Friday, May 16, 2014

Post Game Blog: Worcester-Grafton and St. John's-Westboro

Worcester coach Harry Jones addresses his team after their historic win over Grafton.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

I took in a rousing Central Mass lax doubleheader yesterday, making my way out to Shrewsbury to catch St. John's hosting Westboro, then heading over to Worcester for the Warriors' big game against Grafton.

I did not do a full recap of the SJS-Westboro game, because I only caught the second half, but my full recap and highlights of the Worcester-Grafton game are up on BostonLaxNet now.

If you would just like to watch the highlights, you can check those out here.

Anyways, here are my wandering thoughts on two great games.

Westboro's Got It Figured Out


Coach Tom Baker is still worried about his team at the face-off X, and occasionally on ground balls, but he thinks Westboro's swagger is back. The coach believes the Rangers have played without confidence at times, most notably during a blowout loss to Mid-Wach rival Shrewsbury a few weeks back, but with Westboro's showing against St. John's, it's hard to say belief is missing.

A good bit of creation by attackman Kyle Lemack, and some hard hitting from Charlie Katz pulled the Rangers to within one in the fourth, and proved that Westboro is ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone in the state.

But St. John's is Stacked

Westboro pulled it to within a goal, and lesser teams might have gotten scared, but St. John's got mad. Attackmen Jared Ward and Parker Jean, along with middie Kevin Butler went into attack mode, generating chances seemingly every time the Pioneers touched the ball in the fourth quarter.

This sparked a 4-0 run to close things out, and prove once again that the Pioneers are the top dogs in Central Mass.

Worcester Makes Its Own Luck

Worcester scored a pair of unlikely goals to defeat Grafton. The first was a redirection from Jack Gallagher to force overtime, and the second an interception by Gallagher in the Worcester offensive zone that he quickly turned into a game-winning goal.

Unlikely, yes, but don't call them lucky. Worcester was relentless all night long, and even when things turned sour- a four-goal Grafton run and 36-minute Warrior scoring drought- this group kept pushing.

You got the feeling it was only a matter of time before they broke through. Little did we know that time would be as the buzzer sounded in regulation.

Grafton Shows Heart and Class

It was a bitter pill for the Indians, who controlled most of the game, only to see a pair of miraculous goals sink them. Still, the Grafton players and coaching staff handled the loss with dignity, and they sure as heck brought it on the field as well.

I thought this tweet the Indians sent out was a great display of sportsmanship, and it kinda makes you wish these two teams were in the same division so that we could get a rubber match.

That was as hard-fought a game as I've seen all year, and Grafton's effort on ground balls was nothing short of astonishing. The Indians didn't come away with the win, but the way they played Thursday night bodes well for them heading into the Division 3 tournament.

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