Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Longmeadow Edges Dynastic Medfield in D2 State Semifinal

By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)

CONCORD - Suffering a 15-3 loss to Lincoln-Sudbury on May 6 served as a bit of a wake-up call for the Longmeadow boys’ lacrosse team.

The Lancers proceeded to win 11 straight after that blowout en route to a Division 2 state semifinals matchup against another powerhouse program in Medfield, and continued their hot streak with a 13-9 victory over the three-time defending D2 state champions at Concord-Carlisle High. 

“You never have success out of another success, it comes out of failure,” said Longmeadow head coach Keith Campbell. “We had a big failure [against L-S] and I think it helped the coaching staff and players refocus on our goals. Adversity not only builds character, it shows your character, and these guys are young, but they have character.”

Led by hat tricks from juniors Spencer Robbins, Noah Skole, and sophomore John Barron the Lancers (21-3) held off a resilient Medfield team to make the state finals for the first time since 2013. 

Senior goalie Joshua Zak made 11 saves for the Lancers, while All-American pole Patrick Abad spearheaded a stellar defensive effort to prevent another dramatic comeback from the Warriors.

Medfield (15-7), which rallied back from a five-goal deficit to defeat Walpole in a 13-12 overtime thriller during the D2 Central/East final last Saturday, fell behind early again, as Longmeadow took control of the game with a 6-1 run over the final 13 minutes of the first half. 

The play of Barron and Samuel Byrne (goal) at the faceoff X played a huge role in the Lancers run, as they were able to win 7 of the first 8 draws, while Barron finished 24-for-26 on his draws for the day.

“I think we wore [The Raiders] down by rotating at the X,” said Campbell. “We knew it was going to be the difference and it ended up being the difference.”

The Warriors crept to within a goal when freshman Jack McCordic (two goals, two assists) scored with 8 minutes left to make it 10-9, but the Lancers responded with Barron (two goals, assist) finding junior midfielder Clayton Moseman for a key score to stop the Medfield run and effectively mark the momentary end of a dynasty.

We weren’t looking at this like a reign, or defending anything,” said Medfield head coach John Isaf. “This team was looking for a championship like any team and these guys gave it everything they had.”

“You have to give credit to Longmeadow,” Isaf continued. “That’s a really talented, well-coached team and we knew they weren’t going away.”

Longmeadow advances to face the winner of tomorrow night’s North/South semifinal between Beverly (13-9) and Hingham (21-3) in the D2 state final Saturday at Boston University’s Nickerson Field.

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