Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hingham ends Lincoln-Sudbury's MA Win Streak; North Andover tops Winchester in Coaches Cup Semis

Hingham became the first Massachusetts team to beat powerful Lincoln-Sudbury in over 1,400 days.
By Michael Abelson (@ABELS0N)

Andover, Mass. - By Michael Abelson

Before yesterday, the Lincoln-Sudbury boys' lacrosse team hadn’t lost a game to a team from Massachusetts in 1,411 days, a streak that stretched 57 games and three Division 1 state championships.

That streak was snapped Saturday, as the Hingham Harbormen scored the only two goals of the fourth quarter to defeat the Warriors, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Coaches Cup at Andover High School.

It was Hingham’s first win over Lincoln-Sudbury since 2011. The Warriors had won the previous three meetings.

“This is what this tournament was built on, great teams getting together and facing off on a day like today,” Hingham coach John Todd said. “It’s a stepping stone for both of us. We’re happy with the win. We played a very good lacrosse against arguably the best team in the state for a long time.”

The Harbormen won on the back of their defense. L-S fired 33 shots, but only 14 made it on cage. That was due to Hingham’s poles pressing smartly and sliding well from start to finish. Hingham held the Warriors scoreless for the final 22:08 of the game.

When the ball did make it to cage, sophomore goalie George Egan was up to the task. Egan turned aside 10 Lincoln-Sudbury shots, including three in the final period.

“Honestly, the last six games the defense hasn’t stepped up to the plate,” senior longpole Nate Bosnian said. “We haven’t finished through games. Today you can see by the score that the D stepped up. We let four goals in. I’m more than happy with that.”

Despite the game being tied at two, three, and four, the Harbormen never trailed. Tommy Welch scored 19 seconds into the game to set the tone, and Hingham kept up that tempo throughout. Hingham also dominated the hustle plays, winning faceoffs 12-2 and ground balls 26-17.

Six players scored for the Harbormen.

“That’s kind of what we do all day long,” Todd said. “It doesn’t surprise me because of the unselfish behavior and the way they play.”

Junior Matt Ward had a pair of goals for the Warriors, but L-S couldn’t find a consistent rhythm offensively. The Warriors rang the post four times, including twice in the fourth.

“They played great today,” Lincoln-Sudbury coach Brian Vona said. “[Egan] was the player of the game. He made five or six really key saves. We made more mistakes than they did, and they capitalized on them. I’m happy for those guys. If we’re going to lose in that type of game, we’re going to lose to a team like that.”


Earlier in the day in the first Coaches Cup semifinal, the North Andover Scarlet Knights came back from an early 3-0 hole to defeat Winchester 10-6.

The Knights gave up the first three goals of the game but cruised past the Sachems in the second half thanks to a six-goal third quarter.

Down 4-2 early in the third, the Knights rattled off five straight to take a 7-4 lead and never looked back. North Andover was led by a hat trick from Steve Ferullo. Ferullo’s third goal, eight minutes into the third quarter, put the Knights ahead for good. Winchester was led offensively by two goals from senior attackman Jack Carpini and a goal and an assist from sophomore middie Grant Murray.

“We just bought in,” Ferullo said. “Every time Mike [Roche] was driving four people were on him. We knew if we moved the ball to X, and around, people would have stepdowns.”

Roche had a pair of goals for the Knights and fellow senior Zach Keating added a pair as well. Jack Chance had a pair of assists. In total, six Knights registered a point.

“We got to be unselfish,” North Andover coach Ryan Connolly said. “When guys try to focus in on Roche, guys see the stats and know what he does, when we open the ball up we have a lot of other guys that can hurt them. I think that’s what came in, like Steve today.”

After shooting 18 percent in the first half the Knights figured out the Winchester defense and shot 47 percent from the field after intermission. The Sachems had no response for the Knights.

“Our game plan going in was to take away their midfield alley dodges,” Winchester coach John Pirani said. “When we did that we really did that. To Ryan’s credit they made an adjustment and started distributing the ball to the attackmen across the formation. What we were doing was flooding their frontside with our backside of defense. In the second half they were feeding the attackmen and it made all the difference in the world.”

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