St John’s Prep sits tied on top the Catholic Conference boys’ lacrosse standings with a 6-2 record. Overall, the Eagles are 11-3.
The Eagles have won four in a row, including victories over Needham and BC High. But their strong play predates the current streak as the team has put together a solid 2013.
Coach John Roy believes that senior leadership is a major factor in the team’s success.
“We have some quality seniors,’’ Roy said. “There are 13 seniors and we have leadership at every position.”
The three captains, in particular, have been stalwarts.
Tucker Mathers is a permanent fixture on defense, midfielder Derek Osbahr is their go to faceoff man, and Jack Sharrio leads the Eagles’ attack.
Having these three has made a great difference.
“Derek wins over 80 percent of his faceoffs,’’ said Roy. “This makes huge difference in stopping another team’s momentum if they score, or maintaining momentum for our team if we score.”
“It’s the second most important position besides goalie. An excellent faceoff man makes a huge difference,” Roy said.
The team defense has been strong the last few games. The Eagles have given up more than seven goals only a handful of times, but it’s usually after the game is out of reach.
Lucas Bavaro and Bryan Uva round up the starting defense with Mathers.
The team also has a balanced scoring attack. In addition to Sharrio, Andrew Gallahue has been an offensive force. Both players have more than 50 points.
Shawn Walron also helps out on attack.
“Shawn is good for 30 points,” Roy said. “He is a clutch scorer when we need it.”
“The leaders are setting the bar pretty high for our guys to follow,” said Roy. “We’re fortunate to have them and truly lucky because we don’t have guys like this every year.”
The Eagles have some work to do before postseason play.
“We have four incredibly difficult games left, we’ll see what were made of,” said Roy.
The Eagles will close out their season against Westford, Lincoln Sudbury, Duxbury, and Medfield.
It’s hard to imagine a more challenging end to a season.
“We have to look at it as each game being incredibly significant,” Roy said. “Since we’ve already qualified for the tourney each game helps us prepare for it.
The Eagles are looking forward to the challenge.
“If we’re going to make any waves in the tourney we have to beat these top teams,” said Roy. “We want to play the best programs that we can.”
“This stretch can help make us mentally tough, prepare us for those high pressure situations we will encounter in the playoffs,” Roy said.
The Eagles are taking it one game at a time however. They are not looking beyond Westford Monday.
“Westford is going to be tough,” Roy said. “It doesn’t get easier after that, that’s why we play the games.”
Games of the week
Needham at Duxbury, Monday, 5 p.m. — The Dragons have won six in a row including a four overtime win over Lincoln-Sudbury. They look to continue their winning ways heading into the postseason against a very strong Mustangs squad.
Westford at St John’s Prep, Monday, 4 p.m. — The Grey Ghosts are just 2—3 in their last five games and look to get back on track against an Eagles squad that has won four in a row.
Needham at Newton North, Tuesday, 4 p.m. — The matchup between Nos. 5 and 11 will be an intense one as first place in the Bay State conference is on the line. Mike Roy played well for the Rockets this past week and Ben Bassett led the Tigers.
Lincoln-Sudbury at St John’s Prep, Wednesday, 5 p.m. — The Warriors suffered their first defeat of the season Thursday in a four overtime game against Duxbury. They have five games remaining and this is sure to be a great one.
Beverly at Acton-Boxborough, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. — The Colonials are looking to challenge Lincoln-Sudbury for first place in the Dual County league. If they are to do so they will have to get past a tough Panthers team, which has had a strong year.