10 games.
How do we get you any missing scores?
Scores can be emailed to us at HSsports@globe.com. Be sure to designate the
home and away teams.
As with any new system there will be an adjustment period. But we hope you agree, accurate standings sevens days a week are better than just one.
Yoon S. Byun / Globe Staff
Thanks to a change in the playoff seeding format, the girls’ lacrosse scene in Massachusetts is about to get even more exciting.
The girls will now use the same formula for awarding postseason positioning that the boys use. Teams will be rewarded for a strong schedule in addition to wins and losses as opposed to just the school’s record.
Because of this, top teams scheduled other strong competitors, creating some big games. For example, Winchester, a Division 2 school, will take on Division 1 powers Needham, Framingham, and Westwood.
“We’re constantly challenging ourselves,” said Winchester coach Sue Ontso. “We can’t get too high after a win or too low after a loss because we have another tough opponent coming up. Dealing with that kind of pressure prepares you for the state tournament.’’
In Division 1, the discussion must start with Westwood. The Wolverines have won two straight Division 1 championships and three out of the last five.
They return 2009 All-Scholastic senior midfielder Kelly Rich who put up 105 goals and 172 points last season. She will be joined by current teammates Sarah Biron and Kerri Harrington at Northwestern next year.
One of the teams vying to knock off Westwood is Division 1 North champion Framingham. Last season the Flyers lost to Westwood in the EMass final, and are the only team other than the Wolverines since 2004 to be crowned state champions, winning in 2006 and 2007.
The Flyers return seven seniors, including 2009 All-Scholastics Moira Barry (Boston College-bound) and Tanner Guarino (UMass Amherst), and the other tri-captain Kelly Cohen (Tufts).
‘‘We’ve won six North sectionals in a row. We’re very eager to get back into a competitive schedule,’’ coach Stacey Freda said. ‘‘We have a versatile group of captains who cover all parts of the field.’’FULL ENTRY
A goal with 40 seconds left provided a glimmer of hope, albeit faint.
By the time there were 12 seconds left, Erik Dell'Anno had scored Shawsheen's second goal in a 28-second span to bring the Rams even.
And another 10 seconds after that, Ryan Woolaver heaved a long shot off the faceoff that managed to find the back of the net and propel Shawsheen to the unlikeliest of victories, a 6-5 stunning of the Red Raiders.
Cory Foss' two goals and two assists led the Rams into their late comeback.
Here's the list we have so far of commitments on National Signing day. The majority are going to play football. For those not playing football, refer to the key below:
|Andrew Tallman||BC High||Miami (Fla.)|
|Anthony Carter||Marlborough||San Diego|
|Irvin Scott||Brookline||Holy Cross|
|Tyler Bennett||Northbridge||Sacred Heart|
|Alex Farkes||BB&N||b-Penn State|
|Zach Latrell||Central Catholic||Brown|
|Tino Perrina||Reading||Sacred Heart|
|Griffin Murphy||St. John's (Shrewsbury)||Fordham|
|Alex Bane||North Andover||UNH|
|Andrew Butterworth||Central Catholic||e-Bryant>|
|Will Donovan||Catholic Memorial||e-Duke|
|Kaeghan Kelly||BB&N||e-Hobart & William Smith|
|Ciaran Nugent||BB&N||e-Lehigh University|
|Leon Brown||Roxbury Latin||e-Notre Dame|
|Nick Vozella||Brooks||e-Union College|
|Chapin Duke||Brooks||f-Boston College|
|Justin Sencabaugh||Malden Catholic||b-UMass-Amherst|
|Lowell Abbott||Brooks||e-Connecticut College|
|Nick Galanos||Brooks||c-West Point (Army)|
|David Gibson||Hanover||b-Southern New Hampshire|
|Hayley Brock||Acton-Boxboro||e-Penn State|
|Tricia Giglio||Acton-Boxboro||e-Holy Cross|
|Cassidy Clayton||Acton-Boxboro||d-James Madison|
|Boston College recruits|
|Alexander Amidon||Hotchkiss (CT)||(originally from Greenfield)|
|Jaryd Rudolph||Silver Lake|
|Sean Sylvia||Dartmouth High (Cheshire Acad.)|
|Robert Vardaro||Phillips Andover|
Key: a - for wrestling; b - for baseball; c - for lacrosse; d - for softball; e - for soccer; f - for field hockey; g - for crew; h - basketball
Make sure to read Mike Carraggi's story on BB&N leading the pack with a stable of recruits. And if you're zoned in on College Football, Mark Blaudschun has the rundown on Boston College's recruiting class.
If you have any more, let us know either in the comments or by contacting us via e-mail and we'll get it up. Thanks for all of your help.
When touchdown-machine Tino Perrina suffered a season-ending leg injury last season, Reading was expected to stumble down the stretch. Instead, Ryan Pollock stepped in as the starting running back and propelled the Rockets all the way to the Division 2 Super Bowl championship.
Pollock has decided he will be attending Tufts this fall to play football and possibly lacrosse.
In what amounted to not even a full season of play, Pollock ran for over 1,500 yards and scored 21 touchdowns while being named Middlesex League offensive MVP. It was the second time the two-time league all-star rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Pollock, also a two-time league all-star in lacrosse, may become an addition to an already solid Tufts lacrosse team as well.
Pollock hopes to study pre-med at Tufts.
Walpole senior running back and two-time Globe Player of the Year Ryan Izzo is headed to UMass-Amherst -- to play lacrosse. Izzo, who was a key figure on Walpole's Division 2 state champion lacrosse team, enters this football season as the fourth leading scorer in state history with 506 points. Last fall he led the Rebels to a state title in football as well.
Globe photographers were hard at work over the final days of the spring high school sports season. Check out our collection of galleries from this week's state championship tilts and the Globe's Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet on Sunday.
- Sunday, June 14: The Globe's Scholar-Athletes Awards.
- Saturday, June 13: State baseball finals in Lowell; State softball finals in Worcester; Individual tennis finals in Worcester.
- Friday, June 12: State lacrosse finals (Walpole vs. St. John's Shrewsbury; Westwood vs. Longmeadow) in Worcester.
- Thursday, June 11: State volleyball final: St. John's Prep vs. Lincoln-Sudbury in Ashland; State team tennis final: Concord-Carlisle vs. Longmeadow in Worcester.
- Wednesday, June 10: State lacrosse finals (Duxbury vs. St. John's Prep; Scituate vs. Dover-Sherborn) in Worcester.
- Tuesday, June 9: State lacrosse final: North Andover vs. Norwell in Wellesley.
WORCESTER -- Check out video highlights and postgame interviews from Friday's championship battles at Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium.
For photos from Friday's game, check out our gallery.
Westwood celebrates its title victory. (Barry Chin / Globe Staff)
We were live at Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium in Worcester, where Westwood won the Division 1 girls' lacrosse title with an 11-10 triumph over Longmeadow, while Walpole stomped over St. John's (Shrewsbury), 17-8, to capture the Division 2 boys' title.
Check out the brief recaps below (look for more online and in Saturday's Globe) or replay our live scoring blog after the jump. Video highlights can be viewed here.
Division 1 girls: Westwood 11, Longmeadow 10
Longmeadow scored six of the game's first seven goals while dominating the first 20 minutes of play, but Westwood erupted for eight of the next nine goals to pull ahead and held on to repeat as Division 1 state champions with an 11-10 triumph.
Kelly Rich paced the Wolverines with four goals and three assists, sparking the comeback with some tough-angled shots in traffic. Her unassisted goal with 14:40 remaining gave Westwood its first lead at 8-7 and it never gave that lead up.
Longmeadow scored twice in the final three minutes to make it interesting, but Westwood played keep-away to prevail. Junior midfielder Erica Nangeroni potted the winner off a pretty feed from Rich with 5:05 to play.
Sophomore Sarah Biron added three goals for the Wolverines, while senior netminder Abbie Brown made a trio of key stops late in the game to help her team emerge with the crown.
Junior Paige Cuscovitch paced a balanced Longmeadow squad with three goals. Paula Shea and Lauren Halpern added two goals apiece.
Rich called this title a little sweeter because "no one expected us to be back here."
Division 2 boys: Walpole 17, St. John's (S) 8
Walpole scored on its opening possession, setting the tone for a night in which it dominated the faceoff cirlce and seemingly scored at will en route to a lopsided 17-8 triumph over St. John's of Shrewsbury in the Division 2 title game.
After a nail-biting, overtime triumph over Reading in the sectional semifinals, Walpole's final two games proved to be a bit anticlimactic. The Rebels dispatched Concord-Carlisle, 11-7, earlier this week at Harvard Stadium. Things got even breezier in Worcester.
Walpole scored five of the game's first six goals and boasted a 12-4 advantage at halftime. What's more, the Rebels struck for the first three goals of the second half to push their lead into double digits before putting it on cruise control to the finish.
A balanced attack saw seven different players score, including three goals from both Kyle Guilbert and Ryan Izzo. David Butts contributed four assists and did the majority of his damage in the faceoff circle, where he and Izzo dominated St. John's drawmen.
"It's like they say, 'If they don't have the ball, they can't score,'" said Butts.
Here's this year's boys' lacrosse All-Americans (sortable list at the top) and various other honors for Eastern Mass. schools:
|Jake Smith||D||Medfield||Senior||Medfield||Umass Amherst|
|Kam Bumpus||M||Needham||Senior||Needham||Bridgton Academy|
|Kyle Ewanouski||M||BC High||Senior||Scituate||Cornell|
|Quinn Cully||M||Duxbury||Senior||Duxbury||Notre Dame|
|Rob Dion||D||Xav.||Senior||Wrentham||Penn. State|
Academic All Americans
- Matthew Kennedy, Beverly
- Timothy Galvin, BC High
- Jacob Choinard, Bishop Connolly
- James Duane, Bourne
- Jedidiah Lavery, Masconomet
- Robert Mirandi, North Andover
- James Spry, Winchester
- Thomas McQuillan, Andover
- Sean Tavares, Wilmington
- Benjamin Forsythe, Pentucket
Coach of the Year
- Joe Papagni, Lynnfield
- Rick Bagby, Marshfield
- Kevin Bibeau, BC High
- Tom Dalicandro, CC
- Rick Blair. Nantucket
- Charlie Hardy, Reading
- Kevin Houlden, Peabody
- Chris Weber
- Lou Verocchi, Franklin
- Bob Aronson, Medfield
- Nick Bonavita, Austin Prep
Man of the Year
- Mike Leighton, Wilmington
- Tom DePeter
- Tom McDermott , Dartmouth (AD)
- Mike Moriello., Saugus
- Roger Wade
- Davison Annis, West
- John Pirani, Winchester
Rivers' Steve Manning (5) carries the ball as Nobles' Matthew Resor (4) defends. (Josh Reynolds / Globe Photo)
Rivers (14-2, 14-1 ISL) clinched at least a share of the Independent School League title with a 10-4 triumph over Nobles Thursday. League rivals Middlesex and Governor's Academy each have one game remaining in a quest to create a tie atop the standings.
With Georgetown's Shannon Hartford hitting 500 career points Monday, the questions seems natural. Who is the leading scorer in girls' lacrosse history? The best we can come up with is the 552 points scored by Westwood's Meredith Frank.
Frank, now a senior on the Northwestern lacrosse team, had 306 goals and 246 assists in her high school career. If you know of someone with better numbers, let us know at HSsports@Globe.com.
Members of the Walpole girls' lacrosse team run back after scoring a goal against Norwood (Matthew J. Lee / Globe Staff)
The Walpole girls' lacrosse team took down Bay State Conference rival Norwood, 15-8, this afternoon in a battle of undefeateds. The Rebels improved to 5-0 on the young season, while Norwood dops to 4-1.
Click HERE to see a gallery of photos from the game.
Duxbury celebrates its fifth consecutive state title last spring. (Robert E. Klein / Globe Photo)
Can Duxbury win a sixth consecutive state title this spring? That remains to be seen. We can at least help Dragon fans (and lacrosse fans from across the region) start circling some games to watch.
Check out this previous post for links to baseball and softball schedules. As we noted then, you'll find a handy link at the bottom of each team schedule to email us any changes or updates as the start of the season approaches.
Boston Blazers coach Tom Ryan, left, talks with Marshfield's Sean Morris. (Pat Greenhouse / Globe Staff)
Too early to talk about the lacrosse season? OK, how about indoor lacrosse? After spotting former Marshfield standout Sean Morris (photo above) on page C6 of today's Globe, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out colleague John Powers's preview of the Boston Blazers' 2009 season.
A number of area senior student-athletes are making their college commitments official this week, with the early non-football signing period now in play (Nov. 12-19).
Correspondent Brendan Hall checks in with an updated list of commitments:
Sahil Bloom, Weston (Stanford)
Kevin Brown, Algonquin (Bryant)
Peter Castaldi, St. John's Prep (Northeastern)
Jon Leroux, Auburn (Northeastern)
Derek Lowe, Lincoln-Sudbury (William & Mary)
John McKenna, Algonquin (UMass-Amherst)
Justin Quinn, Lincoln-Sudbury (Rollins College)
Fran Whitten, Westborough (Maine)
Antoine Allen, Notre Dame Prep (Providence)
Russ Braithwaite, St. Mark’s (Babson)
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, Tilton/Boston (UConn)
Courtney Finn, Winthrop (Bentley)
Dave Johnson, St. Mark’s (Quinnipiac)
Erik Murphy, St. Mark’s (Florida)
Alex Oriakhi, Tilton/Lowell (UConn)
Dartaye Ruffin, Stoughton (Drexel)
James Southerland, Notre Dame Prep (Syracuse)
Kara Mackintire, Shrewsbury (Boston College)
Brittany Altomare, Shrewsbury (Virginia)
Quinn Cully, Duxbury (Notre Dame)
Hakeem Lecky, Duxbury (Syracuse)
Colin O'Rourke, St. John's Shrewsbury (Wagner)
Alex Papoojian, St. John's Shrewsbury (VMI)
Chris Pellichero, King Philip (Providence)
Kristen Scopetski, Algonquin (UMass-Amherst)
CC Jensen, Acton-Boxborough (Elon)
AJ Millet, Westford (Harvard)
Sarah Wooley, Duxbury (Siena)
Nicole D’Argento, Ashland (Boston College)
Jessie Bryant, Marlborough (Providence)
Our friends over at LaxPower.com unveiled their final national poll for the 2008 girls' lacrosse season.
Westwood -- the Division 1 state champion and No. 1 on our final girls' lacrosse poll of 2008 -- earned spot No. 15 on the national poll with a 24-0-1 mark. The Wolverines, whose lone blemish was a midseason tie with the same Framingham squad it topped in the Eastern Mass. finals, were the highest ranking Massachusetts team.
The Flyers landed at No. 43 on the final national poll.
Prep squads Nobles (39) , Brooks (68), and Thayer (93) were all part of the top 100.
Western Mass. power Longmeadow, which fell to Westwood twice, including in the state championship game, checked in at No. 96.
Other local public schools cracking the top 200 included Winchester (124), Wellesley (126), Lincoln-Sudbury (140), and Needham (181).
1. Duxbury 22-2 1 2. Billerica 17-5 7 3. St. John's Prep 18-3 3 4. Medfield 21-4 2 5. Walpole 21-1 4 6. Xaverian 16-6 5 7. Andover 14-6 6 8. Scituate 16-6 15 9. Reading 18-4 12 10. Lexington 15-5 19 11. Marshfield 16-6 - 12. Winchester 16-6 - 13. Needham 16-7 16 14. Cohasset 13-5 20 15. Dover-Sherborn 15-6 14 16. North Andover 17-5 11 17. Barnstable 17-4 13 18. King Philip 20-2 17 19. Arlington 16-4 - 20. Lowell 14-7 10
Some quick thoughts: We're not sure you can really argue with the top 10 squads (though I'm sure we'll get some feedback). Billerica earned that No. 2 spot with its late-season play and by taking Duxbury to the wire in the championship game. St. John's Prep topped Medfield in overtime late in the regular season and that helped sort those two squads out. Some might argue that Scituate is a bit too high, but we think the Sailors earned a lofty spot with their late-season surge. All the teams in the back end of the top 20 really had their ups and downs during the season. Marshfield overcame some injuries to surge late, but we would have liked to have seen them against some other top competition. Some will argue that King Philip is too low, but that comes down to strength of schedule. We considered a pack of teams for No. 20, including BC High and Waltham, but we'll give Lowell the nod considering that, of the Raiders' seven losses, three came against Top 10 squads and two came out of state. Lowell also smacked Reading during the regular season.
1. Westwood 24-0-1 1 2. Framingham 22-2-1 3 3. Wellesley 18-1-1 2 4. Lincoln-Sudbury 21-2-0 4 5. Needham 19-4-1 7 6. Winchester 20-1-2 5 7. King Philip 17-3-0 6 8. Andover 17-6-0 8 9. Acton-Boxboro 18-3-1 9 10. Norwell 16-9-0 19 11. North Andover 20-2-1 11 12. Reading 14-5-2 14 13. Lexington 18-4-0 15 14. Duxbury 14-5-2 12 15. Masconomet 14-4-0 13 16. Weston 13-7-0 -- 17. Hingham 13-6-0 20 18. Georgetown 13-6-0 -- 19. Sandwich 20-1-1 16 20. Notre Dame 15-4-1 18
Some quick thoughts: We can hear the groans in Wellesley already. Yes, the Raiders defeated Framingham in a head-to-head battle back on April 7. But that was more than two months ago. If the teams met again later in the season, we believe the Flyers likely would have returned the favor. From what we saw, Westwood and Framingham were simply a cut above. Division 1, as a whole, however, was absolutely loaded and we reflected that in the top 5. Winchester, King Philip, and Andover sorted themselves out from regular-season play. Georgetown was tough to figure out. The Royals stormed to the Division 2 North final, but had also endured some questionable losses during the regular season, like a 13-8 defeat at the hands of a Manchester Essex squad that finished 6-8.
Our friends at LaxPower.com released their boys' lacrosse season-ending national rankings and Duxbury is the only local public squad to land in the top 50 as the Dragons -- ranked No. 1 in the Globe's final top 20 poll -- check in at No. 39.
Deerfield Prep is tops among Massachusetts schools, landing at No. 21 after a 15-1 campaign (their lone loss being a one-goal tilt with Avon Old Farms of Connecticut, which ranked at No. 227). The Governor's Academy landed at No. 37.
Western Mass. public power Longmeadow, which fell to Duxbury in the regular season, but rebounded to win the Division 2 state title (topping Medfield in the finals) checked in at No. 42.
You'd have to hop down to No. 147 to find the next Massachusetts public entry in St. John's Prep. Other local publics in the top 200: Walpole (152), Billerica (163), Xaverian (167), and Medfield (178).
We'll have our final Top 20 for the boys' and girls' lacrosse seasons posted shortly.
Our final Top 20 polls for the 2008 baseball and softball seasons have been posted.
We'll check back with final top 20 polls for boys' and girls' lacrosse Monday.
For those pining for one more boys' lacrosse game, get yourselves down to Reebok Field in Canton for the Senior North-South All-Star Game at 5 p.m.
South coach Rick Peterson -- Marshfield's leading man -- reports the teams will be comprised of seniors from the All-American list, along with Eastern Mass. All-Stars who were voted to compete in the game.
Click HERE to check out the list of All-Americans for the 2008 season. Be sure to also visit our 2008 Spring All-Scholastics to read more on the athletes that will comprise much of the talent at the North-South battle.
How good are these teams? The South triumvirate of goalies features Garrett Akie of Dover-Sherborn, David Barton of BC High, and Max Vaikus of Hingham. It'd be a wonder anyone scored except for the star power that litters the midfield and attack for both squads. Should be a phenomenal night of lacrosse.
By Amanda Bruno, Globe Correspondent
WAYLAND – After the Westwood baseball team clinched the Division 3 state title over Frontier up in Lowell, the boys headed over to the girls’ lacrosse Division 1 state final to see if the Wolverines could bring home a pair of titles.
It happened to be their day.
In its fourth meeting in the state final in six years, Westwood (24-0-1) powered past Longmeadow, 10-7 to win yet another state championship over the Lancers. The Wolverines clinched titles in 2003 and 2005, and Longmeadow (21-3) savaged a win in 2004.
"It’s huge. I mean once we won it freshmen year I always kind of wanted one for myself to be like I don’t have my sister’s help [this time] so today was a big one," said senior captain Alex Frank. "I know our seniors, [winning the state title] was our goal for the season and to come out and play like we did today and come out and win is great. It’s a great ending to our season."
