Concord-Carlisle defeats Wellesley in Division 2 lacrosse final
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 a lacrosse final.
Thats because throughout the entirety of the boys lacrosse Division 2 EMass final game 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. The Raiders took the games first lead 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 Doug Gouchoe.
It was real nerve-wracking the first six minutes, I thought we threw the ball away, they were pressing us, we were really nervous and then we settled, said Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro.
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.
I thought we played really well from the midway of the first through the second," Dalicandro said. "We hit a couple of pipes; Darcey robbed us a couple times.
The Patriots opened things up in the third quarter, scoring three goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead. They scored again only 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.
We came out in the third and boom, boom, two goals," Dalicandro said. "In this kind of a game, a 4-1 lead is huge. We were able to hold on.
Wellesley buckled down defensively in the fourth quarter, allowing for more offensive opportunities. Sophomore attack John Caraviello took advantage with 6:46 left in the game to cut the Patriots advantage to three, 5-2.
I thought we were just going to try to possess the ball and try to kill the clock and just try to take the air out of the ball, Dalicandro said. You have to give Wellesley credit, they wouldnt let us possess the ball. They pressure us, they took it away, they forced it on offense; they got a couple of goals. It just got crazy.
The Raiders managed another goal with 3:30 remaining, and made things interesting with 31.1 seconds left as Saffery netted 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.
Concord-Carlisle will face Algonquin for the state championship 7:30 p.m. Friday at Foley Field in Worcester.