Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lincoln-Sudbury Outlasts Reading to Make D1 North Final

By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)

SUDBURY, Mass. – For the third consecutive year, Reading ran into a buzzsaw in the form of the Lincoln-Sudbury boys’ lacrosse dynasty. 

And for the third straight year, the Warriors were tested by Reading, but in the Division 1 North semifinals on Wednesday, they were able to pull away in the second half for a relatively comfortable 14-8 victory. 

The two-time defending state champions extended their in-state winning streak to 53 games and advance to face Dual County League rival Acton-Boxborough in the D1 North finals, to be held at Harvard Coliseum next Wednesday, June 14.

“[Reading] made us think all day on defense and played a great team game today,” said Warriors head coach Brian Vona. “They were prepared for us.”

After falling behind 5-1 early in the second quarter, Dan Cranitch and Mike Tobin (3 goals) netted two goals apiece for Reading to trim the deficit to 6-5. 

All the momentum seemed to belong to the Rockets (16-4) until a Jack Sutherland goal with nine seconds left in the second quarter to put L-S up 7-5 heading into the break.

In the second half, Tobin recovered a bouncing ball right off the opening faceoff to make it a 7-6 game, but Lincoln-Sudbury (17-1) took over from there.

The Warriors leaned on the familiar senior trio of Hayden Frey (3 goals, assist), Jack Sutherland (5 goals, 2 assists), and Brett Williams (goal, assist) that has carried their offense all year.

“When those kids were freshman they just wouldn’t go away,” Vona said about his senior trio. “They got their heads torn off every day in practice and they just got up and what you’re seeing is a depth of character from those kids. I’m happy for them, because they’ve worked hard to make their success happen.”

Sophomore attack Matt Ward (4 goals, assist) was also a huge part of a vaunted Warriors that seems to be firing on all cylinders during their quest for a three-peat, while senior captain Junior Almeida won 17 of 26 draws at the faceoff X. 

“Matty [Ward], Brett [Williams] and Hayden [Frey] are brothers to me,” said Sutherland. “We know where each other are going to be and it’s a blast playing with each other.”

Sutherland was clutch for the Warriors in scoring a goal in the final minute of the first quarter, adding a tally late in the second and providing a bouncing shot to beat Reading goalie C.J. Hart (14 saves) to make it 8-6 Warriors midway through the third.

That seemed to open the floodgates, as Sutherland found Frey for a goal a couple minutes late and L-S went on a 5-1 run to take a 12-7 advantage that proved to be enough for the win. 

“[Reading] made us think all day on defense and played a great team game today,” praised Vona. “They were prepared for us, but we just talked about trusting the training these kids have put in all year and they were ready for this.”

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