Westwood dominated the first half led by the Globe All-Scholastic trio, sophomore Kelly Rich (six goals, five in the half) and senior captains Frank (two goals) and Erin Massimi (two goals, one assist) who contributed to all of the scoring.
After Longmeadow scored the first goal of the game 2:16 in, Massimi tied it up and got the ball rolling for the Wolverines who then went on a 7-0, before the Lancers finally scored again with 54 seconds remaining in the frame.
"It was not the game plan [scoring eight goals in the first half], that’s what we were trying not to do,” said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. “We were trying to save the legs and pace ourselves and time ourselves."
Longmeadow’s bid for a seventh state title looked to be over with, but that’s why there are two halves in lacrosse.
Westwood cooled off after Massimi scored her second goal of the game 15 seconds into the second. That’s when the Lancers unleashed a threatening rally. Longmeadow senior Katie Phillips (four goals) scored back-to-back goals to put Lomgeadow within five and Westwood called a timeout with 20:37 on the clock.
Fifteen minutes flew by with neither team scoring. Finally with 5:35 left in the second frame, Jessica Lesage found Rich on the left side of the net and made a quick release to give her, her sixth goal of the game to make it 10-4.
"[Kelly] was outstanding,” said Leslie Frank. “She’s just seasoned. She sees when it’s time. She’s patient, she holds her cuts and then [takes the shot]."
But Longmeadow still wouldn’t go away with Emily Stankiewicz responding 32 seconds later and the Lancers strung together two more, but as they threatened for more, Abbie Brown (seven saves) made an enormous save and gave it to Massimi who took it to the other end and held onto the ball until the horn sounded.
"The work ethic of those kids, I felt so much pressure from Longmeadow in the second half. I don’t even know how we pulled it off," said Westwood coach Leslie Frank.
"Right now I’m just really excited. All of our hard work paid off and I really wanted to do this for the seniors because they have led us to so many things," said Rich. "We just really wanted to finish it off for them. We had such a great season and it was just a great way to end it."
Sorry folks, I unfortunately didn't have any internet capabilities from Wayland so I was unable to post any updates.
Some quick notes:
This was Westwood's third state title in six years and all three have come against Longmeadow.
After Longmeadow scored the opening goal, the Wolverines splurged to an 8-0 run led by the Globe All-Scholastic trio of sophomore Kelly Rich, and senior captains Erin Massimi and Alex Frank.
Rich scored five of her six goals in the first frame, Frank both of her goals, and Massimi had a goal and an assist (two goals total).
Westwood led 8-2 at the break.
Longmeadow however didn't die as the Lancers outscored the Wolverines, 5-2 in the second frame. Longmeadow goalie, Mollie Mackler was incredible and finished with 12 saves. The senior is attending Duke in the fall.
The Lancers certainly made it close as Katie Phillips (four goals) put in back-to-back netters to cut the deficit to five, which prompted Westwood to call a timeout. After the timeout there was a 15 minute scoring gap until Rich, fed by Jessica Lesage, scored with 5:35 remaining in the second frame.
Longmeadow finished off game on a 3-0 run, but after a save by Westwood goalie Abbie Brown (seven saves), the Wolverines took the ball to the other end until the horn blew to stop the run.
Check back later for a full game recap.
It'll be do or die battle once again between Westwood (23-0-1) and Longmeadow (21-2) who are competing in the girls' lacrosse Division 1 state final this evening at Wayland High School as these two teams aren't strangers.
The two powerhouses have met in the state title game from 2003-2005 as Westwood captured titles in '03 and '05 and the Lancers in '04.
During the regular season, Westwood trounced Longmeadow 14-5 back on April 12, but by no means does this mean it'll be an easy ride for the Wolverines, which will be expecting a much different Longmeadow squad.
The Lancers have sailed along in post-season play beating South Hadley 20-6 and Minnechaug 12-4 in the west to capture another WMass crown and their most recent win over Central champion Westborough 10-6.
It should be a great match-up. Game time will start at 4:15 p.m. Check back for updates, I'll try my best to give them to you.
Here are the 2008 girls' lacrosse All-Americans for Eastern Mass:
- Catherine Gross, Andover, Jr.
- Christine Donovan, Brooks, Soph.
- Moira Barry, Framingham, Soph.
- Melanie Baskind, Framingham, Sr.
- MaryLeah DiNisco, Governors, Jr.
- Jess Griffin, Lincoln-Sudbury, Jr.
- Casey Griffen, Nobles, Jr.
- Sarah Plumb, Nobles, Sr.
- Kaitlin Gaiss, Phillips, Jr.
- Samantha Taylor, Pingree, Sr.
- Kelsey Johnson, Thayer, Jr.
- Alex Frank, Westwood, Sr.
- Erin Massimi, Westwood, Sr.
- Meg Sullivan, Winchester, Sr.
The following athletes received honorable mentions:
- Katelyn Caro, Andover, Sr.
- Elizabeth Bruno, Brooks, Sr.
- Chelsey Bowman, Concord, Sr.
- Erin Levesque, Duxbury, Sr.
- Annie Clayman, Governors, Sr.
- Mary Pasquantonio, King Philip, Sr.
- Alexa Rozelle, Lincoln-Sudbury, Jr.
- Victoria Arnold, Middlesex, Sr.
- Alyson Friedensohn, Milton, Sr.
- Stephanie Gill, Nobles, Sr.
- Sarah Mulvey, Thayer, Sr.
- Maria Tedeschi, Thayer, Sr.
- Kelly Rich, Westwood, Soph.
To check out the boys' All-Americans, go HERE.
girls' lacrosse > division 1 south semifinal
No. 1 Westwood 17, No. 3 Wellesley 8
WESTWOOD -- After bowing to Wellesley two years ago in the Division 1 South semifinal, Westwood returned the favor Tuesday night as the Wolverines handed the Raiders their first loss of the season in a 17-8 triumph last night at Flahive Field.
For the second straight year, top-seeded Westwood (21-0-1) will play for the South title as the Wolverines host fifth-seeded Needham (19-3-1) on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Westwood came out strong and commanded the entire first half of play. Senior tricaptain Erin Massimi simply dominated both offensively and defensively as she contributed all of her five goals and two assists in the opening half, where the Wolverines opened an 11-3 lead before the intermission.
However, third-seeded Wellesley (18-1-1) put together a better game plan in the second frame, which resulted in a couple of goals scored by Mary Louise Dixon on an eight-meter shot and Blake Dietrick, which forced Westwood coach Leslie Frank to call a timeout to regroup her squad.
“There were so many forced turnovers on our end thinking [we] could go to the goal and [we] were collapsing, there’s no need for that,” said Frank. “When you’re up you just have to play smarter up and [we] were just not getting that. It’s the level of competition, it’s the excitement, it’s very hard to come play 100 percent go, go, go in the first half then cool down.”
The first timeout worked for about a minute and a half as senior tricaptain Alex Frank (four goals, three assists) connected with sophomore Kelly Rich, who notched Westwood’s 12th goal of the game, but the Raiders strung together a three-goal run with three different contributors and, yet again, Westwood called timeout.
“We didn’t come out as hard in the beginning of the second half like we should of. [Wellesley] definitely capitalized on that,” said Alex Frank. “After we had that second timeout it was kind of like we had to regroup ourselves and get back into it.”
It seemed to work as the Wolverines poured in five unanswered goals led by senior Megan Lally (four goals) who had two in the spurt as Westwood sealed the deal.
“I thought we had a good run in the second half. It was difficult convincing the kids to just play it one possession at a time,” said Wellesley coach Christine Molonea. “You looked at the halftime score, it was a little demoralizing. [Westwood] got off to a quick start, a much quicker start then we did, but I thought our kids showed a lot of character.”
The Eastern Mass. Division 1 boys' lacrosse quarterfinal between host and top-seeded Duxbury and eighth-seeded Marshfield has been shifted to Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Here's the list of Eastern Mass. All-Americans and other honors for the boys' lacrosse standouts of the region:
- Jim Queeney, Reading, Jr. , attack
- Kam Bumpus, Needham, Jr., midfielder
- Peter Jennings, Wellesley, Sr., midfielder
- Davis Butts, Walpole, Jr., midfielder
- Chris Walker, Marshfield, Sr., attack (Wagner)
- Tyler Sabens, Falmouth, Sr., midfielder (Manhattan)
- Mark Flibotte, Cohasset, Sr., midfielder (Bowdoin)
- Brian Foster, Medfield, Jr., midfielder
- Garrett Akie, Dover-Sherborn, Sr., goalie (Hamilton)
- Danny Gold, Medfield, Jr., long-stick midfielder
- Matt Schairer, King Philip, Sr., attack (Quinnipiac)
- Brendan Grant, Xaverian, Sr., attack (Bentley)
- Mark Scalise, St. John's Prep, Sr., attack (Harvard)
- Tucker Garfield, St. John's Prep, Sr., midfielder (Salisbury School)
- John Whitney, St. John's Prep, Sr., defense (Hamilton)
- Scott Austin, Duxbury, Sr., attack (Cornell)
- Gus Quinzani, Duxbury, Sr., midfielder (St. Joseph's)
- Craig Sullivan, Duxbury, Sr., defense (Maryland)
- Greg Melaugh, Billerica, Jr., midfielder
- Brendan Hughes, Andover, Sr., midfielder (Bowdoin)
- Tim Finnegan, Lowell, Sr., goalie (Providence)
Academic All Americans: Tucker Delaney Winn, Winchester; Steve Gaudet, St. John's Prep; Chris Rigoli, Xaverian; Charles Czerkawski, Cohasett; Connor Green, Sandwich; Alex Boches, Beverly; Doug Johnston, Dartmouth; Brandon Wade, Georgetown; Matthew Rayner, Andover; Michael Gerhardt, Chelmsford.
Coaches of the Year: Drew Domineck, Gloucester; Stephen Duffy, Waltham; Charlie Hardy, Reading; Greg Gilbert, Falmouth; Bob Aronson, Medfield; Dan Warren, King Philip; John Roy, St. John's Prep; Chris Sweet, Duxbury; Chris Burns, Billerica (EMass Coach of the Year); Shane Relihan, New Bedford; Steve Connolly, North Andover .
Man of the Year: Steve Schairer, King Philip.
Assistant Coaches of the Year: Stu Brown, Dover-Sherborn; Russell Sorin, Waltham; Dave Lautman, Reading; Marshall Chambers, Nantucket; Skip Milne, Hamilton-Wenham; Justin Shairs (North); Tom Driscoll (South); Geno Zanella, Dover-Sherborn; Steve Ruelle, Austin Prep; Tom Frisoli, Cath Memorial (EMass Assistant Coach of the Year); AC Decker, Hingham.
Below are the players voted All-Stars by the Eastern Mass. Girls' Lacrosse Coaches Association:
Catherine Gross, Andover, Jr.
Melanie Baskind, Framingham, Sr.
Moira Barry, Framingham, Soph.
Mary Pasquantonio, King Phillip, Sr.
Jess Griffin, Lincoln-Sudbury, Jr.
Alex Frank, Westwood, Sr.
Erin Massimi, Westwood, Sr.
Meg Sullivan, Winchester, Sr.
Erin Levesque, Duxbury, Sr.
Alexa Rozelle, Lincoln-Sudbury, Jr.
Margie Fulton, Wellesley, Sr.
Caitlyn Caro, Andover, Sr.
Cat Conway, Acton-Boxboro, Sr.
Jamie Dolan, Hopkinton, Jr.
Blake Dietrick, Wellesley, Fr.
Kelly Rich, Westwood, Soph.
Sara Reddington, Needham, Sr.
Sam Zetlin, Framingham, Jr.
Mary Kate Gorman, Hingham, Jr.
Kerry Eaton, King Phillip, Jr.
Ilana Cohen, Andover, Sr.
Emily Pilemer, Arlington, Sr.
Bridget Dullea, Bishop Fenwick, Jr.
Trisha Babson, Duxbury, Sr.
Caileigh Grove, Franklin, Sr.
Colleen Mulligan, Hanover, Sr.
Devon Gibney, Hopkinton, Sr.
Katie Florence, King Philip, Sr.
Micaela Cyr, Lexington, Jr.
Kelly Cakert, Lincoln-Sudbury, Sr.
Laura Jernegan, Martha's Vineyard, Jr.
Kathleen Ragan, Masconomet, Jr.
Marisa Aubin, Needham, Sr.
Jill Cammett, Norwell, Sr.
Liz Greeley, Norwood, Jr.
McKenna Teague, Notre Dame (Hingham), Sr.
Sarah Galligan, Pentucket, Sr.
Charlotte Marsh, Reading, Jr.
Jessica Guisti, Walpole, Sr.
Meredith Batter, Weston, Sr.
Christine Ockerbloom, Winchester, Sr.
As a few commenters pointed out, we should have waited until Friday to post our final boys' lacrosse top 20 of the regular season as some of our top squads are in need of a shuffling already.
You can find all the details in today's school roundup, but No. 3 St. John's Prep edged No. 2 Medfield in overtime, while No. 7 Billerica topped No. 5 Xaverian, 13-9. Elsewhere, Winchester upset No. 11 North Andover; Lincoln-Sudbury shocked No. 6 Andover; and Acton-Boxboro took down No. 10 Lowell.
Shouldn't figuring out the top 20 be easier at this point? Just confirms that it's going to be an absolutely wild postseason. We cannot wait to get a glimpse of the boys' lacrosse tournament brackets tomorrow.
One other note from Wednesday's action, Marshfield coach Rick Peterson reports that senior Chris Walker broke Sean Morris's single-season scoring mark as he now boasts 110 points after a 21-3 triumph over Whitman-Hanson.
The Rams, who endured some midseason injuries, have won six in a row and captured the Atlantic Coast League title. Lining itself up for a lofty seed, Marshfield is yet another team to keep an eye on in the postseason.
The final boys' lacrosse top 20 of the regular season is now available.
A few quick thoughts: Walpole leapfrogs Xaverian at spots Nos. 4-5, but hard to fault Xaverian for playing such a challenging schedule... It's hard to rank BC High behind Billerica given the head-to-head victory for the Eagles earlier this season, but the Indians are clearly playing the stronger ball right now... Falmouth and Marshfield continued to draw attention from the pollsters, but couldn't supplant Cohasset at the back end of the top 20... Waltham does vault into the top 20 thanks in large part to recent wins over Arlington and Lexington.
Back with the final girls' poll soon.
Lacrosse Top 20s will be updated Wednesday afternoon instead of today. Stay close.
Check out complete game highlights from St. John's Prep's 10-9 win over Xaverian in a key Catholic Conference clash.
- Click HERE to watch complete game highlights
The boys' lacrosse top 20 poll has been updated with games through Monday.
We can't give a full team-by-team rundown this week, but a couple of quick thoughts:
- Not a whole lot of changes to the top 10. BC High slips back a bit after enduring losses to Xaverian and St. John's Prep last week, while Walpole leaps to the No. 5 spot... We'll be interested to see how Lexington fares today against Reading in a Middlesex League showdown... Dover-Sherborn shuffles up spot 10.
- It was a tough week for schools on the backside of the top 20 as few emerged unscathed. Some, like Wellesley and Needham, endured tough losses and actually bumped up a few spots this week, while Arlington, Scituate, and Cohasset slid backwards a bit.
- We think the shuffling in the ranking just shows how interesting this postseason tournament is shaping up to be. Even non-ranked teams like Marshfield and Waltham have endured their own struggles this spring, but seem to be playing some inspired ball. We can't wait for the brackets to roll out later this month.
A quick glance at the top 5 by division:
2. St. John's Prep
5. BC High
4. King Philip
4. Austin Prep
The girls' lacrosse top 20 has also been updated.
A few quick thoughts: Much like the boys there was just a bit of shuffling at the top with Acton-Boxboro and Hopkinton hopping into prime spots in the top 10... Norwell's win over Duxbury left a bit of a domino effect. The Dragons dropped back a few spots, while Norwell hopped back in the top 20. That came at the expense of Weston, which fell to Duxbury Saturday. A look at your top 5 by division:
5. King Philip
3. North Andover
No. 4 St. John's Prep 10, No. 3 Xaverian 9
- Click HERE to watch complete game highlights
DANVERS -- It's not just the regularity with which St. John's Prep's John Jennings lands in the scorebook that's astounding. It's often how he gets there.
Jennings boasts a flare for producing the highlight-worthy goal and Monday proved to be no exception. The junior attack potted the winner -- his fourth goal of the game -- on a spirited run from behind the cage with 6:21 remaining that culminated with an impossible-angle shot that ultimately lifted the fourth-ranked Eagles past third-ranked Xaverian, 10-9, at Cronin Memorial Stadium.
With the win, St. John's Prep (12-2, 6-1) avenged one of its two losses this spring and put itself in position to claim the Catholic Conference title outright provided the Eagles top Malden Catholic Thursday.
They can thank Jennings for that opportunity. Xaverian (13-3, 6-2) rallied from a four-goal, second-half deficit to tie the game at 9 on Brendan Grant's ground ball through the slot with 8:49 remaining.
Jennings, whose most dazzling goal might have been a rebound effort late in the first half as St. John's Prep opened its first four-goal advantage, sprinted out from behind the net and managed to zip the ball inside the post for the go-ahead score a short time later.
In a game with 19 goals, it was almost surprising to see it hold up.
"I caught it and just ran around," said Jennings. "They didn't slide, so I shot it... I just kinda reached around.
"Coach stressed that this was like a Catholic Conference championship game because if we both won out, whoever wins this game wins the title. We wanted this one pretty bad."
St. John's Prep sophomore Garrett Campbell scored three consecutive times over a five-minute span in the second quarter as the Eagles opened a little breathing room. When Jennings' potted his pretty rebound goal with 2:48 to play in the quarter, the hosts led 7-3.
But Xaverian didn't go quietly. Ryan Abely scored before the break to trim the deficit and Chris Rigoli potted two tallies as part of a four-goal, third-quarter outburst that sliced St. John's Prep's lead to 9-8 heading to the final frame.
The Hawks, who led briefly at 2-1 in the first quarter, could never pull ahead again.
"It was everything you expect from a championship game," said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner. "We could have brought home the championship again, and our guys know that, so they were not going to let go of that title easily. I'm proud of my guys for pulling back in it. (St. John's Prep was) simply able to get last score."
The Hawks were plagued by the second-quarter outburst by Campbell, along with maybe a touch of over-aggressiveness in the second half. The Hawks were hitting like Massachusetts had enabled spring football and that led to a number of man-up opportunities for St. John's Prep (one of which the Eagles capitalized on with a Mark Scalise goal with 1:35 to play in the third quarter after Xaverian pulled within a score).
"We started with a zone and they were much more prepared for that than the last time we played," said Gardner, whose troops emerged with a 9-5 triumph in Westwood on April 18. "We were able to get the ball on the floor a few times, but they ended up winning the ground balls, either by bad bounces or by being scrappy. They have good athletes out there, they were able to get the ground balls and went on a little run."
St. John's Prep's defense spearheaded by seniors Brogan O'Connor, John Whitney, and Santo Dettore never let Xaverian embark on a similar run. The Eagles cinched up the middle of the field in the second half and forced Xaverian to attack from the edges and, when the Hawks did generate an unsettled situation going at the cage, netminder Nick Valenti made some key stops.
Asked if he thought Jennings' goal would hold up for the winner, St. John's Prep coach John Roy admitted he did not.
"I never thought any goal would held up, it was too back and forth," said Roy. "Jennings had an impossible angle. But he's like that. Once he has the ball near the goal, he finds a way to score."
St. John's Prep holds on to top Xaverian, 10-9.
SJP, 10-9 (2:05, 4th)
St. John's Prep leads, 10-9, with 2:05 to go. Xaverian has the ball coming out of a timeout.
SJP, 9-8 (end of 3rd)
Xaverian's Chris Rigoli had two goals and Brendan Grant added a goal and an assist as part of a four-goal, third-quarter outburst that has helped the Hawks pull within a goal of St. John's Prep, 9-8, moving to the final frame.
SJP, 8-6 (4:25, 3rd)
Goals by Brendan Grant and Chris Rigoli have helped Xaverian claw within a pair of St. John's Prep, but the Eagles lead, 8-6, with 4:25 to play in the third quarter.
SJP, 7-4 (half)
St. John's Prep sophomore Garrett Campbell scored three consecutive goals over a five-minute span as the Eagles struck for the first four goals in the second quarter and lead visiting Xaverian, 7-4, at the intermission.
