Friday, June 19, 2015

Grafton's Run Ends in D3 State Final

Junior attackman Cole Fontana scored a pair of goals in Grafton's D3 state title game appearance against Dover-Sherborn.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Grafton's historic season came to an end Friday in the Division 3 state final against a powerful Dover-Sherborn squad.

The Indians came out fighting, winning the game's first two faceoffs, but couldn't create any legitimate scoring opportunities on either possession. It was a rough start to Grafton's first ever state championship game, and the experienced Raiders, making their fifth consecutive title game appearance, took advantage.

Junior Will Spangenberg recorded a hat trick by himself for the Raiders in the game's first 10 minutes, and the Indians' confidence sank as they fell into an early hole. Dover-Sherborn would go onto win the game by a final score of 14-2, capturing their third state championship of the last five years.

"For us, we really would have needed the momentum at some point to win this game," senior middie Evan Johnston said. "They were definitely the better team out there, but if we had the momentum maybe it would have been a little bit of a better game."

"They went up 3-0 and we started playing scared," senior pole Connor Evans added.

Despite the loss, it was a fantastic year for the Indians, who had their deepest tournament run in school history. For seniors Evans, this year turned three years of disappointment around.

"As a senior it felt phenomenal to cap off a career this way," Evans said. "Me and Evan (Johnston) are the only two of our class that were on varsity as freshmen, so we've played in Grafton's four district championship (games). We lost the first three, winning the fourth was a dream come true, and this was icing on the cake… We were thrilled to get to this point."

"Obviously it's upsetting to go down like this, but I'm happy I played in (the state championship game)," Johnston said. "Wouldn't want to end my career any other way."

Even with a disappointing finish, the Indians have the look of a team that will be back. All three attackmen are rising seniors, and Cole Fontana and Hunter Fraser emerged as stars next to Chase Kapuscienski this year. In the midfield the future is bright with Anthony D'Angelo and Josh Birdsall, among others, returning, and the defense returns three starters. With goalie Cadrin Msumba returning between the pipes, Grafton will again be among the favorites to emerge from Division 3 Central/West.

The next step for this up-and-coming program will be to annually contend for state championships, and the talent returning certainly has the ability to bring the Indians back next season.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Great job Grafton players!!!!! You guys made one hell of a run.

Now, If we could get our Central Mass D3 teams to hold a pow wow to discuss how to take the game to the level of DS, Cohasset and Weston.