Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Littleton Runs Away from Groton-Dunstable in D3 C/E Semifinals

By Ryan Bowman (@_ryanbowman_)

CONCORD - Looking to avenge an early season loss, the Littleton Tigers came out in the D3 C/E semifinals firing on all cylinders.

The Tigers easily took care of the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders, winning 13-4 for a spot in the sectional final. It would be hard to point to one specific area Littleton bested the Crusaders today, since the Tigers were pretty much better in all phases.

Because of Danny Angell and Anthony Rausa, among others, the Crusader defense simply could not keep up with the wide array of offense from the Tigers.

Within the first few minutes, the game was already feeling like it could develop into a one-sided affair. Rausa scored a hat trick less than six minutes into the first quarter of the game. The Tigers dominated possession in the first quarter, only allowing a few attacks from the Crusaders that ended scoreless.

Freshman goalie Brandon Witherell recorded four saves in the first quarter alone, and helped turn defense into offense. Angell added to the scoring with a hat trick of his own, and by the end of the first quarter Littleton was ahead 7-0.

The Crusaders were able to open the second quarter with a goal from Blake Lacombe on the man up, but that would be their only score of the half. Sophomore Brendan Collari added to the Tigers' scoring, and at the half Littleton led 8-1.

The Tigers were dominating on both ends of the field with their attack seemingly scoring at will, and their defense shutting down the Crusaders attack. Even when Littleton did not score on a possession, they kept the ball for a few minutes each time down, wearing down the Crusaders defense and eating into their morale.

The second half opened with goals from William Scott and Angell, and suddenly the Littleton lead was at 9. Groton Dunstable responded with 2 goals from Cameron Battles and Blake Lacombe to keep the lead at 7 by the end of the third-quarter. The fourth quarter was dominated by the Tigers, who controlled possession, only taking shots when necessary. The Tigers ran out the last few minutes of the game and stormed their freshman goalie when the horn sounded.

Littleton is one of the best teams in D3 lacrosse, and certainly proved it with Wednesday's win. The way the Tigers dominated possession from the get-go was exciting to watch, and you were always expecting a goal when they had the ball. 

A match up with reigning state champion Dover-Sherborn is set for Saturday in the D3 C/E finals, where the two explosive offenses will clash. Littleton's defense was not really tested today and it will be interesting to see how they can deal with Dover-Sherborn and North Carolina commit Bailey Laidman on Saturday.

If Littleton wants to emerge victorious, it is going to need a solid showing on defense, combined with explosiveness on attack led by Rausa and Angell.

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