The two sides essentially traded goals over the first 12 ,but Campbell started his scoring blitz with a tally off a John Jennings feed with 9:29 to go in the half. When he ripped the twine with an unassisted score with 5:26 to play, St. John's Prep led, 6-3.
Jennings followed with his third goal of the game before Xaverian's Ryan Abely stopped the bleeding with a goal off a Brendan Grant feed with 1:16 to play in the half.
A few thoughts:
- St. John's Prep is dominating time of possession. Xaverian barely had the ball over the first 10 minutes of the second quarter.
- Xaverian is having success putting an attacker in front of the cage and passing to create easy goals in front. St. John's Prep is making it decidedly more difficult with constant pressure on the edges.
- St. John's Prep has given up more than nine goals on only one occasion this spring: a 14-13 overtime win over Hingham. In fact, these Eagles haven't lost when scoring more than five goals in a game (their two losses were to Xaverian, 9-5, and Duxbury, 7-5).
SJP, 7-3 (2:15, 2nd)
Four unanswered goals by St. John's Prep in the second quarter have the Eagles out front, 7-3, with 2:15 to go in the frame.
Tied, 3-3 (end of 1st)
No team led by more than a goal in the first quarter as Xaverian and St. John's Prep head to the second frame knotted at 3.
Two goals for John Jennings paced St. John's Prep, while Garrett Buckley, Ryan Abely, and Brendan Grant each had scores for the Hawks.
Welcome to Danvers for today's Catholic Conference showdown between fourth-ranked St. John's Prep and third-ranked Xaverian.
It's on the cool side here at Cronin Memorial Field with the Forsberg Cruiser setting the temperature at a deceiving 52 degrees (there's a wind picking up that makes it feel much cooler than it already is).
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
We'll be live from Danvers this afternoon, where the Catholic Conference title hangs in the balance as the St. John's Prep boys' lacrosse team hosts rival Xaverian at 4 p.m.
Xaverian defeated St. John's Prep, 9-5, during the teams' first meeting on April 18. The Eagles have won seven of their last eight since that game, falling only to top-ranked Duxbury, 7-5, on May 3.
Xaverian dropped a 9-6 decision to BC High on April 15, but the Hawks have won nine of their last 10, only falling to second-ranked Medfield, 6-5, on April 23.
Back with more from Danvers.
Click the link below to check out complete game highlights from Duxbury's 14-10 triumph over Longmeadow in boys' lacrosse action.
- Click HERE to watch complete game highlights
No. 1 Duxbury 14, Longmeadow 10
- Click HERE to watch complete game highlights
DUXBURY -- Who knows better about spurts than a team with an 83-game, in-state winning streak.
The top-ranked Duxbury boys' lacrosse team scored nine consecutive goals over a dominating 14-minute span in the first half to build a comfortable cushion, then short-circuited visiting Longmeadow's spurts before they snowballed out of control en route to a 14-10 triumph Saturday at Taylor Memorial Field.
The Lancers logged 250 roundtrip miles for their shot at dethroning the four-time defending Division 1 state champs. The Green Dragons haven't lost since the 2003 state final despite the fact that everyone seems to be gunning for them recently.
Longmeadow bounded off its bus overflowing with enthusiasm and scoring first did little to quell that intensity. Duxbury's nine-goal outburst, however, did provide the wet blanket on a chilly spring afternoon.
"Welcome to lacrosse," Duxbury coach Chris Sweet joked when asked about how both teams scored in streaks Saturday. Longmeadow twice put together four-goal outbursts, the first pulling the Lancers within four goals late in the second quarter and the other trimming the final spread to four goals.
"We like (spurts) when they're in our favor. When it swings the other way, you gotta knuckle down. We played some good defense and got key saves in the middle of some of their rallies. It doesn't take much to turn it around. A big save, a score or a turnover. We got enough of those to hang on today."
Longmeadow was desperate for one of those streak-breakers as Duxbury motored away in the first half. It's what head coach John Rauseo and his charges probably rolled over in their minds many times as part of a 2-hour, 12-minute trek back to the high school on Grassy Gutter Road in Longmeadow.
"The first half, they got us," said Rauseo. "In the second half, we held them to what, four goals? You can't spot a team like that nine goals. That was the difference.
"We didn't get the ball on offense. Whoever had the ball on offense today seemed to score. At the end we had a couple of chances... we just couldn't put them in."
Duxbury's Scott Austin scored three of his game-high six goals as part of the Dragons' big first-half outburst that put the hosts out front, 9-1, with 7:07 to play in the second quarter. But Longmeadow responded as James Reardon produced half of a four-goal outburst to make it 9-5 with 2:18 to go in the half.
Duxbury dug in and Austin potted another goal with 51 ticks to play in the frame for a five-goal cushion at the intermission. He and Grant Marston each registered two goals in the third quarter as the Dragons pushed their lead back to 14-6 before Longmeadow produced the only four goals of the final frame.
"Our offense was uncharacteristically patient at key times," said coach Sweet. "That was the difference. We got some big shots and some good defensive play from our poles.
"They got the first goal, but our guys came ready to play. We did a good job of being ready to play from the start."
All-Scholastic defender Craig Sullivan did a fantastic job limiting Longmeadow junior attack Kyle Smith (1 goal), while captain Mark Murphy shadowed Reardon (2 goals) for much of the day. Longmeadow senior David Thor sparked the Lancers' offense with four goals.
Outside of Austin, Duxbury spread it around. Gus Quinzani, Hakeem Lecky, and Marston each had two goals apiece, while Steven Ripley and Dan May scored single goals.
While proud of the way his team battled back and happy to take positives from those spurts, Rauseo seemed to take a bit of umbrage when asked if it was tough to travel so far to play a team the caliber of Duxbury.
"They gotta play us, too," he said. "We're Longmeadow. We have a streak; We haven't lost to a Massachusetts (public) high school all year. This is the first one we lost to."
Longmeadow (11-2), which also lost to Deerfield Prep, boasted wins over second-ranked Medfield (which it lost to in last year's Division 2 state final) and Scituate entering Saturday's game. The Lancers don't travel past 495 again during the regular season, but are seemingly the odds-on favorite to represent that part of the state in June.
For Duxbury, the challenges just keep on coming. Next week's slate features a pair of Catholic Conference foes in Xaverian (a rematch of last year's state final) and BC High. The following week brings Needham and New Hampshire juggernaut Bishop Guertin as tune-ups to the state tournament.
Duxbury tops Longmeadow, 14-10. Back with a recap and highlights in a bit.
Duxbury, 14-10 (1:06, 4th)
Longmeadow scored the only four goals of the four quarter (thus far) to make things a little more interesting, but it looks like too little too late as Duxbury leads by four goals with just over a minute to go.
Duxbury, 14-6 (end of 3rd)
Duxbury's Scott Austin and Derek Sweet scored two goals apiece in the third quarter and the Green Dragons lead visiting Longmeadow, 14-6, moving to the final frame.
For the day, Austin has a game-high six goals.
Duxbury, 12-5 (6:40, 3rd)
Duxbury's Scott Austin and Derek Sweet scored back-to-back third-quarter goals and the Green Dragons have increased their advantage to 12-5 with 6:40 to play in the frame.
Duxbury, 10-5 (half)
So much hype. So little drama.
Longmeadow scored the game's first goal and it seemed everyone at Taylor Field was holding their collective breaths with the possibility that this Western Mass. juggernaut might swoop in and dethrone Eastern Mass.'s behemoth.
It didn't take long for everyone to exhale.
Duxbury scored nine consecutive goals spanning into the second quarter and led, 9-1, with 7:07 to play in the half before Longmeadow breathed a little life back into this game with four consecutive scores.
Duxbury's Scott Austin scored in the final minute of the half -- his fourth of the game -- to put the Dragons out front, 10-5, at the intermission.
A few quick thoughts:
- Longmeadow came out with some serious intensity and they were bouncing off the walls after David Thor scored just 1:48 in. The Dragons responded with three goals over the next three minutes before an absolute blizzard that span into the second frame.
- Not sure if Duxbury saw something on film, but they've generated a number of goals by bouncing the ball in.
- Longmeadow shouldn't be down nearly as much. Granted, Duxbury made some quality runs to the cage -- particularly an unbelievable effort by Steven Ripley in the second quarter in which he evaded about five defenders and endured two big hits on an unassisted tally -- but Duxbury hasn't exactly put on a passing clinic here. Much of its shots are being generated on individual efforts and the Lancers probably should have made a few more stops to this point on long-range blasts (see: long-stick middie Dan May's goal in the first quarter).
- Duxbury opens the third quarter with a man advantage and the ball after holding to close out the first half. Longmeadow desperately needs a stop and some early scores to pull back some momentum if it has any chance to make this interesting.
Duxbury, 9-5 (1:54, 2nd)
Duxbury rattled off nine consecutive goals after Longmeadow scored first as this one appeared to be a rout, but the visitors have responded with four consecutive scores to at least add a bit of intrigue as the half nears.
Duxbury, 5-1 (end of 1st)
An intense Longmeadow struck first, but Duxbury responded with five unanswered goals and leads the visiting Lancers, 5-1, t the end of the first quarter.
Gus Quinzani paced the Dragons with two goals in the first 12, while long-stick middie Daniel May got in on the offensive fireworks with a side-armed flick from the top of the slot.
Welcome to Duxbury. It's a little cool out here, but seems like ideal lacrosse weather.
We're just getting underway. Back with more throughout the afternoon.
We're headed back down to Duxbury this afternoon, where the top-ranked Green Dragons are expected to receive another stiff test when Western Mass. power Longmeadow visits for a boys' lacrosse showdown at Taylor Field at 4 p.m.
Duxbury now boasts an 82-game, in-state winning streak, but Longmeadow enters with an impressive 11-1 mark having beaten Eastern Mass. talents like second-ranked Medfield and 14th-ranked Scituate this spring.
Earlier in the day, the Duxbury girls' lacrosse team -- ranked sixth in Eastern Mass. -- hosts 19th-ranked Weston at noon. We'll have a correspondent there for that one and will have a complete recap of the action in Saturday's school roundup.
Back with more from Duxbury this afternoon.
Here we go with this week's look at the updated Top 20s for both boys' and girls' lacrosse:
1. Duxbury (10-2) -- The Dragons only asserted themselves as the team to beat with quality wins over Billerica, Scituate, and St. John's Prep. Can the Massachusetts winning streak survive a visit from Western Mass. power Longmeadow on Saturday?
2. Medfield (12-2) -- No shame in falling to a very talented Longmeadow squad. There's no reason this team shouldn't be 17-2 heading into the regular-season finale against St. John's Prep.
3. Xaverian (11-2) -- Another monster week (and a half) of Catholic Conference games with a visit from BC High on Thursday (a chance for the Hawks to avenge their lone league loss) and a potential winner-take-all battle with St. John's Prep on May 12.
4. St. John's Prep (10-2) -- The Eagles had Duxbury on the ropes, but there's a reason the Dragons are undefeated in Massachusetts for more than four straight years. Can the kids in Danvers complete the season sweep of BC High today?
5. BC High (9-2) -- St. John's Prep today; Xaverian Thursday. The Eagles can jump right back in the hunt for the league crown with a couple wins this week.
6. Lexington (10-2) -- The Minutemen have gained some steam since the Xaverian loss on April 21 and will get a nice test with a stretch that includes games against Winchester (Friday), Reading (May 13), and Waltham (May 16).
7. Walpole (11-0) -- Consider us on completely on the Rebel bandwagon. This defense has been amazing. Thirty-three goals in 11 games?! They are playing lacrosse, right? Not ice hockey.
8. Billerica (8-3) -- Coach Chris Burns and Co., kicked that three-game losing streak to the curb with a solid 13-5 thumping of Lincoln-Sudbury. The Indians would like to build some momentum here before a grueling close to the regular season with games against Andover, Bishop Guertin, and Xaverian.
9. Andover (8-4) -- Take away its first two games of the season and Andover has played a grand total of one team that currently has a record under .500 (Haverhill at 4-7). Andover's final five opponents are also currently above .500.
10. Arlington (11-1) -- With a win over Cohasset last week, the Spy Ponders make a big jump this week. We're still slightly skeptical (that Braintree score is hard to ignore), but today's clash with Malden Catholic should provide another nice test.
(More rankings after the jump)...
Click the link below to watch complete game highlights from top-ranked Duxbury's 7-5 win over fourth-ranked St. John's Prep Saturday night under the lights at Raymond P. Chandler Field.
- Click HERE to watch game highlights
No. 1 Duxbury 7, No. 4 St. John's Prep 5
- Click HERE to watch game highlights
DUXBURY -- Some will tell you a goal is a goal in lacrosse regardless of the time on the scoreboard. But Scott Austin's goal late in the third quarter of Saturday night's blockbuster between top-ranked Duxbury and fourth-ranked St. John's Prep definitely came with a little something extra.
Austin potted his second goal of the third quarter with only three seconds remaining in the frame and it appeared all of St. John's Prep's momentum followed the ball into the twine. The Eagles, who hadn't trailed through three quarters, were forced to enter the final frame with the score knotted for the fourth time on the night.
Austin fed Jake Harvey for a go-ahead goal that put Duxbury out front for the first time little more than three minutes into the final frame and the Dragons never relinquished their lone lead while emerging with a 7-5 triumph under the lights at cold and soggy Raymond P. Chandler Field.
"Lacrosse is a game of real momentum swings," said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet, whose charges protected their in-state, 79-game winning streak despite one of its biggest challenges of the 2008 season.
"(Scoring with three seconds left in the third quarter), that was a big one right here. If I were them, I would say that was the turning point. Certainly, in a game where every ground ball counted, every goal counted, every save counted, it's all the little things. We probably made fewer mistakes than they did and that's the biggest difference."
St. John's Prep coach John Roy echoed those sentiments.
"It's a game of momentum," he said. "Scoring the goal with three seconds left for them was big, and it was an unsettled situation. They're very fast and they move the ball well. It's difficult, their defense plays so well, so once you find yourself behind, you just hate to be behind."
Winning the opening draw of the fourth quarter, as well as the one following Harvey's go-ahead goal, Duxbury managed to control possession for much of the final frame and Derek Sweet scored with 4:54 to go to put the Dragons on top by the final spread.
St. John's Prep had its chances late, but Duxbury's long poles -- led by always-active All-Scholastic Craig Sullivan -- never let the Eagles generate a quality scoring chance. As soon as the ball hit the ground, the Dragons were there to make so much as winning a ground ball seem like a Herculean effort.
St. John's Prep's John Jennings paced his squad with four goals, including three in the first half where the Eagles opened the only other two-goal lead of the game with a 4-2 advantage with 2:33 to play in the half.
But, in typical Duxbury fashion, the Dragons didn't wait long to respond. They won the faceoff after Prep had taken its multi-goal lead and Quinn Cully fed Harvey for a score just 10 seconds later to make it 4-3 at the intermission.
Jennings scored with 3:01 to play in the third quarter, but Austin added the back-breaker with a mere three ticks to go as Duxbury ripped away all the momentum heading to the final frame.
If Lynyrd Skynyrd had been in attendance, the band would have renamed their hit song, "Gimme Three Seconds" and the chorus would have ended, "Gimme three seconds mister, and you'll never see me no more." Duxbury refused to let Prep back into the game after taking the lead.
Both netminders were outstanding, particularly St. John's Prep's Nick Valenti, who was the difference in keeping the Eagles out front early with some terrific stops. Valenti also made a brilliant 1-on-1 save with just about a minute to go to keep St. John's Prep's hopes alive.
But Duxbury goaltender Makar Zaverucha and his stingy defense prevented any rally, clearing the ball from the offensive end whenever Prep tried to attack.
Oh, and when the Dragons were trailing, coach Chris Sweet didn't hesitate to bring up the in-state winning streak as a little added motivation for his troops.
"We'll do whatever it takes to get these kids revved up," admitted Sweet. "Every team we play is going to bring their best game. We're lucky to play in that sort of playoff atmosphere every game."
Both teams emerge with matching 10-2 records. Duxbury dropped two games during its road trip through New York over April Vacation, but withstood challenges this week from Billerica and the Prep (while also trouncing Scituate). The Eagles must regroup with big Catholic Conference matchups on tap against BC High (May 6) and Xaverian (May12) in their next two games.
"An old coach of mine said there's no such thing as a moral victory," said Roy. "There's things we can take from this game. We started and ended at 100 percent and that's all you can ask of your team."
Duxbury withstands some late chances by St. John's Prep to emerge with a 7-5 triumph.
More to come.
Duxbury, 7-5 (3:31, 4th)
Goals by Jake Harvey and Derek Sweet have the Dragons out front of SJP, 7-5, with 3:31 to go.
Tied, 5-5 (end of 3rd)
Duxbury's Scott Austin sandwiched goals around John Jennings' fourth score of the night and we're headed to the fourth frame knotted at 5.
Austin scored with three ticks remaining in the third quarter to even this game.
SJP, 4-3 (half)
John Jennings scored three first-half goals as St. John's Prep leads host Duxbury, 4-3, at the intermission here at Raymond P. Chandler Field.
Jennings' third goal of the day -- a nice one-timer from the slot on a perfect feed by Garrett Campbell -- gave the Prep the only two-goal lead of the first half, bu Duxbury responded lightning quick as Quinn Cully fed Jake Harvery off the ensuing faceoff to cut that lead in half before the break.
Some very good defensive play and some nice stops by the netminders. Lot of intensity from St. John's Prep in the early going.The Eagles have not trailed in this game.
SJP, 3-2 (3:14, 2nd)
John Jennings' second goal of the game has St. John's Prep out front of Duxbury, 3-2, with 3:14 to play in the half.
Tied, 1-1 (end of 1st)
St. John's Prep's John Jennings and Duxbury's Quinn Cully scored the only goals of the first quarter and the two teams are knotted at 1 moving to the second stanza.
Welcome to Duxbury, where the top-ranked Green Dragons host fourth-ranked St. John's Prep in a boys' lacrosse nonleague showdown this evening.
The Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a "wait, this feels more like football season" 46 degrees (and dropping) as game time approaches.
We'll have updates throughout the night. Stay close.
We'll have live updates from this nonleague blockbuster and capture video highlights for the site.
Click the link below to check out complete game highlights from Walpole's 8-1 victory over Bay State Conference rival Wellesley:
- Click HERE to watch game highlights
No. 9 Walpole 8, No. 10 Wellesley 1
- Click HERE to watch game highlights
WELLESLEY -- Bad news for any opponent of the Walpole boys' lacrosse team who is celebrating an upcoming birthday. The Rebels have a strict policy this spring: No gifts.
Not on the field, anyway. Goaltender Cameron Crown, a senior captain, said the Rebels operate with the mantra that nothing will come easy for an opponent this season. Poor Wellesley saw the policy in action during Wednesday's battle for Bay State Herget supremacy and Walpole offered little leniency.
The Raiders, who are averaging better than 10 goals per game in their nine wins this season, settled for a lone second-quarter tally as visiting Walpole checked, bumped, and thumped its way to a dominating 8-1 triumph at Hunnewell Field.
Walpole makes the turn to the back 9 of its 2008 schedule sitting atop the Herget standings with a perfect 9-0 mark (the best start in school history, according to coach Jason Andalo) and has already punched its postseason ticket.
What's more, the Rebels are playing well against quality opponents. Walpole has now won consecutive games over top 20 opponents, taking down Division 3 power Dover-Sherborn, 11-7, Saturday in Walpole.
"I didn't think our offense was quite as good as it was Saturday," said Andalo. "But our defense was better."
That might seem like an obvious statement, until you realize that there was a dominant 27-minute stretch in the Dover game in which Walpole limited those Raiders to just one goal.
The Rebels kept that sort of intensity up for a full 48 minutes Wednesday against this group of Raiders. While Walpole struggled early to connect on opportunities around the Wellesley net, it barely gave the hosts a chance to get near Crown.
The Raiders struggled mightily to simply clear the ball in the first half and, when they did get to the offensive end, Walpole's long-sticks looked liked they were playing whack-a-mole with the opposing ball-handler. Only there was no hole for the Wellesley players to hide from the onslaught and that led to a number of ground balls that the Rebels vaccumed up.
“Clearly they were more aggressive and that’s something I hope doesn’t happen every day,” said Wellesley first-year coach Rocky Batty. “That’s a nice team, they’re aggressive on defense and they’re aggressive on offense.”
Batty admitted he was surprised that his charges were unable to match the intensity of Walpole. Both teams seemed a bit over-caffeinated in the early going with passes sailing high and plenty of turnovers on both sides of the field.
