Tag: Duxbury Dragons

Mass HS Lax Recap: Duxbury 10, Needham 8 (Div. I Championship)

By Hayden Bird 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Despite the rain, the weight of unending expectation and implacable opposition from the Needham Rockets, the Duxbury Dragons claimed their ninth boy’s lacrosse state title since 2002 by a 10-8 final score.

Coming into the game, Needham and Duxbury had taken very different paths to reach the state championship. Duxbury (23-2) had cruised in the tournament, never winning a game by less than 10 goals.

Needham (16-6) scrapped every step of the way, including a tight 9-8 win in the quarterfinals over Masconomet.

So the early forecasts for the game skewed heavily in Duxbury’s favor. And at the outset, it seemed that Duxbury would pick up where they had left off against Lincoln-Sudbury, (where they won 18-6).

Charging to a 3-0 lead, the run included two goals from Sam Sweet and one from Jon Gomer.

Gomer, who scored in the semifinals, has found a knack for big-game goals.

“When Jon scores, he does it with style,” said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet.

Needham, bereft of any notion that Duxbury might have an off-night, began to claw their way back in the second quarter.

Goals from Mikey Panepinto and Nico Panepinto brought Needham back into the game by halftime, but Duxbury still led, 6-3.

And though the underdog Rockets trailed, they were spurred on by calming words from their coach Dave Wainwright.

“We just told them to stay calm and relax,” Wainright said of his team’s halftime message.

Yet, the third quarter began badly for Needham, who conceded four goals while only scoring one themselves by Nico Panepinto. Duxbury had tacked on additional goals from Will Siefert, Seamus Connelly, Chris Williams and another from Sweet, who completed his hat trick.

And Henry Narlee, whose face-off dominance has reined supreme in Massachusetts all season, keyed the Duxbury second half run.

“He’s been our unsung hero all season,” Sweet earnestly said of his midfielder following the game.

With the game at 10-4 in favor of Duxbury, it appeared the contest was essentially over.

Yet, Needham had other thoughts. Slowly, but surely, they began finding the net. Four goals in five minutes to begin the fourth quarter made it 10-8 almost out of nowhere.

Duxbury goalie Henry Boungorio could have panicked, having not faced this kind of opposition in the whole playoff run. Still, he kept his nerve.

“I didn’t panic,” said Buongurio. “I know I have a great defense in front of me.”

And Chris Williams, Duxbury’s leader in ground balls, came up with arguably the biggest one of his life when Needham was pressuring late. This all, but iced, yet another state title.

“He’s the scrappiest player we have,” Sweet declared happily afterward. “He’s been that way ever since he was in third grade and he came up big.”

In the end, despite a heroic rally from Needham, the vaunted Duxbury Dragons claimed yet another trophy, causing an eruption of cheers from their fans and players as the final whistle sounded.

Mass HS Lax Recap: Duxbury 18, Lincoln-Sudbury 6

By Hayden Bird 

DUXBURY, MA – In what started as a shootout between two Massachusetts high school lacrosse juggernauts, ended with Duxbury emerging as the definitive victors over Lincoln-Sudbury, 18-6.

After a regular season matchup, which saw traditional powerhouse Duxbury (22-2) struggle to beat the rising Warriors from Lincoln-Sudbury (16-6) by a single goal, the second matchup promised to be a dogfight.

At the outset, Lincoln-Sudbury controlled the face-offs; surprising considering it’s generally the province of Duxbury dominance.

Yet the face-off wins did not initially translate into offense though, and a quick Duxbury counterattack put the home team Dragons into the lead. Duxbury’s Seamus Connelly found Will Siefert to complete a full-field move that took less than 10 seconds, as he deposited the ball into the net for the game’s first goal.

“Today was really a team effort,” said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet.

Still, the early going showed the tenacity that Lincoln-Sudbury has shown all season.

More face-off wins from the away team eventually propelled them toward a first quarter lead. Lincoln-Sudbury attackers Colby Hall and Dan Dalaney silenced the large hometown crowd, seizing a 2-1 lead midway through the opening frame.

And even though Duxbury reclaimed a 4-3 lead by the end of the first, the result was still hanging very much in the balance.

