Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sperzel Powers Xaverian Past Catholic Memorial for Gardner's 200th Win

By Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi)

Sean Sperzel’s five goals led Xaverian past Catholic Memorial in an 11-7 affair on a chilly Friday night in West Roxbury.

Xaverian (1-2) took a 2-0 lead before CM (2-1) tied it up, but the Hawks re-gained the lead and never looked back.

“We were sharing the ball and moving it on offense, we know that they double hard and have great athletes on defense,” said Xaverian head coach Tim Gardner. “When they slide, they’re very physical. We knew we had to keep moving the ball.”

The win also marked the 200th victory for coach Gardner, who has been at the helm for the Hawks since 2000.

Freshman goalie Joe Perry made nine saves against the Knights, who saw two goals each from Deven Patel and Kevin Casey.

“It’s been great seeing the improvement of the younger guys,” Sperzel said. “Us as upperclassmen love to try to be great leaders around. I thought Perry was the MVP tonight.”

“He has great poise for a kid that young,” Gardner said. “Has a lot of growth and work to do. For a kid to have that kind of poise at a young age is pretty special.”

After Catholic Memorial tied the contest 2-2 in the first quarter, the Hawks went on a four-goal run in the second to stun the Knights. CM struggled to clear the ball past midfield.

“Clear the ball, clear the ball, clear the ball,” said Knights head coach Dennis Lynch. “We have to be better at understanding our spots and getting the ball to the right guy.”

Patel scored to open the third quarter, ending a nearly 20 minute drought for the Knights. But another three straight tallies for the Hawks before Patel got back on the scoreboard was too much for CM.

“Deven’s a good player,” Lynch said. “He has a lot of things to improve on too. He’s played great for us and is a great leader for us. He’s pushing his game to the next level.”

Sperzel scored his fifth of the night in the fourth quarter to extend the Hawks’ lead to 10-4.

“Spreading the ball and team offense, coming out ready to go,” The Penn State commit said of the offense on the night. “Nothing from last game, we want to put that in the past and I think we did that.”

Despite Sperzel getting most of the offense, the rest of the team was also involved with Austin Tefft tallying twice and Sean Jean getting a couple of tallies.

“After the loss to Walpole, we stressed sharing the ball and not working it through one guy or just the attack, and have the midfield get involved with the offense,” Gardner said.

The Hawks next face off on Tuesday against St. John’s Prep while the Knights are in action on Monday against Cohasset.

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