But it was Walpole that settled in first, aided in part by nice individual efforts on goals from Brian Orecchio and Greg Nash to lead 2-0 after one quarter. The Rebels ultimately score the game's first four goals before Wellesley's Matt Geisinger broke up the shutout with a big rip from the top of the slot with less than a minute to play in the first half.
Beset by penalties (and often in series), Walpole calmly killed its infractions. Nursing a 5-1 lead entering the fourth quarter, Crown made a huge save at the right post with Wellesley in a man-up situation. Walpole took control, worked the ball around until the penalty expired, then watched Greg Nash score the first of consecutive goals to effectively seal the win.
Crown spread his praise around to those who kept his crease clear: Ryan Whittemore, Connor Whittemore, and Mike Connors. Considering the Rebels have allowed little more than three goals per game this season (28 goals in 9 games), he confidently opined that the Rebels feature one of the top defenses in the state.
After Wednesday, Wellesley could likely confirm.
We'll have video highlights in a bit.
WELLESLEY -- Walpole's defense turned in a relentless 48-minute effort, stalking Wellesley from the time it left the locker room until it returned as the Rebels emerged with a dominating 8-1 triumph in a Bay State Conference battle.
Greg Nash paced the offensive with three goals and scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter as Walpole quickly stretched the four-goal cushion it entered the frame with.
We'll have a complete recap from this one, along with complete video highlights, tomorrow morning. Check out the entries below for more details from this one.
Walpole, 7-1 (5:20, 4th)
Walpole killed off consecutive penalties to start the third quarter -- highlighted by a big save by netminder Cameron Crown -- then watched Greg Nash score consecutive goals as the Rebels lead Wellesley, 7-1, with 5:20 to play.
Walpole, 5-1 (end of 3rd)
Wellesley carried play in the third quarter, but it was Walpole's Davis Butts scoring the lone goal of the frame (with 2:45 remaining) as the Rebels extended their lead to 5-1 moving to the fourth quarter.
Walpole is really making things difficult for Wellesley in the offensive end. The Rebels are using their speed and aggressiveness to really disrupt Wellesley.
Walpole, 4-1 (half)
Walpole scored the first four goals of the game and used an aggressive defense to hold host Wellesley scoreless over the first 23 minutes of the game to lead 4-1 at the intermission.
Brian Orecchio (2), Greg Nash, and Paul Orecchio all ripped the twine for the Rebels, who dominated the first quarter before Wellesley started showing life in the second frame.
The Raiders got a tiny spark before the break when Matt Geisinger broke the shutout with a big rip from the top of the slot with 59.6 seconds to play in the second quarter.
Walpole's defense was otherwise relentless. Wellesley struggled to even clear the ball for much of the first half and often turned the ball over just trying to work it upfield. The Rebels had their own woes, but managed to generate goals off individual efforts, which allowed them to build th early cushion and shrug off the mistakes.
Wellesley needs to generate better chances on offense in the second half to get back in this one and it needs to solve its issues getting the ball upfield. Walpole needs to keep up the defensive intensity and improve its ball movement around the cage on offense.
Walpole, 2-0 (end of 1st)
That might have been the ugliest 12 minutes of lacrosse we've seen this year, but Walpole got two nice individual efforts by Brian Orecchio and Greg Nash for two unassisted goals for a 2-0 advantage over Wellesley after one quarter.
Walpole dominated time of possession over the final 10 minutes of the quarter, thanks largely to Wellesley's inability to generate a clean clear. The Raiders threw an alarming number of passes away (mostly too high) in the first quarter.
Walpole wasn't particularly crisp either and really struggled to throw passes to the front of the goal. Orecchio and Nash made fine runs to put them 1-on-1 with the netminder and scored for the early lead.
Welcome to Wellesley, where the Raiders are set to host Walpole in a Bay State Conference battle.
The Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a friendly 56 degrees. Lot of clouds above, but the sun is shining on the field during pregame warm-ups.
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
Postponed by rain yesterday, we'll make the trek to Wellesley today for the Bay State Conference boys' lacrosse showdown between No. 9 Walpole and the 10th-ranked Raiders at 3:45 p.m.
Walpole (8-0) enters on the heels of a solid win over Dover-Sherborn, while Wellesley (9-1) is riding a seven-game winning streak under first-year coach Rocky Batty.
Back with live updates from Wellesley this afternoon.
Here's a look at our updated top 20 polls through games on Sunday, April 27. Below each poll you'll find our top 5 by division. Click HERE to jump to the girls' rankings.
1. Duxbury (7-2) -- Still undefeated in Massachusetts, still No. 1 in the polls.
2. Medfield (10-1) -- The Warriors are likewise undefeated in Massachusetts (their lone loss coming in an 8-7 defeat to Glastonbury (Conn.) on April 19). With quality wins over ranked opponents like Xaverian, Wellesley, and Dover-Sherborn, Medfield has earned this lofty spot.
3. Xaverian (8-2) -- Sure, the Hawks lost to BC High and Medfield, but in a wide-open Catholic Conference, they remain the team to beat.
4. St. John's Prep (8-1) -- The Eagles could have entrenched themselves at the top of the Catholic Conference with a win over Xaverian, but struggled mightily against the reigning conference champs.
5. BC High (8-2) -- It might not seem fair to have them rated ahead of a Malden Catholic team it lost to, but the Eagles have greater potential and bigger wins in the early season, though coach Kevin Bibeau is still striving for consistency in his team's efforts.
6. Lexington (7-2) -- The Minutemen are eager for that rematch with Reading (May 13) and sent a message with an 8-2 thumping of Andover last week.
7. Cohasset (7-2) -- Cohasset's losses have come against Duxbury and Scituate. In other words, No. 1 and No. 1 rival.
8. Scituate (7-3) -- Early season losses to Barnstable and Cohasset had us wondering if the Sailors had taken a big step backwards this spring, but recent wins over Cohasset and Catholic Memorial seem to suggest otherwise.
9. Walpole (8-0) -- Undefeated, but still largely untested. Tuesday's showdown with Wellesley will tell us more.
10. Wellesley (9-1) -- Phenomenal job so far by first-year coach Rocky Batty, whose team carries a seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's tilt with Walpole.
Two full-length highlights reels available below from recent lacrosse action. Click the links below to view action from Walpole vs. Dover-Sherborn boys and Westwood vs. Framingham girls.
No. 20 Walpole 11, No. 11 Dover-Sherborn 7
- Click HERE to watch complete game highlights
WALPOLE -- Consider this the start of the "Make Them Believers" tour for the Walpole boys' lacrosse team.
Sure the Rebels carried an undefeated record into Saturday's matinée with Dover-Sherborn, but Walpole's competition boasted a mere 21-41 combined record and there was reason to question whether the Rebels were for real with only two wins over teams with records better than .500.
The pundits were licking their chops when visiting Dover-Sherborn scored four of the game's first five goals, but Walpole responded by scoring 10 of the next 11 to build a six-goal advantage early in the fourth quarter and emerge with a rock-solid 11-7 triumph at Turco Memorial Field.
It was the perfect start of a rigorous stretch for the Rebels, who travel to meet Bay State Conference juggernaut Wellesley Tuesday before a trek to dance with Needham on May 7.
"We took care of our first seven, but we knew coming into this one that today would be a good test," said Walpole coach Jason Andalo. "This is a good win for our program. I'm sure some people out there said, 'Yeah, Walpole is undefeated, but the level of competition hasn't been great.' We beat a very good D-S team that should do well in the state tournament at the Division 3 level. It gives us a little confidence, but not an arrogance."
Andalo said his team would enjoy this one for the rest of the weekend, then come back ready to work Monday in advance of the Wellesley showdown. He'll have to nitpick to find flaws in this effort. Here's why:
- First comeback -- Walpole (8-0) hadn't trailed this season, but staring at a 4-1 deficit with 10:16 to play in the first half, the Rebels proceeded to limit D-S (7-3) to only one goal over the next 27 minutes. Walpole led, 6-5, at the intermission and 10-5 heading to the fourth quarter.
- It worked! -- The biggest goal in that run might have been Davis Butts's goal with 28.4 seconds to play in the first half. Andalo said the Rebels ran a play that hadn't worked all season, but they caught D-S in a zone and Davis popped a goal from the slot off a pretty feed by Mike White.
- Desire -- Walpole simply wanted it more after the first quarter. Butts minds well have put a "sale pending" sign near the faceoff circle as he took ownership there, while scrappy midfielders like super sophomore Ryan Izzo (he of the Globe's Division 2 football Player of the Year fame) seemed to vacuum up any loose balls on the ground.
"In that second quarter, we were winning ground balls and started to capitalize on offense," said Andalo.
D-S coach Brian McLaughlin added, "We stopped moving the ball and we tried to get a little too individual. They have Davis Butts, and we don't have that type of player that can create individually. We got away from the team effort."
Dover-Sherborn's Alex Paganelli potted his second goal of the game to put the Raiders out front, 4-1, with 10:16 to go in the second quarter, but Walpole struck for three goals in a span of just 2:27 to even the game with 5:24 to go in the half.
Butts and Leo Ajemian -- who both scored four goals on the day overall -- sandwiched tallies around a D-S score to send Walpole into the break up, 6-5. But it was all Walpole in the third quarter. The Rebels scored four times, including a three-goal blizzard in a 30-second span starting with 1:17 to go that made it 10-5 heading to the final frame.
Butts work in the faceoff circle simply prevented D-S from clawing its way back into the game. The Raiders popped the final two goals of the game to trim their final deficit.
Walpole's Greg Nash finished with two scores, while Paganelli, Chris Whelan, and Geoff Akie each scored twice for Dover-Sherborn.
D-S must right this ship quickly as, after a matchup with Ashland, the Raiders host Medfield in a rematch of a double-overtime thriller that the Warriors took earlier this season.
Beyond that game, D-S -- a Division 3 sectional finalist last year -- plays only one team that entered today's competition with a record better than .500 and that's the final game of the year against Franklin. Coach McLaughlin believes his team will rebound and find the form that had it take top squads like Medfield and Cohasset to the wire.
Walpole emerges with an 11-7 triumph over Dover-Sherborn.
Back with more in a bit.
Walpole, 10-5 (end of 3rd)
A defensive-minded (though sloppy at times) third quarter gave way to a late Walpole offensive explosion and the Rebels lead Dover-Sherorn, 10-5, heading to the final frame.
Walpole struck for the only four goals of the quarter, including three over the final 1:17 (the three goals came in a span of just 30 seconds overall).
Walpole, 6-5 (half)
Walpole's Davis Butts scored with 28.4 seconds to play in the first half to help the Rebels carry a 6-5 advantage over Dover-Sherborn into the intermission.
The Raiders led by three goals early in the second quarter before Walpole charged. Two goals by Leo Ajemian and Butts, along with a single score by Greg Nash put the Rebels out front before the break.
Walpole, 5-4 (3:30, 2nd)
Four consecutive goals by Walpole, including two by Leo Ajemian, have the Rebels out front, 5-4, with 3:30 to go in the half.
D-S, 3-1 (end of 1st)
Dover-Sherborn scored three consecutive goals to close out the first quarter with a 3-1 lead over Walpole.
The Raiders will start the second quarter with a man advantage as well.
Welcome to Walpole, where the Rebels are set to host Dover-Sherbor in a boys' lacrosse nonleague battle this morning.
The Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at 56 degrees, a bit cooler than we enjoyed for much of this April Vacation week, but still pleasant (hey, it's better than the rain that's coming soon).
Back with more throughout the morning.
We'll be live from Walpole Saturday morning, where the undefeated Rebels boys' lacrosse team hosts Dover-Sherborn in a nonleague battle at 10 a.m.
Walpole (7-0) is off to a fast start, but the Rebels have beaten teams with a combined record of 21-41, so Dover-Sherborn (7-2) should provide the stiffest test of a still young season.
The Raiders ripped off six straight wins following an 8-7 loss to Medfield in double overtime on April 10. They dropped an 11-9 decision to Division 3 state champion Cohasset Thursday and will undoubtedly be looking to get back on the right track.
We'll have more from Walpole Saturday morning. Stay close.
In the Play of the Game clip below: Watch the final two minutes of play as top-ranked Westwood and third-ranked Framingham battle to a 15-15 tie in girls' lacrosse action. In the clip, Framingham's Melanie Baskind scores with 1:38 to play to put her team on top by a goal, but Westwood's Erica Nangerino answers with the tying score soon after.
Later, Westwood goalie Abbie Brown makes a big save against Framingham's Sam Zetlin to preserve the tie.
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
No. 1 Westwood 15, No. 3 Framingham 15
WESTWOOD -- Maybe its appropriate that draw control led to a draw.
The third-ranked Framingham girls' lacrosse team dominated top-ranked Westwood in the faceoff circle while erasing a five-goal, second-half deficit as the Flyers battled back to earn a 15-15 tie Friday morning at Flahive Field.
The Flyers scored four consecutive times capped by Melanie Baskind's sixth goal of the game to take a 15-14 lead with 1:38 to play, but Westwood's Alex Frank forced a crucial turnover in the defensive end that set up the tying goal by Erica Nangeroni with 1:03 remaining.
Westwood netminder Abbie Brown produced a monster save on a Sam Zetlin shot from the slot to preserve the tie in the final seconds.
While it's rare to see any team satisfied with a tie, both sides seemed to find a bit of a silver lining in this one, particularly the defending state champs from Framingham, who trailed 12-7 with 18:40 to go.
"I think the kids are really excited, especially after being down five goals against a team like this," said Framingham assistant coach Gretchen Biggins, assigned the task of team spokesman by head coach Stacey Freda following the game.
"It's tough to come back from that and they really persevered. The kids knew what they needed to do. Draw control was huge, especially down the homestretch. We made a point of it at halftime and in timeouts, and the kids did a great job executing. Give them credit for coming up with the ball when we really needed possession."
Moira Barry stood tall in the faceoff circle while being pitted against the likes of Westwood's All-Scholastic tandem of Frank and Erin Massimi. But it was Framingham's collection of scrappy midfielders that really allowed the Flyers to control the draws by running down loose balls or forcing immediate turnovers by Westwood players.
Lizzie Rubenfield and Brianna Davis came up with a number of balls to spark the late heroics. Framingham trailed, 14-11, with 6:21 to go, but scored four times in a span of 3:18 (three goals by Baskind) to take the lead.
"I felt the intensity of my team wasn't sustained," said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. "I felt like we cruised for many minutes defensively, particularly in the midfield, and you can't do that. I don't think they discounted the level of the competitions, it's just that the kids are in vacation mode. It happens every single year. They love to play, but there's still some on the couch a little bit.
"I'm always happy to stay in a game with a competitor like Framingham. I really felt like we lost the draw control with about seven minutes to go and, it wasn't so much getting them, but getting them checked as soon as we got the ball. The intensity in the circle was flat."
Westwood (7-0-1) pulled away slightly in the first half as four consecutive goals, including two by Alex Frank, put the Wolverines out front, 8-4, with 3:12 to play in the first half. Framingham (8-1-1) cut that deficit in half with a pair of goals in the final minute, but Frank scored with just a tick left on the clock to close out the first half with Westwood on top, 9-6.
The Wolverines battled foul trouble all day, however. The hosts were whistled for a total of six yellow cards for sticks to the head of Framingham players. That included a costly second yellow card for top defender Joan O'Neil, who missed the final 21:24 of the game after picking up the second infraction.
Westwood also had to play man-down for three minutes, but it actually managed to stretch out its lead on goals by Frank and Massimi that made it 12-7 with 18:40 to go.
Coach Frank admitted it was a physical game, but took umbrage with the fact that the calls didn't see to go both ways.
"I'm sure my girls were guilty of several, but I'm not sure they were guilty of six," coach Frank said of the yellow cards.
"It's very difficult to make those calls, but it's not much different than basketball. When the fouls are stacking up on only one side, it raises the question. I'm not pointing any fingers, but you have to question it."
Coach Frank commended Framingham for being able to maintain its own intensity without drawing similar penalty calls. "It's something we'll have to work on," she said.
Alex Frank finished with six goals and two assists, while Massimi added four goals and two assists for the Wolverines. In addition to the six scores by Baskind, sophomore Moira Barry chipped in four goals and an assist for Framingham.
Westwood and Framingham played to a 15-15 tie (there's no overtime during the regular season in girls' lacrosse).
Westwood's Erica Nangeroni scored with 1:03 remaining to tie the game and Wolverines netminder Abbie Brown came up with a monster save on a Sam Zetlin shot in the closing seconds to preserve the tie.
Back with more on this one in a bit.
Framingham, 15-14 (1:38, 2nd)
Wow. Framingham ripped off four consecutive goals and the Flyers now lead Westwood, 15-14, with 1:38 to go following a free-position goal by Melanie Baskind.
Westwood, 14-11 (6:21, 2nd)
Framingham has charged within a pair of goals on two occasions, but Westwood is keeping the Flyers at arm's length with a 14-11 advantage with 6:21 to play in the game.
Westwood scored twice while playing a man down due to yellow cards to build as much as a five-goal lead before Framingham charged.
Westwood, 9-6 (half)
Framingham scored a pair of goals in the final minute to trim a four-goal deficit in half, but Westwood's Alex Frank potted her fifth goal of the first half with only a second to play as the Wolverines carried a 9-6 advantage into the intermission.
The two teams essentially traded goals for the first eight scores of the game before Westwood scored four consecutive times (two goals by Frank in that spurt) to open an 8-4 advantage.
Framingham pulled a pair back and seemed to have the momentum heading into the break, but, following a Moira Barry goal with 12 seconds to play, Westwood won the faceoff and Alex Frank raced in for the last-second goal.
Frank is the only player for Westwood with multiple goals (Erin Massimi, Kelly Rich, Megan Lally, and Erica Nangeroni each have a score).
Westwood, 5-4 (10:55, 1st)
Framingham and Westwood traded goals throughout the first 15 minutes of play, but back-to-back goals by Erin Massimi and Alex Frank has put the Wolverines out front, 5-4, with 10:55 to go in the first half.
Welcome to Westwood, where the Forsberg Cruiser sets the morning temperature at a pleasant 62 degrees. Both teams are on the field warming up. We'll have more throughout the morning.
A head's up that we'll be live from Flahive Field Friday, where the top-ranked Westwood girls' lacrosse team hosts third-ranked Framingham in a rematch of last year's Eastern Mass. Division 1 title game at 10 a.m.
Westwood (7-0) has only played one team with a record below .500 this season, but still boasts an average goal differential against of 13.6 per game. That includes a 14-5 shellacking of Western Mass. power Longmeadow and a 19-5 triumph over defending Division 2 state champion Duxbury.
Framingham (8-1) watched its 52-game winning streak get snapped in a 6-5 loss to Bay State Conference rival Wellesley on April 7. The Flyers have rebounded with quality wins over fourth-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury and fifth-ranked Andover.
Framingham defeated Westwood, 10-9, during last year's Eastern Mass. title game at Flahive Field. Click HERE to watch highlights from last year's game, which saw Kristin Igoe score with nine seconds remaining to lift the Flyers to victory.
The Globe's Chris Estrada will also be out Friday morning, catching the Lexington-Stoneham Middlesex League softball battle. He'll have a full recap from that as well.
For those curious, the Globe begins collecting high school sports standings for the spring season this Sunday, April 27.
Standings will start appearing in Monday's paper (and online) along with our first batch of in-season top 20 polls, which will update each week from there.
League representatives are reminded to call the Globe between 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday at 617-929-3235, 2860, 2861, or 2862. Our toll-free number is 1-800-232-2860. Standings can also be faxed to 617-929-2670 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, but please confirm all fax and e-mail transmissions by calling one of the numbers above.
No. 5 BC High 11, No. 3 Billerica 8
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
On the heels of an upset of previously undefeated Billerica, BC High boys' lacrosse coach Kevin Bibeau was asked to assess his team's recent progress.
"Ask me tomorrow," Bibeau said with a smile.
"We beat Xaverian (last week), but we turned around and lost to Malden Catholic. We beat a Billerica squad that took a state finalist to overtime in last year's state semifinals, but we struggle against Newton South. Right now we're searching for a little bit of consistency."
The Eagles (6-2) didn't exactly produce an even effort Wednesday afternoon, but a fast start allowed the hosts to open a four-goal lead in the first quarter, which blossomed to a six-goal halftime advantage and carried BC High to the finish line in an 11-8 triumph.
