Duxbury gets the job done
There was a distinct feeling of deja vu at halftime of last night’s Division 1 East boys’ lacrosse title game at Harvard Stadium. The teams — St. John’s Prep and Duxbury — were the same. The score was nearly so.
Just one year before, St. John’s Prep had roared back from the wrong side of an 8-4 tilt against Duxbury to win a 12-11 overtime thriller. At the break last night, the Eagles trailed by just three. But despite a few valiant individual efforts, there was no Hollywood ending for St. John’s Prep this year.
Duxbury scored five straight goals in the third quarter to take an insurmountable lead, returning to the top with a 16-9 win.
“Was it redemption?’’ asked Duxbury coach Chris Sweet. “Maybe a little bit. But both teams are different this year. But for sure, our boys remembered 365 days ago, when it was St. John’s celebrating. In that regard it feels great.’’
Duxbury attackman and All-American Kane Haffey led all scorers with six goals. Sam Sweet (two goals, two assists) and Bryan Barry (four goals) also were strong for Duxbury.
St. John’s Prep’s Jimmy O’Connell was brilliant in the losing effort, scoring five goals.
Sweet put Duxbury on the board first, finishing after a Will Siefert pass through traffic.
O’Connell notched an unassisted tally barely 30 seconds later, but it didn’t generate momentum for the Prep as James Burke scooped the faceoff and pushed it to Haffey just six seconds later for another Dragons goal.
Duxbury put up four in the remainder of the period, letting up just one to enter the second quarter with a 7-2 lead. Prep goalie Blair Friedensohn, normally strong, had just one save in the frame.
Prep tightened up on both sides of the field in the second quarter, controlling the tempo throughout and scoring three goals while allowing Duxbury just one. Friedensohn came alive in the quarter with five saves — all of them on near-certain goals — to help the Eagles get back in it.
But any momentum the Eagles generated in the second quarter dissipated upon the opening whistle of the second half. Duxbury scored five straight, three by Haffey, to extend its lead to eight.
“The whole time we were saying, ‘Just keep working, keep winning the ground balls, keep shooting,’ ’’ said Haffey. “The guys on this team have a lot of resilience, and we know that once things start clicking they’re gonna fall for us.’’
Duxbury let up three goals in 40 seconds in the waning minutes of the quarter, but that five-goal deficit was the closest Prep would come to a repeat win.
The win was extra special for Haffey, who was treated to a unique chorus after each of his scores: Happy birthday.
“Today’s my 18th birthday,’’ he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present.’’