Saturday, May 13, 2017

Top-Ranked Lincoln-Sudbury Rolls No. 2 Duxbury

Sophomore attack Matt Ward facilitates from X

By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)

SUDBURY, Mass. – Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Brian Vona can be very hard on his players.

A man from the Belichick school of coaching, he can often be found scowling after a win, shaking his head and denoting all the things that his team did wrong.

On Saturday afternoon, that approach seemed to pay off, as the top-ranked Warriors crushed No. 2 Duxbury, 9-1, for their 48th consecutive in-state victory.

The Warriors (12-1) dominated the first two quarters with four goals in each frame, opening an 8-0 lead against a Duxbury (11-3) team that came into this potential state finals preview on a seven-game winning streak. 

“On both sides of the field, it was close to the best half we’ve played [this season], but we’ve got better coming, I hope,” said Vona. 

Senior Hayden Frey (three goals, three assists) and sophomore Matt Ward (three goals, assist) traded turns facilitating while senior Brett Williams (two goals, assist) also starred in an incredible first half.

Defensively, L-S didn’t give up an each with long poles Matt Herlihy, Ryan Donlan and Dan Ryan leading the charge, while goalie Trevor Van Leer made 11 saves. 

“Our mids did a great job of stepping out on guys and dictating things,” Ryan said. “I think we went out further than [The Dragons] might have been accustomed to and that made it uncomfortable for them.”

“They had some good looks, they missed the net a few times. They couldn’t find a rhythm today and our defense did a really good job.”

Coming off a narrow 7-5 win over Dual County League rival Concord-Carlisle, the Warriors appeared to be extremely motivated coming into this huge nonleague tilt. 

Duxbury tried to slow the pace of the game and kept it close in similar fashion, but the Warriors were ready for that approach, as they quickly capitalized with goals on their first two possessions and controlled play throughout the contest.

“[Concord-Carlisle] coach [Tom] Dalicandro and his staff always prepare us for these games,” said Vona. “They get us thinking and they slow it down as well, which prepared us really well for [Duxbury]. Those guys make us better every time we play them.”

Riley Bergstrom netted a goal early in the fourth quarter to avoid Duxbury’s first shutout in six years, but this emphatic loss proves that L-S is still head and shoulders above the competition in Massachusetts. 

And unlike their previous two state championship teams, these Warriors don’t depend on superstar athletes to prevail. Instead, they work together, proving that the strength of many can outweigh the efforts of the few.

“We don’t have any studs here, just ask all the pundits, they’ll tell you,” Vona said. “We know we need to share the ball and that’s what we do.”

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