Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lincoln-Sudbury and Hingham Advance to Coaches Challenge Cup Final

By Michael Abelson (@ABELS0N)

NORTH ANDOVER - Lincoln-Sudbury scored the first three goals of the game and never looked back, as it cruised by Dover-Sherborn 15-5 in the semifinals of the Coaches Challenge Cup.

The Warriors scored two goals 13 seconds apart early to set the tone offensively. Lincoln-Sudbury outshot the short-handed Raiders 38-15.

“We’ve been practicing a lot keeping spacing, making picks, looking for those pick-and-rolls,” Lincoln-Sudbury senior Hayden Frey said. “When we spread them out we definitely looked better. Coach always says if you’re in the right position good things are going to happen.”

Frey quarterbacked the attack all game for L-S. The senior scored the game’s first goal and assisted on five more.

Jack Sutherland had a pair for L-S, and sophomore Matt Ward had four goals and an assist for the Warriors.

“We have so many guys this year that it’s good,” Frey said. “When somebody gets tired it’s not like we’re at a deficit because we have so many guys that can come in and play.”

The Warriors led 4-1 after the first quarter and opened up a 9-2 lead at the half. LS found holes in the Dover defense throughout thanks to consistent off-ball movement. Lincoln-Sudbury won the groundball battle 23-14.

Even with the dominance statistically, and on the scoreboard, the Warriors looked a step off at times and bungled away possessions, especially early in the game.

“There’s certain things that we’re not doing on our team,” Vona said. “It’s the basics. Passing, catching, things that a lot of teams are ready with right now. I’m happy about the win, but I want to execute better.”

Defensively the Warriors were lockdown. Dover-Sherborn was without star attackman, and North Carolina commit, Bailey Laidman who was out recovering from a concussion. Still, the Warriors held Jack Mahoney to one goal and Michael Mastrobuono to a pair. Dover didn’t score more than one goal in each of the first three quarters.

When the defensive unit let one get through Trevor Van Leer was there. Van Leer had six saves for Lincoln-Sudbury.

“I think we’re playing well defensively,” Vona said. “I’d like to see us not play so much defense, but I think we’re playing pretty well defensively.”

Even in defeat Ross Barnard was solid in cage for Dover-Sherborn. Barnard stopped 13 Warrior shots.

“He played great,” Frey said of Barnard. “We shot high a lot. Not taking any credit away from him. He played great. He definitely stopped some of our momentum early.”

In the second semifinal it was the Hingham Harbormen leading wire to wire in a 12-6 victory over host North Andover. A massive six-goal second quarter opened up a 9-2 hole that the Knights could not dig out of.

Jack Hennessey shined on attack with a three-goal, one-assist performance. He was aided by a pair of goals from Devin Irvin and a goal, and assist, from Marc O’Rourke.

In total, nine different Harbormen found the back of the net.

North Andover got two goals each from Keegan Hughes, Mike Roche, and Steve Canale.

Lincoln-Sudbury and Hingham will meet for the Coaches Challenge Cup title at Nora Searle Field at Dover-Sherborn High School. Opening faceoff is set for 4 pm on Saturday afternoon.

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