What was consistent was the defensive play. BC High's athletic defense hounded Billerica attackers, who endured some physical play from the Eagles' long-stick middies while trying to find a lane to the net.
BC High effectively shut down all lanes for cutters, forcing Billerica (7-1) to often rely on individual efforts in rushing to the cage or firing from the perimeter. The Indians were able to squeeze some shots past BC High's David Barton in the second half, but the senior netminder made plenty of saves to atone and assured the visitors would claw no closer than the final spread.
"There are shots we ask and expect David to stop," said Bibeau. "Today he gave us a couple extra."
On one of the first hot days of the lacrosse season, BC High wasted little time building a comfortable cushion. The Eagles scored five consecutive times to close out the first quarter with a 5-1 advantage and kept up the intensity to take a 9-3 advantage into the intermission.
"That first quarter was the difference," said Billerica coach Chris Burns. "All the credit to BC High. They outworked us that quarter. They wanted it more. They must have gotten 10 to 12 more ground balls. Next thing you know we're down 5-1 and we couldn't climb out of that hole."
BC High will see if it can maintain its intensity Thursday against Hopkinton, while Billerica's grueling stretch continues. The Indians toppled league rival Andover by a goal Friday (the eighth meeting between the two teams decided by a single goal in the last 11 games) and have North Andover, Duxbury, and Lincoln-Sudbury on tap.
"It's a great challenge to have at this time of the season," said Burns. "I think us coaches are excited to see how are team responds to this game. It's a bit of a character check."
The Play(s) of the Game(s) clip below provides highlights for two of Wednesday's biggest battles.
First, BC High netminder David Barton makes a rash of second-half saves to prevent previously undefeated Billerica from making a late charge as the Eagles emerged with an 11-8 triumph at James Cotter Field.
In the second half of the clip, the Tewksbury baseball team erupts for 11 runs over the first three innings of play. The Redmen smashed the ball all over the yard to take complete control against rival Andover.
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
BC High only scores two second-half goals, but buoyed by its defense, the hosts emerge with an 11-8 triumph over previously undefeated Billerica at James Cotter Field.
More to come, including video highlights.
BC High, 10-5 (end of 3rd)
Billerica trims its deficit slightly, but big stops by David Barton keep the Eagles out front comfortably with a 10-5 lead after three quarters.
BC High leads Billerica, 9-3, at the intermission. Great defensive effort so far for the Eagles.
BC High scored five of the game's first six goals and absolutely ate up the ground balls in the first quarter to build this comfortable advantage at the break.
With the rout on from this morning's baseball game, we're headed over to BC High for the Eagles' boys' lacrosse game against undefeated Billerica. We'll post video highlights from both the Tewksbury-Andover baseball game and the BC High-Billerica lacrosse game later on ...
No. 9 Winchester 16, No. 11 Hopkinton 11
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
HOPKINTON -- Recalling last year's battle with Winchester, Hopkinton girls' lacrosse coach Jodi Dolan opined that her squad, "never got off the bus," as part of an ultra-lopsided 18-5 loss on the road.
The Hillers couldn't change the result this spring, but they sure made it difficult for Winchester to get back on its own bus.
Hopkinton produced a feverish second-half rally to trim a seven-goal deficit, breathing some excitement into the final moments before visiting Winchester emerged with a 16-11 triumph.
Notre Dame-bound Meg Sullivan scored six times for the Sachems, while junior Caroline Martignetti added five more tallies to pace the offensive attack.
"I think that's something with a young team, we've been having issues with maintaining (a lead)," said Winchester coach Suzanne Ontso. "We did a nice job of getting our composure back. Hopkinton's an explosive team, they can rattle of four or five goals. I thought (Winchester netminder) Chelsea Osborne made some nice saves in the second half that really set the tone for us."
Winchester (5-0-2) struck for six of the game's first seven goals and led, 8-4, at the intermission. The Sachems looked to be pulling away by scoring four of the first five goals following the break, but Hopkinton (6-2-1) showed resiliency.
Trailing, 14-6, with 8:58 remaining, the Hillers found the twine five times over the next 5:28, pulling within four goals on two occasions. But mental mistakes and tough breaks plagued Hopkinton on the day and the Hillers never crawled any closer.
"We made some mental errors and we turned the ball over too much," said Dolan. "But I'm proud of my girls. We didn't give up. We just kept chipping away at the lead, we starting passing the ball and winning draws. We played smarter.
"Winchester is a lot like Westwood. They pressure very hard with the midfield trap. I thought we handled it pretty well. We didn't turn it over there too much and we showed patience in swinging it back around and bringing our goalie into the breakout. I felt like on offense, they knocked down a lot of passes and we had calls that... I don't know. We were aggressive and that's the way we play. We didn't get the calls today. Every time we had some momentum, we seemed to get a call (against us)."
Winchester capitalized on each of those opportunities, seemingly scoring big goals whenever Hopkinton started to rally.
"We had to get it together," said Sullivan. "We needed to score those two finals goals at the end, start burying those goals, and that's what we did."
Lauren Sullivan added three goals for Winchester, while Ontso saved some lofty praise for Kelsey Kinton, who won a number of ground balls in the defensive end and drew a tough assignment in Hopkinton's Julie Showalter.
Devon Gibney finished with a team-high four goals for Hopkinton, while Showalter added three more. Brooke Pettengill and Jamie Dolan had two goals apiece for the Hillers.
In the Play of the Game clip below, Winchester strikes for three goals as part of a big start to the second half in a 16-11 triumph over host Hopkinton Tuesday afternoon. The Sachems scored four of the first five goals of the second half to break open a close game, then hung on for the victory.
In the highlights, Caroline Martignetti, Lauren Sullivan, and Meg Sullivan score the goals as an 8-4 halftime lead quickly expanded to a 12-5 advantage.
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
Meg Sullivan and Caroline Martignetti combined for 11 goals in a 16-11 triumph for Winchester. Full recap and highlights coming in a bit.
Winchester, 14-6 (8:58, 2nd half)
Meg Sullivan has six goals and Winchester leads, 14-6, with under nine minutes to play.
1st halfWinchester's Meg Sullivan scored four times to help the Sachems open an 8-4 advantage over host Hopkinton at the half.
Winchester, 4-0 (10:00, 1st)
All Winchester early as the Hillers lead 4-0 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
Welcome to Hopkinton. Teams are on the field, more to come.
Following the trail of Marathon debris, we're headed out to Hopkinton this afternoon, where the 11th-ranked Hillers girls' lacrosse team hosts ninth-ranked Winchester in a nonleague showdown of Division 2 powers.
The Sachems boast a 4-0-2 mark having tied both Reading and defending Division 2 state champion Duxbury in the early portion of the season. Hopkinton (6-1-1) should provide a stiff test as the Hillers only loss came at the hands of Division 1 power Westwood.
We'll have updates from Hopkinton and we'll capture video highlights for the site.
Check out the videos below to see more highlights from two of Thursday's best battles:
In the Plays of the Games clip below: Freshman Rachel Igoe and junior Sam Zetlin score goals 34 seconds apart to help Framingham erase an early deficit en route to a 13-9 victory over Andover in girls' lacrosse. Later, Lincoln-Sudbury's Sam Finn singles home Jason Roth as the Warriors topped Xaverian, 2-1, in eight innings, in baseball.
- Click HERE to watch the Plays of the Games
We took in two of Thursday's best games (our plan to catch three was foiled by extra innings in the baseball game). Here's what unfolded:
Baseball: Xaverian vs. Lincoln-Sudbury
Sam Finn singles home Jason Roth in the bottom of the eight as L-S emerges with a 2-1 win.
Roth opened the inning with a single off reliever Matt Morin (pitching on 2-day's rest following a brilliant performance against BC High Monday). Mark Hogan followed with a sacrifice attempt that rolled perfectly down the third-base line allowing him to reach safely while advancing Roth to second.
Finn ripped a single to right and Roth raced home ahead of the throw for the victory.
Tied, 1-1 (bot 6th)
Mark Hogan hit a solo homer to tie this game moving to the seventh inning.
Xaverian, 1-0 (top 6th)
Welcome to Sudbury, where the visiting Hawks lead host L-S, 1-0, in the top of the sixth.
Xaverian pushed across the game's lone run in the top of the third with a little two-out magic as Matt Morin singled, took second on a wild pitch, then scored on an opposite-field single by Sean Reilly.
Girls' lacrosse: Andover vs. Framingham
A final from Framingham, the Flyers prevail, 13-9.
Tied, 4-4 (half):
The teams head to the intermission knotted at 4. A very entertaining first half. Framingham dominated possession, but the Warriors came up with big defensive stands and cashed in on their opportunities.
We're zipping off to Sudbury now for more action, but we've got a correspondent here who will continue to feed us details so keep an eye on this space for more.
Tied, 4-4 (8:26, 1st)
Framingham bounces back to tie things up with Andover on goals by Sam Zetlin and Rachel Igoe (showing flashes of her sister's speed) as we're knotted at 4 with 8:26 to play in the first half.
Andover, 4-2 (12:00, 1st)
Framingham struck for a pair of free-position goals in the early going, but Andover has responded with four consecutive scores, including two for Heather Sullivan, to open a 4-2 advantage midway through the first half.
Welcome to Framingham, where the third-ranked Flyers girls' lacrosse team is set to host fifth-ranked Andover in a nonleague showdown.
The visiting Warriors check in at 5-0, but should receive their stiffest test of the season against a 7-1 Framingham squad (the Flyers fell to Bay State Conference rival Wellesley, snapping a 52-game winning streak back on April 7).
We're going to alter our plan of attack ever-so slightly today with the idea of getting more games on film. We're going to make it a tripleheader this afternoon and here's what we're hoping to see (in this particular order):
- girls' lacrosse Andover at Framingham
- boys' volleyball Newton North at Lincoln-Sudbury
- baseball Xaverian at Lincoln-Sudbury
Essentially, we're adding a couple of pit stops before getting to the baseball game. With the proximity of all these games, we're hoping to create a highlight reel of some of the day's best action in a variety of sports.
As usual, we'll pass along updates along our way.
The Globe's Amanda Bruno is taking in the Andover-Framingham battle and will have a full recap as part of Thursday's school roundup.
For more details on this afternoon's baseball battle, check out the preview below. Back with more in a bit.
L-S, the reigning Division 1 state champs, has dominated its competition (save only for a one-run victory over Dual County League rival Westford Academy). Its other four opponents have fallen by a combined score of 36-2.
The Warriors posted a 25-1 record last fall while claiming the state crown.
Xaverian endured its first loss Wednesday, letting a potential victory over Catholic Conference rival St. John's Prep slip away in a 5-4 defeat. The Hawks already boast quality wins over St. John's (Shrewsbury), Brockton, and BC High.
Xaverian scraped together a 10-10 regular-season record last spring, but stormed to the Division 1 South semifinals before falling to eventual sectional champion BC High.
We'll have more from Sudbury this afternoon.
In the Play of the Game clip below: Billerica kills off a penalty to start the second half, then scores to begin the process of breaking open a one-goal game en route to a 16-6 triumph over Reading.
Billerica opened the third quarter down a man for almost a full minute, but Peter Vacca won the faceoff and Adam Foss essentially killed off the penalty by dodging defenders behind the Reading cage.
Greg Melaugh fed Jeff Scarfo rumbling into the attack area as the teams returned to even strength and, while Reading netminder John Michael Leach stopped Scarfo's initial blast, Melaugh dashed from behind the cage to flick in the rebound (while tip-toeing in front of the crease).
Full highlights are also available below.
No. 3 Billerica 16, Reading 6
READING -- In terms of comfort level, the Billerica boys' lacrosse team looked like they were sitting on an old wooden chair in last week's win over Lowell. On Tuesday, the Indians appeared to have upgraded to a La-Z-Boy recliner.
Sure, it took a half for that plush seat to arrive, but Billerica sank right in as it erupted for seven third-quarter goals to break open a one-goal game and cruise to a 16-6 triumph over host and previously undefeated Reading in a nonleague showdown.
"I think everyone is comfortable out there now," said senior captain Mike Hurley, who registered four goals and three assists (all but one of those points coming in the second half). "Losing so many good players, I think we might have been a little skeptical to start the season. Everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing out there now."
Reading (5-1) opened the game with two quick goals, but the Indians never got caught on their heels. Billerica (5-0) rallied to take a 3-2 advantage before the end of the first quarter and led 4-3 at the intermission.
The Indians emerged with renewed intensity in the second half. They outhustled Reading for every ground ball and dominated in the faceoff cirlce. When they didn't have possession, they were forcing turnovers in the midfield and catching Reading in transition by breaking in with numbers.
Not only that, but the Indians were killing off penalties. Billerica opened the third quarter down a man for almost a full minute, but Peter Vacca won the faceoff and Adam Foss essentially killed off the penalty by dodging defenders behind the Reading cage.
Greg Melaugh fed Jeff Scarfo rumbling into the attack area as the teams returned to even strength and, while Reading netminder JM Leach stopped Scarfo's initial blast, Melaugh dashed from behind the cage to flick in the rebound (while tip-toeing in front of the crease).
Billerica ultimately scored the first five goals of the second half and registered seven of the eight tallies in the third frame overall to open a commanding 11-4 advantage.
"We saw it Saturday against Chelmsford," said Billerica coach Chris Burns. "We had a great team victory that day. I think the guys are really starting to get a confidence. They're comfortable with their roles now. They are now the guys, whereas before graduation (they were role players).
"At halftime, we told them we just needed to win the ground balls. (Reading) outworked us in the first half. They had five more ground balls than us. In the second half that was the difference. Ground balls turn into possessions and we have an attack that can finish."
The Indians showcased their passing skills in the third quarter, zipping the ball all over the field. Whether it was netminder Pat O'Loughlin hitting a midfielder on the center stripe or Melaugh distributing from behind the cage, Billerica created opportunities by catching Reading out of position.
Reading coach Charlie Hardy still found the positives in defeat.
"We made a game of it for a half," he said. "We were up 2-0 and only down by a goal at the half. But that's why they're one of the best programs in the state. They wanted it more in the second half.
Hardy's squad boasted early season wins over Middlesex League foes Winchester and Lexington, rallying to top both by a goal in the opening weeks of the season. They simply didn't have the depth to storm back against the Indians.
"They're everything we want to be and that's why we play them," said Hardy. "We'll learn from this game. We saw things during the game that we wanted to do and we'll grow from this."
Billerica visits Merrimack Valley Conference rival Andover Friday night in the first of two regular-season meetings. The two teams never seem to play a dull game (particularly as the Andover lacrosse program blossoms) and both of last year's regular-season meetings were decided by a goal (Billerica lost 13-12 in overtime at home, then rebounded with a feverish last-second rally to prevail, 9-8, in the rematch).
Similarly, both games in 2006 were decided by a goal as Andover prevailed twice (11-10 and 10-9 in double overtime). You'd have to go back to May 11, 2005, when Billerica prevailed 14-4 to find a lopsided game (the one before that -- surprise, surprise -- was decided by a goal).
Overall, seven of the last 10 meetings since 2003 have been decided by a single goal. Andover won six of those seven games decided by a goal.
Billerica prevails over Reading, 16-6, handing the Rockets their first loss of the 2008 season.
The 16-goal outburst is by far the largest total output by an opponent this season against Reading. The Rockets previously allowed an average of less than six goals per game.
Billerica already looks more polished than it did in last week's win over Lowell.
Back with more in a bit.
Billerica, 15-5 (5:00, 4th)
Billerica continues to dominate. The Indians passing in the second half has been near flawless and, while goals aren't snowballing like the third quarter, there's definitely some snow squalls here.
Mike Hurley has paced the Indians with four goals and three assists, while Mike Slatton has four goals as well for the visitors.
Billerica, 11-4 (end of 3rd)
Billerica erupts for seven third-quarter goals, including two in the final 38 seconds of the frame to rip this one apart at the seams as the Indians lead host Reading, 11-4, heading to the final frame.
Grant Whiteway lit the fuse with two of the first three goals in the quarter and Mike Hurley added a pair late. Jeff Scarfo's tally with five ticks to play in the frame capped a dominating effort that saw the Indians outscore Reading, 7-1, in the frame (that lone goal coming in a man-down situation).
Billerica, 7-3 (5:24, 3rd)
All Billerica to start the third quarter as the Indians struck for a trio of goals to open a 7-3 advantage.
Billerica, 4-3 (half)
Billerica struck for four consecutive goals spanning into the second quarter and the Indians lead host Reading, 4-3, at the intermission.
The Rockets launched quickly as Tim Matheson and Matt Palpazzo scored consecutive goals just seconds apart in the game's opening minutes for a 2-0 advantage.
Billerica, which struggled with its clears in the early going, would take a lead before the end of the frame. Bill Frevold, Greg Melaugh, and Mike Hurley all score in the first quarter, then Mike Slatton added a tally in the second quarter to put the Indians on top, 4-2.
Reading struggled mightily to generate offense over the final 20 minutes of the first half, but Pat DiBennedeto fed Jim Queeney with just a second left in the half to cut the Rockets' deficit in half.
Billerica, 4-2 (5:09, 2nd)
Billerica's Mike Slatton has the only goal of the second quarter and the Indians lead Reading, 4-2, with 5:09 to play in the half.
Billerica, 3-2 (end of 1st)
Reading opened the game with two quick goals, but Billerica got scores from Bill Frevold, Greg Melaugh, and Mike Hurley to carry a 3-2 advantage into the second frame.
The Rockets brought great defensive intensity early (forcing numerous turnovers on the clear), but Billerica is creating opportunities on charges from behind the cage once it does get settled on offense.
Welcome to Reading, where the Rockets boys' lacrosse team hosts Billerica in a battle of undefeateds this afternoon.
It's a lovely day with plenty of blue skies overhead and the Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a comfortable 58 degrees.
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
Here's what we've got penciled in for live coverage the next few days. As usual, we'll provide live updates from these games and we'll capture video highlights for the site:
Tuesday: boys' lacrosse Billerica at Reading, 4 p.m.
Reading is one of the most intriguing stories of the young season. The Rockets posted a quality 14-4 mark out of the Middlesex League last season, but earned the 14th seed in the Eastern Mass. Division 2 tournament and fell to North Andover, 6-4, in a first-round matchup.
After two quality efforts against Lexington last season, the Rockets finally broke through by topping the Minutemen, 11-10, this past Friday. Reading now stands at 5-0, but Billerica should provide one of the loftiest tests the Rockets will encounter during the regular season in this nonleague battle.
Wednesday: softball Acton-Boxboro at Concord-Carlisle, 4 p.m.
Concord-Carlisle dominated the Dual County League while putting together a perfect regular season last spring, but it was Acton-Boxboro that shone brightest during the postseason.
While the top-seeded Patriots endured an unceremonious quarterfinal exit in the Division 2 North bracket, A-B stormed all the way to the Division 1 North finals before the 10th-seeded Colonials fell to Reading in the championship tilt.
Thursday: baseball Xaverian at Lincoln-Sudbury, 4 p.m.
Fresh off a thrilling win over second-ranked BC High, Xaverian boasts a 5-0 mark and is the only Catholic Conference squad without a blemish thus far. The Hawks will make the trek to Sudbury, where the defending Division 1 champions continue to roll with a 4-0 record on the young season. The Warriors have outscored opponents, 32-7, during those wins, but Xaverian will pose the biggest challenge of the season.
In the spirit of the Beanpot, four South Shore boys' lacrosse squads will battle this week in the inaugural Chowda Cup Memorial Tournament at Scituate High.
The event kicks off Thursday as Sandwich tangles with Cohasset at 4 p.m., followed by Marshfield vs. Scituate at 6 p.m. The winners advance to Saturday's title game at 4 p.m., while the losers meet in a consolation game at 2 p.m.
Students are admitted for free, while parents are a $5 donation. Moneys raised from the event will support the four programs, along with funds set up for several local lacrosse players who have passed away, including Cohasset's PJ Trendowicz and Justin Langham, and Scituate's Ryan Flannery and Tim Mahoney.
"The Marshfield Rams lacrosse team is excited to be part of what looks to be a great annual event featuring competition between several great programs," said Marshfield coach Rick Peterson. "We were invited to participate by Rick Bagby and Bill Gray from Scituate and Stew Curran from Coahsset, who decided that a tournament between our programs would be great exposure for our players, as well as raise money for the memorial funds of several local players who have passed away. We look forward to this rivalry between our programs."
Marshfield and Scituate met last Thursday with the Sailors emerging with a thrilling 13-12 victory in overtime.
