Thursday, May 16, 2013

Postgame Blog: Longmeadow-St. John's and Algonquin-Shrewsbury

Jake Scearbo rips one in for the T-Hawks

By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

So, I didn't end up having time to do a blog on Longmeadow's impressive win at St. John's Wednesday, so I figure I'll kill two birds with one stone here and combine that with my thoughts from Algonquin's bounce back win over Shrewsbury Thursday.

First of all, you can check out my recaps for both games, and video highlights of the latter, at BostonLax.Net. Second of all, if you have to spend back-to-back days somewhere in Massachusetts, you could do worse than Shrewsbury. Very nice town.

Anyways, now to the lacrosse, starting with St. John's and Longmeadow.

Pulling Positives

St. John's may have lost to undefeated Longmeadow (Who looks REALLY tough right now), but the Pioneers did have a few silver linings. Goalie A.J. Arnold played very well and, after a few early hiccups, did a great job on the clear for the Pioneers. Coach Terry Leary was also pleased with midfielder Kevin Butler stepping up when Longmeadow collapsed on talented attackers Drew Smiley, Hunter Burdick and Josh Freilich.

He finished with three goals in the loss.

But, They Lost

So yeah, there had to be negatives too, namely their inability to gain possession of the ball from face-offs or ground balls. Longmeadow midfielder Drew Kelleher dominated face-offs against the Pioneers and collected 10 ground balls for the Lancers. Coach Leary commented after the game that it felt like "number nine for them (Kelleher) just got every ground ball."

Gonk Bounces Back

I got to spend the next day in Shrewsbury too, lucky me. This time at Shrewsbury High School in what was a crucial game for both the Colonials and visiting Algonquin. Though the 9-7 T-Hawk win was a higher scoring affair than this series is accustomed to, it was every bit as physical as past Algonquin-Shrewsbury matchups.

The real key was Jake Scearbo for Algonquin. The senior scored three goals and was a dodging machine in the Colonial zone. He kick-started two different 4-0 Algonquin runs, and that would end up being the difference in the game.

Dell'Olio and Kerr Shine for Shrewsbury

Both Derric Dell'Olio and Cam Kerr had fine games for the Colonials, with Dell'Olio providing the speed and Kerr providing the physicality on the offensive end.

Goalie Chris Gorman also made several difficult stops, but the T-Hawks just got too many clean looks to not cash in.

Kraft Returns

While he did play less than a minute against Grafton last week, Algonquin senior captain Davis Kraft made his real return to play only in man up situations for the T-Hawks Thursday. He was mainly in to distribute, but he turned a Scearbo pass into a ripping goal in the third to give Algonquin a 6-5 lead.

It looks like Kraft will play a bit on senior day against St. John's this Saturday, but will then undergo surgery to repair the Osteochondritis Dissecans in his knee, forcing him to miss his final tournament.

You have to feel for the kid, especially since he's been so good in the postseason for the T-Hawks in the past, starting with a breakout four-goal performance in the 2011 CMass title game. But, it seems like the right call to avoid further damage to the joint, and Kraft knows he has a promising college career to look forward to at Connecticut College.

Here's wishing him good luck and a speedy recovery.