Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Post Game Blog: Medfield Ends Shrewsbury's Magical Run

Shrewsbury's Tom Aulenback matches up with Medfield All-American middie Matthew Crowell.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

After pulling off a thrilling upset against cross-town rival St. John's in the Division 2 Central/West semifinals and capturing the program's first ever district crown days later against Westfield, Shrewsbury simply didn't have enough to top Medfield in the state semis, falling 14-1.

Here is your reminder that this blog is not a complete recap. Rather, it is my wandering thoughts on the game. If you would like a full recap with highlights and pictures, head on over to BostonLaxNet. I also have a recap of the game up on ESPN Boston, so definitely check that out as well.

End of the Line

As I said, the Colonials just didn't have another upset in them, and there were a couple of reasons for that. First of all, Medfield might be the best team in the state. Yes, as good as St. John's was all year, this Warriors squad was the most efficient team I've seen during my time in the Commonwealth.

Face-off specialist Brian Bissell is quite simply the best in the state at what he does, winning around 82 percent of his battles at the X and upping that percentage to over 90 in post season play. Shrewsbury was barely able to get the ball in the first half, and by the time they got any lengthy possessions, they were already in a 4-0 hole in the first quarter.

At that point, the Colonials began to force things offensively, and made some uncharacteristically bad passes. Medfield capitalized and scored two more to end the first, then added five more goals in the second, using some of the crispest passing you'll see around these parts, and picking apart the hard-sliding Shrewsbury defense.

It was Medfield playing a darn near perfect game and Shrewsbury falling into a little quick sand that made this game a route, but the Colonials didn't hang their heads afterward.

When I gave All-American goalie Chris Gorman a hand shake after the loss, all he could say was "hey, they're really good," and I think attackman Joe Buduo summed things up pretty well on Twitter moments after the game went final (dang, kids Tweet fast these days).

Still Fighting

If you're looking for bright spots in a blowout, Shrewsbury never stopped fighting, even while sinking in the aforementioned quicksand. Plus, the large Shrewsbury cheering section remained intense, and by that I mean they continued to scream words of encouragement to players and berate officials.

Gorman made two saves in the third quarter that were absolute robbery at the cage, and when Derick Tinsley finally got Shrewsbury on the board with five minutes to play, the Colonial sideline and cheering section rightfully enjoyed the moment.

The Colonials brought the intensity that made them district champs to Foley Stadium Tuesday night, it just wasn't enough against an elite and mistake-free Medfield team.

"I was pleased with our effort," Shrewsbury coach Nate Skermont said. "We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it, but we just ran into a team that was that much better (Tuesday)."

A Historic Season

Despite the bitter end, it was a fantastic season for the Shrewsbury boys lacrosse team, as the program won its first district title, set a new program record for wins with 20, and avenged regular season losses to Minnechaug and rival St. John's in the playoffs. The Colonials also posted an impressive 6-1 record against the established powers of Central Mass lacrosse, those teams being St. John's, Algonquin, Westboro and Grafton.

"I would not trade this team for any team anywhere, and that will never change," Skermont said. "We will always be champions. Nobody can ever take that away from us. We're district champs, something nobody in our school has ever done, and we'll always be the first to do that, and I'll always cherish that and always have these kids' backs.”

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great article, Joe.
So proud of the Shrewsbury boys. They had a great season. Thank you for the great coverage.
Good luck to Medfield. They deserve the title!