All games will count towards the teams record for the postseason tournament.
No. 1 Westwood 14, Longmeadow 5
WESTWOOD -- As her team prepared to take the field for Saturday's matchup with Western Mass. power Longmeadow, Westwood girls' lacrosse coach Leslie Frank implored her troops to balance their emotions and relax on the field.
See, the 10th-year coach felt her charges might be a little too amped up for what was being billed as a potential Division 1 state final preview. She didn't want them to be tight on the field.
The top-ranked Wolverines proceeded to score the final seven goals of the first half to open a seven-goal advantage and breezed to a 14-5 triumph on a sun-kissed afternoon at Flahive Field.
"I was more uptight than they were," admitted Frank. "You could tell from warm-ups. Usually in warm-ups they're a bit stressed. We had a great game against Hopkinton (Thursday) and (the Hillers) brought the same defensive pressure at midfield. I think that might have taken the jitters off today. We were throwing teh ball away innumerable times (Thursday), but I think that was a good game to bring into this one.
"The girls were amazing today. I don't know, maybe it's because it's Saturday."
For Longmeadow, it didn't matter what day of the week it was. It was just a long day. The Lancers stuck close over the first six minutes, but Westwood scored 11 of the game's next 12 goals, including seven in a row before the intermission, to run away with the win.
Considering the Lancers (3-1) hadn't been scored upon previously this season, it says a lot about Westwood's effort. The Wolverines (5-0) were relentless in pressuring the ball in the defensive end, nearly flawless in moving the ball through the midfield, and All-Scholastics Erin Massimi and Alex Frank took care of the offense.
Massimi registered five goals and five assists, while Alex Frank added five goals and an assist. Sophomore Kelly Rich chipped in two goals and three helpers as part of a fine effort in which she set up much of the Wolverines scoring.
"The competition out here, it's just a different level than in Western Mass.," said Longmeadow coach Steve Dudek. "Coming out here, facing coach Frank and her team, I think our kids were a little uptight. That's a credit to coach Frank and her program. The firepower they have... Massimi and Frank are phenomenal players and that sophomore, Rich, she's going to be a great one, too.
"This gives our defense a chance to play. A team like this with the firepower they have, we just don't see it. If we take anything away, it's that we gotta tighten up our stuff on the defensive end."
Westwood looked razor sharp, utilizing good ball movement and strong rushes to the cage in order to get the best of Longmeadow's Duke-bound metminder Mollie Mackler. The Lancers struggled to slow Massimi, who really shined going towards the cage. When she wasn't flicking one into the twine, she seemed to set up Frank.
Only two of Westwood's goals came on free-position chances.
Longmeadow's Emily Stankewicz registered three of her team's goals. She and Katie Phillips potted consecutive scores to knot the game at 2 less than five minutes in, but it was all Westwood from there.
The Wolverines led 9-2 at the intermission and led 13-3 with 4:22 remaining.
While Westwood seemingly asserted itself as the team to beat in Eastern Mass., coach Frank knows there's plenty of work left to do. In fact, if her charges had any sort of inflated confidence she knows exactly what advice she'd offer.
"Look, I never want to slight my girls, but everything clicked today," said coach Frank. "There's still a lot to do... We need to make smart decisions, make better clears. I was taking notes on their clear because their goalie can hit you at the 50 each time. We need to work on that. We need to work on our breakout and on and on and on.
"I thought Joan O'Neill had a real nice day. She had four or five draw controls and she came up the field with a presence. She's a middy, but she also gets back on defense. And Abby Brown had a great game in goal. But there's still tons to work on."
In the Play of the Game clip below: Alex Frank scored three consecutive goals in a span of less than four minutes in the first half to help Westwood motor away from Longmeadow in a nonleague clash at Flahive Field.
Full game highlights are also available below.
All-Scholastics Erin Massimi and Alex Frank scored five goals apiece to help top-ranked Westwood top Longmeadow, 14-5, at Flahive Field.
Back with more, including video highlights, in a bit.
Westwood, 11-3 (11:24, 2nd)
Two goals from Erin Massimi in the early going of the second half helped the Wolverines open an 11-3 advantage over Longmeadow.
Westwood, 9-2 (half)
Westwood scored the final seven goals of the first half, completely dominating the frame and boasts a 9-2 advantage over Longmeadow at the intermission.
Erin Massimi scored the game's first two goals, but Longmeadow responded with a pair to even things up. It looked like we had ourselves the potential Division 1 state final matchup this was pegged to be, but this seesaw has been leaning heavily towards the home squad ever since.
Alex Frank scored a trio of goals in a row at one point, then fed Massimi on another. Kelly Rich pushed home a goal with seven ticks remaining for the big advantage.
Frank and Massimi have matching lines with three goals and an assist, while Rich has two scores.
Westwood, 6-2 (5:01, 1st)
Consecutive goals by All-Scholastic Alex Frank -- one off a free position and another on a beautiful charge to the goal -- has helped Westwood extend its lead to 6-2 over Longmeadow with 5:01 to go in the first half.
Westwood, 4-2 (9:52, 1st)
Two goals from Erin Massimi have helped Westwood open a 4-2 advantage over Longmeadow with 9:52 to play in the first half.
Some quality goaltending from Longmeadow's Mollie Mackler has helped the Lancers stick close in the early going.
Welcome to Westwood, where we're about to start this Division 1 nonleague battle between the top-ranked Westwood and Western Mass. power Longmeadow.
Back with more updates throughout the day.
We'll be live this afternoon from Flahive Field in Westwood, where the top-ranked Wolverines host Western Mass. powerhouse Longmeadow in a potential Division 1 girls' lacrosse state championship preview at 3 p.m.
Westwood (4-0) is in the midst of the first real challenging stretch of its schedule. The Wolverines dropped Hopkinton, 16-5, Thursday; host Longmeadow today; visit 5-1 Dover-Sherborn Tuesday; and have a rematch of the Eastern Mass. title game with Framingham on April 25.
Longmeadow (3-0) is absolutely devouring its Western Mass. foes. The Lancers haven't allowed a single goal this season with wins over Cathedral, Amherst-Pelham, and West Springfield by a combined score of 44-0.
Longmeadow battles Westwood today and gets a visit from highly touted Andover next Saturday. Later in the season, the Lancers visit King Philip on May 18.
We'll have more from Westwood this afternoon. Stay close.
In the Play of the Game clip below, both Duxbury and St. John's Prep utilize fourth-quarter outbursts to motor away from their opponents during key wins. Duxbury got three goals early in the frame to motor away from Cohasset in a 12-5 triumph, while St. John's Prep struck for three goals in a mere 19-second span to pull away from BC High in an 11-6 victory.
Complete game highlights from Duxbury's win are also available below.
You can also check out user-submitted highlights from Scituate's 13-12 overtime win over Marshfield Thursday.
Top-ranked Duxbury and sixth-ranked St. John's Prep asserted themselves as teams to beat Thursday with quality wins over highly touted competition. We break down today's battles (we'll have more on these games later, including video highlights):
No. 1 Duxbury 12, No. 7 Cohasset 5
COHASSET -- If the Duxbury boys' lacrosse team is looking for a theme song for the 2008 campaign, allow us to step off the beaten path and suggest the Guns N' Roses ballad, "Patience" from the 1988 album G N' R Lies.
After all, that's what coach Chris Sweet preached to his team Thursday afternoon and clearly good things came to those Dragons that waited.
Duxbury -- the defending Division 1 state champs -- watched Cohasset -- the defending Division 3 state champs -- rally within a pair of goals heading into the fourth quarter, but the visitors put together a dominant final frame to emerge with a 12-5 triumph at Alumni Field.
The Green Dragons didn't force anything on offense and, while it certainly gave the Cohasset offense fits at times, it wasn't overly aggressive in trying to take away the Skippers' high-octane scorers.
"I didn't think we let things get out of control," said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet. "We did a nice job possessing the ball and, obviously, we played good defense. They made a nice run in the third, forced a little momentum swing, but we just hung in there.
"We told our guys, 'It's four quarters; it's a marathon.' We wanted to see if we could wear them down... We're trying to be patient. Not trying to look for something that's not there. Sometimes you can get frustrated, push the ball when you shouldn't and that's where I thought we did a great job of being patient with the ball.
"They prevented us, for three quarters, of not going on a run. At the end there, we got on a little run and got some breathing room."
Scott Austin and Grant Marston struck for back-to-back goals less than a minute apart early in the fourth quarter to give the Dragons a more comfortable 8-4 advantage. Cohasset pulled one back, but Derek Sweet erupted for three consecutive scores over a 2:30 span to put the game away.
Derek Sweet finished with four goals, while Austin added three more. But it might have been more telling that Skipper snipers Mike Grimm and Mark Flibotte were kept quiet on the other side of the scoring ledger.
Duxbury's Craig Sullivan spearheaded a defensive effort that held Flibotte without a goal (while Grimm scored twice).
"Just like the offense, you have to be patient on defense," said coach Sweet. "We played good team defense. If you can do that, you can force the other team to make mistakes. And we capitalized on that."
Added Sullivan: "We knew they had two great scorers, but we really just tried to play our game. We knew we needed good team defense to win today."
Duxbury had enough talent to generate goals off individual efforts, but the Dragons really thrived with a man advantage, generating numerous goals in the man-up situation.
"They move the ball so well with the man advantage," said Cohasset coach Stew Curran. "They must have had seven goals in the man-up. That's our bugaboo. We need to stay out of the box, but some of the bigger boys, they get a bit exuberant with their sticks.
"We'll take a lot from this one. I thought we played them pretty well 6-on-6... I'd rather lose today, April 10, than on June 14."
- Click HERE to watch the Play of the Game
St. John's Prep took note of the low offensive outputs posted by BC High opponents this spring and wanted to break that trend Thursday. But a double-digit outburst was probably more than the kids from Danvers ever could have imagined.
Consider this on the heels of St. John's Prep's 11-6 triumph at James Cotter Field at Viola Stadium:
- The visitors scored nearly as many goals (11) as BC High's three other opponents this season had previously combined for (12).
- SJP struck for more goals in a 19-second, fourth-quarter blitz (3) than Chelmsford did (2) in 48 minutes against BC High on Monday.
- The last team to score double digits against BC High? Didn't happen at all last year. You'd have to go back to May 22, 2006, when Malden Catholic fell to BC High, 12-10, in two overtimes.
- The last team to score double digits against BC High in regulation? Crawl on back to April 15, 2006, when Fairfield (Conn.) Prep visited and emerged with a 15-10 triumph.
- The last Massachusetts team to score double digits against BC High in regulation? Jump in the way-back machine and travel to May 22, 2005, when host Duxbury emerged with a 15-2 triumph. BC High and coach Ulrich Alvarez finished 4-12 that year and gave up double digits in five different games.
So in an age when we don't blink when a lacrosse team puts up 10 or more goals, consider exactly what St. John's Prep accomplished Thursday.
The Danvers-based Eagles ripped open a close game by the seams as part of a five-goal, fourth-quarter eruption. The game ultimately turned when SJP punched in three goals in a mere 19-second span to take a 9-3 advantage with 9:26 to play in the game.
Will Duryea lit the fuse with a goal off a Kevin Lunnen feed. Griffin Cardew followed with an unassisted tally before Garrett Campbell punctuated the burst.
"It was all about team play," said St. John's Prep captain Mark Scalise. "I can't tell you who scored (on the outburst), but I'm pretty sure if you look at the book we spread the scoring around. That's what it's all about: Playing as a team."
Added coach John Roy: "We took note of the low scores they had been holding teams to. They've got a great defense and a great goalie (David Barton). We wanted to create some opportunities... get their goalie moving. We were able to win some faceoffs there and attack. A six-goal lead is a lot more comfortable than a three-goal lead."
The Prep boasted a 4-3 advantage coming out of halftime (rallying from an early 2-0 deficit). John Jennings struck for two goals in the first five minutes of the second half as SJP began to open some breathing room.
The first was a bit fluky as Barton made the initial save on a blast, but the ball caromed off the netminder and managed to hop into the twine just 1:23 into the third quarter. A short time later, Jennings dodged a defender outside the right post and ripped one into the twine for a 6-3 advantage.
BC High kept in striking distance into the fourth quarter before the big outburst essentially put the game out of reach. SJP led 11-4 with 4:02 to go before BC High pulled a pair back (finally showing some offensive rhythm late in the game).
"We came out and controlled the first quarter," said BC High coach Kevin Bibeau. "We were moving the ball and doing a lot of things well, but give credit to coach Roy, because they made some defensive adjustments."
SJP spread around the scoring with Jennings finishing with a game-high four goals, while Scalise potted the Prep's first three goals of the game.
Barton made a handful of oustanding stops to prevent the damage from being worse, while St. John's Prep netminder Tyler Cash did an outstanding job in the opposite cage. Cash uses his big frame to take up space in between the pipes, but the senior also moves well and has really shined since late in the 2007 season.
SJP wins it, 11-6, over BC High.
Back with more -- both recaps and video -- on both of today's battles later.
SJP, 11-6 (1:34, 4th)
St. John's Prep pushed its lead as high as seven, but BC High just struck for a pair of late goals (finally showing some sparks on offense) and the visitors lead, 11-6, with 1:34 to play.
SJP, 9-4 (9:26, 4th)
St. John's Prep erupted for three goals in a span of just 19 seconds to blow the roof right off this game.
The visitors attacked after each faceoff and the goals simply snowballed, putting this game essentially out of reach as the Prep leads, 9-4, with 9:26 to go.
SJP, 6-3 (end of 3rd)
St. John's Prep strikes for two third-period goals to extend its lead and boasts a 6-3 advantage over BC High heading to the final frame.
BC High is still struggling to find itself offensively, so playing from behind is anything but ideal, particularly against a very stingy SJP squad.
David Barton and Tyler Cash have both been rock solid in net.
SJP, 6-3 (0:58, 3rd)
St. John's Prep got a fluky goal when the ball managed to hop in the net after BC High keeper David Barton made the initial save, then John Jennings added another tally a short time later as the visitors have expanded their lead to 6-3 with 58 seconds to play in the third quarter.
SJP, 4-3 (half)
Welcome to James Cotter Field at Viola Stadium.
St. John's Prep leads BC High, 4-3, coming out of the intermission. Glad to see we didn't miss one team pulling away.
Back with more throughout the second half.
Duxbury wins it, 12-5, motoring away behind Derek Sweet in the fourth quarter.
We're off to get some quick postgame reaction, then we're going to motor back to Dorchester for the conclusion of the Catholic Conference battle between BC High and St. John's Prep.
Duxbury, 11-5 (4:41, 4th)
Derek Sweet has scored the game's last three goals (this even after another tally during the spurt was nullified) and Duxbury leads Cohasset, 11-5, with 4:41 to play.
Duxbury, 9-5 (7:11, 4th)
Scott Austin and Grant Marston scored consecutive goals to start the fourth quarter as Duxbury quickly pushed its lead back to four and the Dragons now lead, 9-5, midway through the final stanza.
Marston added a pivotal man-up tally to make it 8-4 and -- after Cohasset scored to pull back some momentum -- Derek Sweet grabbed that goal right back for the Dragons on another man-up situation.
Duxbury, 6-4 (end of 3rd)
Cohasset's defense kept the team alive early and the offense got going late and we've got a two-goal game moving to the fourth quarter.
Duxbury dominated much of the third quarter, but Cohasset got a man-up situation and Charlie Czerkawski whistled home his second goal of the game. The Skippers won the ensuing faceoff and Mike Grimm bounced in a shot that probably should have been stopped to make it 6-4.
Duxbury, 6-2 (half)
Hakeem Lecky, Derek Sweet, and Gus Quinzani all scored for Duxbury as the Green Dragons doubled their lead in the second quarter and boast a 6-2 advantage at the intermission.
In a mirror image of the first quarter, Duxbury scored the first three goals of the frame before Scituate pulled one back late.
Imagine if the Dragons could win a faceoff. They've been thoroughly dominated in that aspect of the game, yet Cohasset can't take advantage of its possessions. The Skippers have thrown the ball away a couple times, while Duxbury netminder Dan Buonagurio has made some nice stops.
Cohasset needs a little burst of energy early in the second half if its going to make a game of this. The defense is doing a nice job limiting the damage, but Duxbury is just too talented to not take advantage of the opportunities presented.
Duxbury, 3-1 (end of 1st)
Duxbury got goals from Quinn Cully, Gus Quinzani, and Derek Sweet -- scoring three times to start the game -- and boasts a 3-1 lead over host Cohasset after the first quarter.
Cohasset has dominated the faceoff circle, but hasn't capitalized on all of its possessions.
Welcome to Cohasset, where the seventh-ranked Skippers are set to host top-ranked Duxbury in a nonleague boys' lacrosse battle.
It's an unbelievable spring day as the Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a "Hey, enjoy this while you can because it's supposed to rain all weekend" 73 degrees.
Duxbury won last year's matchup, 14-11, when the teams were similarly ranked. We'll see if anything changes today.
Back with more throughout the day.
A reminder that we've got a double dose of lacrosse action on tap this afternoon as we'll be in Cohasset when the seventh-ranked Skippers host top-ranked Duxbury at 4 p.m. On our way back to the city, we're hoping to catch the end of the Catholic Conference battle between sixth-ranked St. John's Prep and fifth-ranked BC High, which starts at 5:30 p.m.
That's four of our top seven teams in one afternoon. Should be an exciting day.
In the Play of the Game clip below: Billerica erupts for a rash of first-half goals to open a comfortable lead and emerge with a 15-8 triumph over Merrimack Valley Conference rival Lowell. Complete game highlights are also available below.
No. 3 Billerica 15, Lowell 8
BILLERICA -- Who needs star power when you've got good coaching and plenty of depth?
Graduation raked some serious individual talent away from the Billerica boys' lacrosse team, but the Indians seem pretty happy with what's leftover this spring. Still working out the kinks in the early season, coach Chris Burns saw nine different players score Wednesday in a 15-8 triumph over Lowell in a Merrimack Valley Conference battle at Alumni Field.
Bill Frevold scored three times, while Grant Whiteway and Mike Slatton added two goals apiece to pace the Indians' parade of twine tappers. Billerica struck for eight of the game's first nine goals to build an early cushion, then weathered a Lowell intensity storm early in the second half before coasting to the finish.
"We're going to get better," said Burns, whose squad improved to 2-0. "We've seen a great deal of improvement from the preseason jamboree in Lexington until now. We still have a lot to work on, but we'll get there."
Lose a faceoff monster like All-Scholastic Gary McKay? No sweat. Adam Foss seems hellbent on winning that job, only he's no FOGO (face off, get off). Much of Billerica's offense goes through No. 20 and he's going to play a big role in how this team fares this spring.
Wave goodbye to a points collector like All-Scholastic Keith Merluzzo? No worries. The Indians feel confident regardless of who ends up with the ball around the cage (and Mike Hurley and Greg Melaugh are doing a phenomenal job feeding the ball to open slashers from behind the cage). "I guess you just kind of expect everyone on attack to finish," said Burns. "We certainly have guys who can score."
Bid adieu to a natural talent like Lanny Ellis? Guess you need the defense to pick up some slack. And that's exactly what this feisty bunch of defensemen in Tom Todd, Matt Langill, and Chris Phillion are doing in front of netminder Pat O'Loughlin. The unit got a bit complacent after Billerica built its early lead, but it still limited Lowell to only one goal over the first 22 minutes.
Lowell (3-1) rode the play of Matt Goyette and Greg Demetriou to claw its way bay into the game in the third quarter. The pair combined for three goals over the first five minutes of the second half to pull the Raiders within three, but Billerica kept its foe at arm's length.
After Lowell pulled within three for the first time, Billerica called a timeout and Frevold scored a blink of an eye after the ensuing faceoff. Lowell answered, but Frevold did the same with a goal outside the left post for an 11-7 advantage with 5:13 to go in the third quarter.
Hurley and Jeff Scarfo added tallies later in the frame as Billerica put the game in its rear-view mirror.
Goyette finished with a team-high four goals, while Demetriou added three as part of a fine effort in which he really dictated Lowell's play. Demetriou was able to create going towards the net and brought his team a spark when it needed it most.
But the day belonged to Billerica, which walks away happy to have a win, but eager to improve.
"We're just so fortunate to have good coaching here," said Burns. "We've got Nolan (Godfrey) working with the faceoff guys, we've got coaches working with the goaltenders and the defense. It makes it so much easier. And all these guys got time practicing with the varsity team last year, so that makes it easier.
"But we've still got work to do."
Billerica emerges with a 15-8 triumph over Lowell in a Merrimack Valley Conference battle.
Kind of a perfunctory fourth quarter with Billerica settling its offense and putting in a couple of goals to punctuate this decisive win.
Billerica, 13-7 (end of 3rd)
Billerica's Jeff Scarfo tacks one on before the end of the frame and Billerica leads Lowell, 13-7, heading to the final frame.
After initially letting that six-goal lead slip away, the Indians came right back to push it up to that same level before the break.
Billerica, 12-7 (2:00, 3rd)
Lowell scored three of the first four goals in the second half to twice make this a three-goal game, but Billerica has responded to push its lead back to a more comfortable margin.
Billerica, 9-3 (half)
Billerica scored eight of the game's first nine goals, including a string of seven in a row, to take a commanding first-half lead and the Indians boast a 9-3 advantage over Lowell at the intermission of a Merrimack Valley Conference battle.
The names have changed, but the style remains the same. Billerica is attacking off the faceoff (with midfielder Adam Foss dominated in the circle) and that's leading to quick goals in transition as the Lowell defense can't get set up.
Billerica and Lowell traded early goals, but it was all Indians for the next 16 minutes. Billerica has utilized seven different goal scorers as only Mike Slatton and Grant Whiteway have multiple tallies.
Billerica's Pat O'Loughlin has been strong in net, while Lowell's Tim Finnegan has prevented further damage with some nice stops.
The Raiders seem a bit too reliant on senior midfielder Greg Demetriou to create on offense. His stick skills are phenomenal, but he needs some help against an aggressive Billerica defense that is absolutely attacking as soon as the ball comes out of a stick.
Billerica, 5-1 (end of 1st)
Billerica's Mike Slatton scored twice, while teammates Joe Dangelo, Greg Melaugh, and Grant Whiteway each added a goal as the Indians lead visiting Lowell, 5-1, after the first quarter.
Billerica scored the final four goals of the frame. They seem to have shook off some early rust and really controlled the final eight minutes of the frame.
Welcome to Billerica, where the third-ranked Indians are set to host Merrimack Valley Conference rival Lowell.
The Raiders just arrived on this gorgeous, sun-splashed afternoon. Forsberg Cruiser sets the temp at a get-ready-to-break-out-the-flip-flops 62 degrees.
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
We'll be live from Alumni Field this afternoon, where the third-ranked Billerica boys' lacrosse team hosts Lowell in an early season Merrimack Valley Conference showdown at 4 p.m.
Billerica (1-0) is coming off an ultra-successful 2007 campaign in which the Indians advanced to the Division 1 state semifinals before falling to Xaverian in double overtime. Billerica opened the new season with a 15-3 triumph over Tewksbury.
Lowell (3-0) has started the 2008 season with wins over North Middlesex, Masconomet, and Dracut. The Raiders got off to a similar hot start last season and finished the year with a 16-6 mark, falling to Andover in the Division 1 tournament.
We're interested to see how Billerica looks after graduation hit hard, while we're wondering if Lowell is the real deal this season. We'll know more after today's game.
Our early season lacrosse blitz continues Thursday with a doubleheader of coverage. We'll start the day in Cohasset, where the undefeated Skippers are set to host top-ranked Duxbury at 4 p.m. We're then hoping to catch some of the St. John's Prep vs. BC High tilt on the way back through the city. That game is set to start at 5:30 p.m.
For your girls' lacrosse fans, we're hoping to catch a potential state championship preview on Saturday when top-ranked Westwood hosts Longmeadow (last year's Division 1 runner-up) at Flahive Field at 3 p.m.
Much like we did Monday with the boys, we're back to break down our preseason Top 20 for girls' lacrosse.
The Globe's Amanda Bruno checks in today with a season overview focusing on Westwood's quest for a state championship. Below is our Top 20, along with thoughts on each team.
1. Westwood -- The Wolverines took Framingham to the wire in last year's Eastern Mass. title game, but Kristin Igoe scored with nine seconds to play to push the Flyers onto the state final. Westwood wasn't bitten quite as hard as the Flyers by graduation and bringing back the likes of Northwestern-bound Alex Frank makes the Wolverines our preseason favorite.
2. Wellesley -- If this poll came out yesterday, Framingham would have been entrenched in this spot (and you could make the case that the Flyers probably deserved top billing as defending state champs). But Wellesley's 6-5 triumph snapped Framingham's 52-game winning streak and, if you believe Stacey Freda, shifted the power of balance in the Bay State Conference. "That's a better team," Freda told the MetroWest Daily News. "We were just hoping we'd be able to stick with them a little bit. We knew coming in we were a server underdog and that's obviously the best team in our conference."
3. Framingham -- We're not exactly buying this "severe underdog" talk after the Wellesley loss, and we fully expect the Flyers to rebound sooner than later. There's simply too much talent here. The Flyers need to forge their own identity after graduation hit hard yet again. No one will want to see this team in June.
4. Lincoln-Sudbury -- The Warriors do everything well. Globe All-Scholastic Jess Griffin commands attention on offense, but there's a rash of midfielders who can put the ball in the twine. Defensively, L-S clogs the middle in front of the net... if you can get that far as the Warriors absolutely attack between the restraining lines. And the goalie tandem of junior Tess Shananka and senior captain Natalie Kerns are rock solid.
5. Andover -- Not good for opponents when Andover graduates a boatload of talent and coach John McVeigh says things like, "We've been the most balanced that we've ever been." The Warriors always seem a step quicker than their opponents and we see them right in the hunt in Division 1 North.
6. King Philip -- Coach Mike Vitelli admitted his team's strength -- its passing and receiving -- failed the team in Monday's 14-8 loss to Lincoln-Sudbury. These Warriors have some kinks to work out, but that's par for the course this time of year. All-Scholastic goaltender Katie Florence can single-handedly keep KP in a game when its offense is struggling, while there's a lot of talent surrounding All-Scholastic Mary Pasquantonio up front.
7. Needham -- The Rockets opened the season with a nice 10-goal win over Bay State Carey rival Weymouth. Remember that Needham quietly won 13 of its last 14 games last spring (only loss coming to Framingham) before falling to Westwood in the Division 1 South semifinals.
8. Duxbury -- Give the Green Dragons credit for challenging themselves out of the gates. The defending Division 2 champs fell to Westwood, 19-6, on March 31, but rebounded with a one-goal win over Norwell. Those type of games will aid Duxbury when it tries to defend its title in June. As will talent like captains Trisha Babson and Erine Levesque.
9. Winchester -- Is this the year the Sachems get over the hump? Coach Suzanne Ontso's squad has struggled in the Division 2 title game the past three seasons, falling twice to Norwell and last year to Duxbury. But there's enough talent here to get them back to that championship tilt, including senior Meg Sullivan (80 points last spring).
10. Reading -- The Rockets seem to be narrowing the gap between them and Winchester in the Middlesex League. After falling twice to the Sachems last season, Reading earned a 9-9 tie in the teams' first meeting this spring. The Rockets advanced to the Division 1 North semifinals last year before falling to Framingham.
11. Hopkinton -- Coach Jodi Dolan's squad had won seven of its last eight games before falling to Duxbury in the Division 2 South final last spring, and that lone loss was a one-goal defeat at the hands of Medfield. They seem to have carried that momentum into 2008 with a 2-0-1 start (tying Division 1 Acton-Boxboro, while also topping rivals Medfield and Ashland).
12. Acton-Boxboro -- The Colonials endured seven losses last spring nearly half of which came at the hands of Dual County League rival Lincoln-Sudbury. A-B closed the gap late in the season, however. After falling by 11 in each of the two regular-season matchups, the Warriors escaped with a 12-11 triumph in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.
13. Weston -- The positives: Early season, hard-fought wins over quality opponents in Concord-Carlisle and Arlington. The negative: Got walloped by Lincoln-Sudbury, 14-2, in between those wins. With eight starters back, including leading scorer Courtney Davenport, the Wildcats are well positioned for another postseason run in Division 2 (and those battles with Dual County League foes like L-S will only aid them in that quest).
14. North Andover -- The Scarlet Knights lost a lot of individual talent to graduation (Katy Fitzgerald is at North Carolina, while Aimee Dixon is at UMass). But there's a solid base of underclassmen to build upon (which means this is the team to beat in the Cape Ann League for the next two years). Look for Briana Connolly to shoulder the offense.
15. Norwell -- Yeah, we know. The Clippers are 0-2. But losses to Duxbury and Andover are nothing to sneeze at. Norwell endured 10 losses last season -- including three to Duxbury -- but the goal is to be playing the best lacrosse in June and Globe All-Scholastic Jill Cammett will have this squad prepped for the postseason. They just have to get there.
16. Medfield -- The Big Blue shook off a season-opening defeat at the hands of Tri-Valley League rival Hopkinton and rebounded with three straight victories. Medfield took some time to get churning last year, but finished with 13 wins before falling to Norwell, 9-7, in a Division 2 South quarterfinal.
17. Hingham -- Much like their male counterparts, the Harborwomen tend to fly comfortably under the radar in the Patriot League with Duxbury on top. But Hingham has some serious talent back this year, including netminder Kaelyn Sullivan and junior Mary Kate Gorman up front.
18. Sandwich -- Sandwich lost two of its first four games last year, then didn't lose again until falling to Needham in the Division 1 South quarterfinals. The Blue Knights are off to a 4-0 start this year and once again appear to be the team to beat in the Atlantic Coast League.
19. Notre Dame Academy -- The Cougars dropped a 10-8 decision to Hingham in their season-opener, but have rebounded with four straight triumphs. McKenna Teague can fill the stat sheet, but NDA will need balance in order to make waves in a rigid Division 1 South bracket come the postseason.
20. Norwood -- The Mustangs asserted themselves as contenders by taking down Newton North, 10-8, Monday. Pam Devaney, Liz Greeley, and Christine McKay can all put the ball in the twine.
Keep an eye on: Newton North has endured some early season struggles, but we think the Tigers will turn it around sooner than later... Falmouth is off to a 4-0 start and has a showdown with Sandwich this afternoon... Waltham and Arlington should battle it out in the Greater Boston League... Dover-Sherborn is always battle tested coming out of the Tri-Valley League.
Here's the top 5 by division:
5. North Andover
Lincoln-Sudbury 14, King Philip 8
SUDBURY -- When you boil it down, girls' lacrosse can be such a simple sport. It all revolves around possession and the simple idea that, if your team has the ball, the other team can't score.
Which is exactly what King Philip found out Monday afternoon during a nonleague showdown with Lincoln-Sudbury. KP got balanced scoring and solid goaltending from All-Scholastic netminder Katie Florence, but it struggled to get one thing late in the first half: the ball.
Lincoln-Sudbury struck for five consecutive goals to close out the half, absolutely dominating the faceoff circle and forcing turnovers between the restraining lines, en route to a 14-8 triumph.
"We put ourselves behind the 8-ball too much early on," said King Philip coach Mike Vitelli, whose squad advanced to the Division 1 South sectional finals a year ago before falling to Westwood.
"If you've seen enough lacrosse, you know it's all about possession. We turned the ball over too much between the restraining lines and we didn't win enough faceoffs when we needed to. That's half the battle."
KP did achieve one of its chief objectives: limit the scoring chances of Lincoln-Sudbury All-Scholastic Jess Griffin. But the junior midfielder utilized her skills to feed open teammates when the visitors committed multiple defenders to her.
And no one capitalized more than classmate Alexa Rozelle, who potted seven goals on the day, including six in the first half as L-S opened a 10-5 advantage at the intermission.
"Alexa really stepped up today," said Lincoln-Sudbury coach Debbie DeJesus, whose troops fell to Framingham in the Division 1 North sectional final last spring.
"We knew it was important to get everyone involved. We never want to become one-dimensional. Alexa is a big scoring threat out there and she showed that today. We knew they'd focus on Jess, so it was up to the others to really step up today."
The teams traded goals over the first 15 minutes of play with neither side taking a multi-goal lead. That changed when Rozelle potted back-to-back scores just over a minute apart to put her squad out front, 7-5, with 6:25 to play in the first half.
Junior Brianna Miller and Griffin sandwiched tallies around another goal from Rozelle before the intermission to put the hosts out front by five at the break.
KP collected itself at the half and came out inspired. Hillary Bushway bookended two tallies around a Kerry Eaton score as the visitors clawed within a pair with 13:56 to play.
They could have gotten closer, but L-S goalie Tess Shananka came up with some big stops, including a free position save on Sarah Brion to preserve the two-goal lead. KP got whistled for a questionable offsides call a short time later and L-S made it really sting when, just seconds after the call, Griffin scored to make it 11-8 with 11:14 to play.
The goal was a back-breaker and thwarted KP's comeback. Steph Zeytoonian scored less than a minute later and Rozelle punctuated her amazing day with a dazzling leaping goal in which she redirected a pass from behind the cage with 8 :17 remaining. Kelley Cakert closed out the scoring by putting home a rebound of a Jen Hayes attempt.
"I really felt the turnovers we forced were the different today," said DeJesus. "(Florence) was outstanding. But that's the thing about lacrosse. You can't save them all."
Florence dazzled with an array of saves in the early going, but she was absolutely peppered with shots over the final eight minutes of the first half as a tired KP squad turned the ball over just trying to get back across midfield.
"We're not going to make excuses, hopefully we learn from this," said Vitelli. "It's a long season and we're still young. It's a bit like Novocaine. It's going to take a while for it to kick in."
King Philip (2-1) dives into Hockomock League play, but has some more nonleague challenges on the horizon. KP visits Division 2 power Winchester on April 24, then hosts Division 1 juggernauts Longmeadow and Andover to close out the regular season on May 18 and 20.
L-S (4-0) gets a visit from Dual County League foe Bedford Tuesday, then has a showdown with Framingham Thursday (rescheduled from a rainout last week).
In the Play of the Game clip below: Lincoln-Sudbury netminder Tess Shananka makes a stop on a free position chance before Alex Rozelle scores the final of her seven goals to help the Warriors top King Philip, 14-8. King Philip had rallied within two goals in the second half before Shananka's save and Rozelle's goal helped L-S motor away for a comfortable victory.
Complete game highlights are also available below.
Sparked by seven goals from junior Alexa Rozelle, L-S emerges with a 14-8 triumph over King Philip in a nonleague battle in Sudbury.
L-S scored the final five goals of the first half to open a 10-5 advantage. King Philip rallied a bit in the second half, but an offsides call was quickly followed by a goal by L-S's Jess Griffin to put the hosts out front, 11-8 with 11:14 to go.
King Philip suffered from turnovers between the restraining lines and L-S did a phenomenal job cashing in on opportunities in the first half. While KP committed much of its energy to slowing Griffin, Rozelle utilized the space to score seven times, including six in the first half.
We'll have more on this one, including video highlights, later in the evening.
One other note from girls' lacrosse today: Defending Division 1 state champion Framingham fell to Wellesley, 6-5, ending the Flyers' multi-year winning streak.
L-S, 13-8 (8:17, 2nd)
Two more goals by L-S has the hosts out front by five again, 13-8, with 8:17 to play.
L-S, 11-8 (11:14, 2nd)
King Philip controlled the first 10 minutes of the second half, scoring three times to pull within a pair of Lincoln-Sudbury, but the Warriors just scored following a (questionable?) offsides call to take an 11-8 lead.
L-S, 10-5 (half)
Lincoln-Sudbury scored the last five goals of the first half, dominating the final eight minutes to take a 10-5 lead over King Philip into the intermission.
Alexa Rozelle did the most damage for L-S, piling up six first-half goals. She potted the first two goals on the late five-goal streak to help the hosts open some breathing room.
L-S has dominated thanks in large part to junior Danielle Cebra clogging the middle on defense. KP can't get anything going towards the net, while L-S has been running free down the middle.
Kendall Harty has two goals for KP, which utilized four different goal scorers in the first half.
L-S, 7-5 (6:25, 1st)
Alexa Rozelle scored back-to-back goals and L-S has the game's first multi goal at 7-5 with 6:25 to play in the first half.
Rozelle has five goals so far to pace the Warriors.
Tied, 4-4 (11:54, 1st)
We're knotted at 4 in a back-and-forth battle.
No team has had a lead more than a goal thus far.
Welcome to sun-splashed Sudbury, where the Lincoln-Sudbury girls' lacrosse team is set to host King Philip in a nonleague showdown.
The Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a manageable 46 degrees, but the sun attempting to break through makes it seems slightly warmer.
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
After seeing a bunch of boys' action during the first week of the spring, we're hopping over to the girls' side today to check out a matchup of Division 1 sectional finalists when Lincoln-Sudbury hosts King Philip this afternoon at 4 p.m.
We'll have live updates and we'll capture video highlights for the site.
Lincoln-Sudbury compiled a glossy 16-0-1 record during the regular season last spring, then stormed to the North finals before falling to Framingham, 14-3. King Philip boasted a 16-1 mark and danced to the South finals before enduring an 18-2 thumping at the hands of Westwood.
Both teams would love to get back to those championship games this spring and, while Framingham and Westwood still stand in the way, it would surprise none to see a Final Four that included those teams once again.
We'll have more from Sudbury this afternoon.
While baseball and softball seem stuck in the mud waiting for fields to dry out, the boys' lacrosse season is already in full swing. The Globe's Maggie Cassidy checks in today with a season overview focusing on Duxbury's quest to remain a Massachusetts juggernaut.
As we gear up for another exciting season, here's our take on the preseason top 20, with thoughts on each team:
1. Duxbury -- Until someone in the Bay State beats them, the Green Dragons are entrenched here, especially given how motivated they are to not give up their perch.
2. Xaverian -- The Hawks graduated 15 players... and you can hardly tell. Brendan Grant is a force up front and Ryan Abely is going to win a lot of possessions in the faceoff circle, but what struck me watching the X-Men against St. John's of Shrewsbury last week is how well the defense played after a lackluster first quarter.
3. Billerica -- The Indians will miss Keith Merluzzo on attack (he led the team in points each of the last three seasons), but I think they'll miss faceoff man Gary McKay even more. Something tells me assistant Nolan Godfrey is working to develop a new crop of draw-winners.
4. Andover -- Imagine how good Cohasset would be if Brendan Hughes still lived in town. Instead, he's helping Andover continue to build a power of a program. The Warriors advanced to the Division 1 state semifinals before falling to Xaverian.
5. BC High -- Netminder David Barton is as good as advertised (ask Marshfield). The mere idea that the Eagles had both Barton and All-Scholastic John Lenehan sharing duties last year seems unfair to opposing offenses.
6. St. John's Prep -- Returning much of its lineup from last season (only two players graduated), the Eagles are a step ahead of rivals Xaverian and BC High in terms of defining roles and building chemistry. We're waiting to see how that translates on the field.
7. Cohasset -- Round 1 of the Cohasset-Scituate rivalry goes to the Skippers. Can't shake the feeling that we'll see at least one more round in June (and possibly a Round 2 during the Chowda Cup later this month).
8. Medfield -- A pair of quality challenges from Tri-Valley League rivals Hopkinton and Dover-Sherborn seem to have helped the Warriors iron out some early season wrinkles. An 11-4 thumping of Wellesley suggests Medfield has already improved since the start of the year.
9. Marshfield -- Coach Rick Peterson is excited about this year's squad and with good reason. The Rams showed some nice resiliency to battle back against a rigid BC High defense and send Saturday's game into the final frame tied. Marshfield will be a postseason contender if it continues to develop into June.
10. Scituate -- A rocky start for the Sailors, including a 14-6 drubbing at the hands of Barnstable. We'll chalk it up to long seasons for both the hockey players and the hoopsters. Hanging with Cohasset on Sunday shows this team is in it for the long run and will be ready for the big games.
11. Dover-Sherborn -- The Raiders had a chance to topple a TVL giant, but fell to Medfield in double overtime last week. The Raiders get another chance on May 2, but their biggest success could come in the Division 3 tournament where they'll be well-equipped to compete come playoff time.
12. Lexington -- The Minutemen endured an unceremonious first-round exit in last year's Division 1 tournament, but they remain the team to beat in the Middlesex League.
13. King Philip -- The addition of sniper Matt Schairer (formerly of Medfield) could make the Warriors the Hockomock favorite and a Division 2 contender. KP finished 10-8 last year and was bounced in the preliminary round by Falmouth.
14. Westford Academy -- The Grey Ghosts really came on strong last year, but drew an unfortunate quarterfinal opponent in Xaverian. After his exploits in the net during the hockey season, it's a bit odd to see Curtis Serafini playing up front in the spring, but he's just as good at scoring as he is at preventing opposing hockey teams from doing the same thing.
15. Arlington -- Okay, the season is young, but looks who's sitting atop the LaxPower computer rankings this morning. The Spy Ponders boast quality wins over Concord-Carlisle and Wayland, and have the potential for a big start before competition ramps up in May.
16. Malden Catholic -- The Lancers are 4-0 with wins over teams with a combined record of 1-9. We'll find out a lot more about this squad Tuesday when they meet Xaverian.
17. Lincoln-Sudbury -- By far the biggest disappointment of the 2007 season after laboring through a 9-10 campaign and missing the playoffs. The Warriors' schedule does them no favors, as usual, but we think they rebound this spring.
18. Hingham -- Can success on the ice translate to the sod in the spring? The Harbormen probably aren't ready to challenge Duxbury for the Patriot League crown, but could give Scituate a run for No. 2 if the Sailors continue to struggle.
19. Barnstable -- The Raiders bounced back from a tough one-goal loss to Hingham to thrash Scituate. Remember that Barnstable won 15 games a year ago and ousted Marshfield in the Division 1 tourney before running into Xaverian.
20. Walpole -- The Rebels came on strong last season and surged to the Division 2 quarterfinals before falling to Wayland by a goal. Off to a 2-0 start, Walpole can rack up some wins before its schedule ramps up.
Keep an eye on:
Acton-Boxboro -- Took BC High to overtime, which suggests there's some nice talent here. The Colonials endured a 10-10 campaign last spring before falling to Chelmsford in the preliminary round of the Division 1 tournament.
Catholic Memorial -- No shame losing to Cohasset and the Knights rebounded with a solid win over Waltham. But that Catholic Conference schedule is mighty daunting.
Falmouth -- While Marshfield steals those Atlantic Coast League headlines, Falmouth has already racked up five wins, including triumphs over league foes Sandwich and Plymouth (two teams it finished behind in last year's league standings).
Lowell -- A nice 3-0 start, but against teams with a combined 0-5 mark. Wednesday's trip to Billerica will tell us more about the Raiders.
Mansfield -- The Hornets have already equaled their regular-season loss total from a year ago in enduring two early season losses. The bright side: Mansfield was competitive against both Scituate (an 11-10 loss) and King Philip (a 6-4 loss). Maybe the Hornets just want to fly under the radar like last year.
Needham -- Much like Bay State Conference rival Walpole, the Rockets opened the season with two early wins, but their schedule doesn't get tough until later this month.
North Andover -- The Scarlet Knights seem to be the team to beat in the Cape Ann League once again and are off to a 2-0 start.
Reading -- All that winter success seems to be carrying over the spring (lacrosse, softball, and track should all do quite well for the Rockets). On the lax field, Reading is off to a 3-0 start, including a nice win over Winchester. A matchup with Lexington awaits Friday.
Shawsheen -- No surprise, the Rams are the brass of the Mass. Technical League.
Swampscott -- The Big Blue have jumped out to a 3-0 start and an overtime win over Salem suggests they are the team to beat in the Northeastern South.
Wellesley -- Wouldn't seem right to have a preseason top 20 without the Raiders. They struggled a bit with Norwood and fell to Medfield, but we think first-year coach Rocky Batty will keep this team competitive in a rigid Bay State Conference. Remember, this team advanced to the Eastern Mass. Division 2 semifinals a year ago before falling to Medfield.
Wayland -- The Warriors have some big shoes to fill from graduation and -- if A-B and L-S return to form -- defending that first Dual County League title in school history will be no easy feat.
Finally, here's our preseason ranking of the top five teams by division. We'll try to update these weekly during the regular season:
5. BC High
2. King Philip
In the Play of the Game clip below: Alex Shipp, Brendan Powers, and Brian Dole score fourth-quarter goals for BC High as the Eagles pulled away for an 8-6 triumph over Marshfield in a nonleague battle Saturday afternoon at James Cotter Field at Viola Stadium.
Full game highlights are also linked below.
BC High 8, Marshfield 6
BC High coach Kevin Bibeau told his players coming out of halftime that Marshfield was going to make a charge. He probably wasn't happy to be correct. But Bibeau had also told his charges he wasn't sure eight goals would be enough to top the Rams. Considering the outcome, he was alright with only batting .500 on his daily predictions.
Marshfield erased a three-goal halftime deficit to knot the game heading to the fourth quarter, but it was BC High that scored three consecutive times to start that final frame and the Eagles flew away with an 8-6 triumph in a nonleague battle at James Cotter Field at Viola Stadium.
"I told the kids at the half that we had to be prepared for a sudden rush," said Bibeau. "It came, but we were able to keep our composure. We settled down and made the defensive stops that we needed to make."
While Alex Shipp, Brendan Powers, and Brian Dole produced the Eagles' pivotal three-goal outburst in the fourth quarter, the game ball is more likely to end up at the other end of the field.
Senior goaltender David Barton was phenomenal in net -- making his 2008 debut after missing the season-opening, overtime win over Acton-Boxboro earlier this week -- and a pesky defense in front of him frustrated a talented Marshfield attack all day long.
The Rams were limited to just one goal over the first 24 minutes of play and, despite a four-goal outburst to knot the game at 5 in the third quarter, they didn't score again until the final minute of regulation.
"David Barton is an All-American goalie," said Marshfield coach Rick Peterson. "He was probably the reason why BC High won this game."
Barton, who shared duties with All-Scholastic netminder John Lenehan last season, can finally step into the spotlight this season (he started six games last year, all non-conference, as Lenehan drew the conference contests being a senior).
Aided by an ultra-physical defense in front of him, including fellow captain Chris Murray, Barton is going to frustrate a lot of offenses this spring.
"They are really physical out there, but we told our kids at the half to remember that we're just as good as them athletically and that we could run with them," said Peterson. "I think the kids showed that in the third quarter."
Marshfield struck just seven seconds into the second half as Jeff Sulivan took a feed from Zack Triner off the opening draw and scored on a fastbreak. Chris Walker potted his second of three goals a short time later and Marshfield had the momentum.
Andrew Brown scored with 39 seconds to play in the third quarter to tie the game at 5.
BC High used the break to compose itself. The Eagles gained control of the opening draw and Shipp scored on a nice run from behind the cage. Less than two minutes later, Powers ripped a bullet through traffic for a 7-5 advantage with 9:48 to play.
Marshfield couldn't generate many quality chances in the final frame and Dole put the game away by putting home his third goal of the game with 5:45 remaining.
"We've been struggling a little bit to get our offense in a rhythm," said Bibeau. "We graduate a lot of talented kids with good hands in the offseason, so we're still trying to find that rhythm.
"I told the kids at one point I wasn't sure eight goals was going to be enough. Marshfield is a really talented offensive team. But our defense came up with some big stops."
For BC High, it's a quality win against a Division 1 opponent, something the Eagles have tried to schedule more of in Bibeau's second year to prepare the squad better for the postseason (though the league schedule this spring will do that quite well, too).
Marshfield had dominated its first three games, outscoring its opponents 52-15, but will look to build off this game against a top-flight squad.
"Maybe we'll see them again in the potseason," said Peterson.
Marshfield adds a goal in the final minute to add a little excitement, but BC High emerges with an 8-6 triumph. More to come, including highlights.
BC High, 8-5 (1:12, 4th)
BC High remains out front, 8-5, with 1:12 to go. The Eagles have dominated possession throughout the fourth frame and haven't allowed Marshfield a chance to get back in this game.
BC High, 8-5 (5:45, 4th)
Goals by Alex Shipp, Brendan Powers, and Brian Dole have helped BC High open an 8-5 advantage with 5:45 to go.
Tied, 5-5 (end of 3rd)
Marshfield came out with a sense of urgency, striking twice in the early going, and Andrew Brown's goal with 39 seconds remaining in the third frame has tied this game at 5 moving to the fourth quarter.
BC High, 4-1 (half)
BC High's Dan Madden and Brendan Powers struck for goals 46 seconds apart early in the second quarter and the Eagles' defense continues to stifle Marshfield with a 4-1 advantage at the intermission.
Both netminders have been outstanding, but outside of a big rip by Chris Walker late in the first quarter, the Rams have been unable to sneak anything behind BC High senior goaltender David Barton.
Madden scored on a little jump shot from about 15 feet out with 9:13 to play in the frame. BC High won the faceoff and Powers scored off a feed from PJ Martina with 8:27 to play.
BC High, 2-1 (end of 1st)
Chris Walker pulls one back for Marshfield with a big rip on a man-up situation with 3:07 to play in the first and BC High leads the Rams, 2-1, after the first quarter.
BC High, 2-0 (6:48, 1st)
Brian Dole two early goals and BC High leads, 2-0, midway through the first quarter.
Welcome to BC High, where the Eagles host Marshfield in a boys' lacrosse nonleague battle this afternoon on James Cotter Field at Viola Stadium.
Marshfield is off to a blazing 3-0 start with wins over North Quincy, Dennis-Yarmouth, and Whitman-Hanson (three teams with a combined record of 0-7 thus far) by a combined score of 52-13. The Rams sit at No. 1 on the Laxpower.com early season rankings.
Today should produce a much better challenge for Marshfield. BC High needed overtime to top Acton-Boxboro, 5-4, in its only game of the year thus far, but that final score should tell you all you need to know about the type of defense and goaltending the Eagles thrive behind.
A quick weather update, it's actually not too bad out right now. Wet for sure from this morning's rains, but there's no precipitation falling now and the Forsberg Cruiser sets the temps at a manageable 45 degrees.
Back with more throughout the afternoon.
We'll be live from BC High this afternoon, where the Eagles host Marshfield in a boys' lacrosse showdown.
Our plan had been to catch the Scituate-Cohasset rivalry game this morning, but that contest has been postponed until Sunday due to the weather.
We'll have live updates from James Cotter Field (the game was originally scheduled to be played in Marshfield, but moved due to the turf due to the rain) and we'll capture video highlights for the site.
Back with more this afternoon.
A couple quick notes from Thursday's girls' lacrosse action, where both defending state champions were in action.
Framingham 14, Newton North 3: The Flyers served notice that they are still the team to beat in Division 1 by walloping a talented Newton North squad, 14-3, in a Bay State Conference battle at Cold Spring Field in Newton. Sophomore Moira Barry registered four goals, while senior captain Melanie Baskind added two goals and two assists.
Duxbury 8, Norwell 7: After battling double-teams all game, Duxbury
senior captain Erin Levesque broke free and scored the winning goal with
just 17 seconds left. Duxbury needed two goals in the last two minutes to
get the win. Two more seniors -- Trish Babson and Jill Caramello -- scored two
goals apiece for the Green Dragons. Duxbury had opened its season with a 19-6 loss to highly touted Westwood.
Visit our daily scoreboard to check out more scores from last night. Don't see a score for your favorite team? Click on the team name to visit their schedule page and submit the result to us.
One last note: We're scheduled to be live from Sudbury this afternoon (weather permitting), where the Lincoln-Sudbury girls' lacrosse team hosts Framingham at 4 p.m. We'll have updates and video highlights. (Note: This game has been postponed)
Xaverian 11, St. John's (Shrewsbury) 6
SHREWSBURY -- As Xaverian and St. John's of Shrewsbury combined for eight goals in little more than the first 10 minutes of regulation, it was hard to tell who was running more Thursday afternoon: the boy's lacrosse combatants or the host's outdoor track team that was practicing sprints on the rubber encircling Pioneer Field.
A wide-open, up-and-down first quarter gave way to a much more defensive-minded (and scoreless) second frame. Xaverian kept that defensive intensity cranked up in the second half, while St. John's couldn't match and the Hawks flew away with an 11-6 triumph in a nonleague battle.
Xaverian (2-0) erupted for five goals in both the first and third quarters with senior attack Brendan Grant registering a game-high six goals (he added two assists). Teammates Garrett Buckley and Chris Rigoli sandwiched scores around a Grant goal as part of a three-goal, third-quarter outburst that helped Xaverian stretch out its two-goal halftime advantage and carry a six-goal cushion into the final frame.
"I think you have to come out out of the half ready to go; ready to regain that momentum," said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner, who guided the Hawks to the Division 1 title game last year before falling to Duxbury in OT. "They did a good job of keeping us off rhythm in the second quarter and we needed to get that back."
But it was Xaverian's defense that ultimately changed the complexion of this game. Senior Sean Halloran shook off some early struggles and, aided by an active defense, held St. John's to a mere goal over a 33-minute stretch starting late in the first quarter.
Gardner praised his long-stick middies, including Robby Stack, Josh Chipman, and Kevin Blackmur, for picking up their play to quiet the high-octane offense of St. John's.
"All three of (St. John's) attack can hurt you and I think we created a lot of our own problems early on," said Gardner. "Our long poles did a good job out there and we started getting the right slides."
Xaverian graduated a large number of players in the offseason, but it has plenty of experience and talent on the field this spring. St. John's had no answer for Grant, who utilized his size to create havoc by both charging and distributing from behind the net.
Senior midfielder Ryan Abely dominated in the faceoff circle for the Hawks, particularly during the pivotal three-goal, third-quarter outburst, while Buckley, Rigoli, and James Vickery can all find the twine.
St. John's relied on Nick Yacuzzi, Nick Papoojian, and Colin O'Rourke to fuel its offense. The trio combined for five of the Pioneers' six goals.
Check out the clips below to see the Play of the Game from Xaverian's 11-6 win over St. John's of Shrewsbury. In the clip, Garrett Buckley, Brendan Grant, and Chris Rigoli strike for a trio of third-period goals just 55 seconds apart to help Xaverian pull away. Complete game highlights are also available below.
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.
Click the Play of the Game link below to watch Max Zuccarini pot the winner in double overtime to lift Medfield past Dover-Sherborn, 8-7.
Complete game highlights are also available below.
Medfield 8, Dover-Sherborn 7 (2 OT)
MEDFIELD -- Medfield boys' lacrosse coach Bob Aronson doesn't have a lot of veterans on this year's squad. But he doesn't mind listening to the ones he has.
With his Warriors locked in a sudden-death stalemate with rival Dover-Sherborn, Aronson watched senior Max Zuccarini wave off a play the coach had drawn up for a man-up situation midway through a second overtime session.
Zuccarini, one of just four seniors on this year's squad and a cocaptain with Harry Bodozian, took a glance at the personnel on the field and decided it was time to show why he was chosen a leader this spring.
Taking a feed from Bodozian, Zuccarini potted the winner outside the right post with 2:03 remaining in the second extra session as the Warriors escaped with an 8-7 triumph over visiting Dover-Sherborn.
"Coincidentally, he called a play that ended up with him scoring the winning goal," Aronson said with a smile. "He's a smart player. I called one man-up play and he took a look at the players on the field and didn't think it would work, so he called another play."
Zuccarini admittedly wasn't sure some of his fresh-faced teammates were ready for the crunch time moment. Both teams had let opportunities slide by in the extra session and Zuccarini had played enough lacrosse for the day. He'll gladly let you call him selfish, but the play swap was for the betterment of his team.
"It's just one of those plays that we practice a lot and I was comfortable with it," said Zuccarini. "Harry made a great pass. They've got a great goalie over there in Garrett (Akie). I'm glad we got the win."
The game between border rivals and Thanksgiving Day gridiron foes had a bit of an edge to it, particularly with Dover-Sherborn's success last year coupled with Medfield taking a slight step back this spring (some heads turned with a less-than-dominant 8-5 win over Hopkinton to start the year, but Aronson contends his team will be playing its best lacrosse in June).
The Warriors broke out on top, 2-0, but Dover-Sherborn came back to take a brief lead in the second quarter. Medfield scored the final four goals of the first half -- sparked by a pair of tallies by Jack McDermott -- and seemed to be pulling away, but the Raiders stormed back riding some fine defensive play in the second half.
Trevor Pearson's goal late in regulation knotted things at 7 and forced the extra session. Both teams had quality chances -- though sloppy turnovers did plague both sides in the overtimes -- but it wasn't until nearly six minutes beyond regulation that Zuccarini broke the stalemate.
The winning goal came just moments after the Warriors nearly threw away a possession. A poor pass left midfielders scrambling for possession in front of the Medfield bench, but the Raiders took a foul call after a Medfield middie was tripped up after securing possession.
That put the Warriors in a man-up situation and they took full advantage. Bodozian gained possession behind the net and Zuccarini crashed the cage while running off a little screen from McDermott. Zuccarini caught the pass with a defender in his face and Akie came rushing to contest, but Medfield's senior tucked the ball inside the open right side of the cage to trigger a celebration.
With the win, Medfield now boasts a 76-game winning streak in conference play.
"I didn't want to be 75-1," said Zuccarini. "I think sometimes we take (Dover-Sherborn) for granted, and the whole Tri-Valley League. But that's a great team. I think they're going to do real well in Division 3."
Zuccarini finished with three goals, while Whelan paced the Raiders with a hat trick. Both Medfield freshman netminder Sam Aronson and Akie were solid in net and both saved some of their best play for the overtime session.
Medfield senior captain Max Zuccarini scores with 2:03 to play in the second overtime as the Warriors escape with an 8-7 triumph over Tri-Valley League rival Dover-Sherborn.
Recap and highlights to come in a bit.
Quality opportunities for both sides, but nothing in the twine. We're off to a second four-minute, sudden-death overtime.
Tied, 7-7 (end of regulation)
Dover-Sherborn twice rallies to tie this game and we're headed to overtime knotted at 7. Trevor Pearson scored the final goal of regulation for the Raiders to force the extra session.
Medfield, 6-4 (end of 3rd)
Very quiet third quarter with D-S scoring the lone goal early to cut its deficit to 2. Chris Whelan produced the frame's lone tally.
Medfield, 6-3 (half)
Jack McDermott produced the middle goals on a four-goal outburst by Medfield late in the first half and the Warriors have come back from an early second-quarter deficit to boast a 6-3 advantage over rival Dover-Sherborn at the intermission.
Dover-Sherborn surged from its own two-goal, first-quarter deficit and scored three consecutive times spanning into the second quarter to take a brief lead.
McDermott scored his goals less than a minute apart to put the Warriors out front, and Harry Bodozian added a tally with 54 ticks to play in the quarter for the three-goal lead.
Rock solid effort for goaltender Sam Aronson so far. He gave up a few early goals when his defense failed to slide when attackers made rushes from behind the net, but he's made some tremendous stops to keep Dover quiet for long stretches.
Medfield, 2-1 (end of 1st)
Sloppy start but the offenses got comfy late and Medfield leads 2-1 after a quarter. Max Zuccarini and Harry Bodozian scored the goals.
Welcome to Medfield, where the Forsberg Cruiser sets the temperature at a very April-friendly 61 degrees for today's Tri-Valley League boys' lacrosse showdown between Medfield and Dover-Sherborn.
We've got some April showers turning on and off on this overcast day, and they look like they'll persist throughout today's game, but shouldn't play too much of a role (particularly with a turf surface).
We'll be back with more updates throughout the afternoon.
Medfield is the defending Division 2 state champion (three titles in four years), but will puts its 74-game conference winning streak on the line against a Dover squad that advanced to the semifinals of the Eastern Mass. Division 3 tournament during an ultra-successful 2007 campaign.
The Warriors dominated the shots in their season-opener against Hopkinton, but only motored away late for an 8-5 triumph. Dover topped Ashland, 13-1, in its season debut.
We'll check in with some game updates tonight and we'll have video highlights afterwards.
One other note: High School Sports Central has flipped over to its new spring look. If you're looking for info from the fall or winter seasons, follow the links in the sport-by-sport navigation bar at the top of the page.
We're proud to have an extensive collection of schedules online this spring. You'll find schedules (and, as the season progresses, game results) for most schools in Eastern Mass. for baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and volleyball.
Click one of the sports below to jump to that schedules page.
You can also search by school (only spring schedules for Eastern Mass. teams will be available for now):
We will need your help in keeping these schedules/results up to date. While the schedules will update with results that are phoned in each night by coaches, we'll need help chasing down anything that isn't reported directly to us. Anyone can use the email link at the bottom of each school's team page to submit scores or a schedule change.
Scores not sent by coaches or scorekeepers will need to be confirmed by the school before appearing live on the site.
You can find quick links to many of these team schedules in the upper right-hand corner of High School Sports Central.
Again, many schedules might have small errors (duplicate games or wrong start times or mislabeled opponent) as we get this project off the ground, but with your help we'll smooth everything out.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Waiting for Twitter...