At this point, Duxbury seniors began to take over. Whether or not the difference was senior leadership, (Duxbury has 18 seniors to Lincoln-Sudbury’s three) is impossible to tell.

What is beyond doubt, however, is that Duxbury’s seniors played some of the best lacrosse they may ever play.

“Well, seniors always get it done for Duxbury this time of year,” said Sweet. “Each and every one of them had one of the best games of their career.”

For the entire second quarter, Lincoln-Sudbury did not score and Duxbury began to assert their selves by tallying four unanswered goals to take an 8-3 lead into halftime.

The second half continued Duxbury’s assent in the game, and it started with a turnaround in the face-offs. Henry Narlee scored a third quarter hat trick, and won eight consecutive draws to help Duxbury build a 15-5 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.

In the end, Coach Sweet’s assertion proved accurate in noting, “They’re a great team, but we were just a lot better today.”

The final quarter saw a conclusion of what was team domination by Duxbury. Ten different players scored and goalie Henry Buongorio made key saves to keep the lead comfortable.

“Buongorio came up with some huge saves,” said Sweet in tribute to his steady goalie.

When the final whistle sounded, Duxbury emerged with a 12-point victory and a berth in the state finals.

“We’re certainly going to enjoy this for a little bit, but were going to get right back to work to get ready for Wednesday,” declared Sweet after that game.

Duxbury will face Needham next Wednesday at Harvard University at 7:45pm.

Connelly, Sweet Powered Duxbury’s Attack Against Franklin

By Matt Noonan 

DUXBURY, MA – Head coach Chris Sweet made it quite clear on Wednesday that his entire Duxbury team is a unit, not individuals.

Although, against the Franklin Panthers in the MIAA Div. 1 East quarterfinals, Sweet’s notion wasn’t entirely exhibited, as seniors Seamus Connelly and Sam Sweet fueled the Duxbury attack with eight goals and three assists en route to a 15-3 victory.

“All three of our attackman have developed some good chemistry and Sam is more of a set-up guy and understands that’s his role, and Seamus is a great catch-and-shoot guy, [who] understands his role,” explained Coach Sweet. “They’ve developed some good chemistry, and I hope that can continue into the next round of games.”

Both Sam and Seamus, who have spent the entire season together on attack, expressed that the main reason why the Dragons were so successful against the Panthers was due to their ball movement, which opened lanes for various players to dodge and shoot.

“The whole offense [has to] be moving, and if they’re not then we look bad, so really it’s the other three-four guys out on the field that help us out and help us look good,” said the younger Sweet.

“Our whole offense, obviously Sam in particular was moving the whole time, moving the ball quick and luckily I was able to be on the last end of some of those passes,” said Connelly.

Duxbury also exhibited a 2-2-2 offensive formation for a majority of the first half, which allowed Connelly and Sweet to assist the Dragons attack, especially in the first half.

“We were in a 2-2-2 offense for the most part, so when me or [Will Seifert] dodges from behind, we’re looking to the crease and Seamus is on the crease and he’s got the best hands on the team, and he’s the best finisher,” exclaimed the younger Sweet. “So, we just get it to him, and it’s in the back of the net.”

“It definitely all starts with Sammy and Will Seifert behind the goal, they kind of just do their own thing, and I kind of do my own thing up top with the middies, and we got a couple ankle breakers, so it’s easy to put the ball in the net,” Connelly exclaimed.

The Dragons are now two wins away from earning their second consecutive state championship, and will return to their turf on Saturday when they welcome Lincoln-Sudbury to Duxbury, a team that they barely defeated earlier this season.

“It’s certainly going to be tough. We’ve got L-S, and we beat them by a goal [and] by the skin of our teeth a couple weeks ago, so that’s going to be a huge game, and we’re just going to have to ride our seniors like we always do,” stated Connelly.

“We just have to dig deep. It was a close game last time. We’ve just got to come out strong, come out pumped up and they’re a good team, so it’ll be a battle,” exclaimed the younger Sweet.

VIDEO: Ross Tanner (Franklin) Reflects On His Final High School Lax Game

By Matt Noonan 

DUXBURY, MA – Playing in his final game as a member of the Franklin boy’s varsity lacrosse team, senior attack Ross Tanner concluded his career with two strikes against Duxbury’s sophomore netminder Nick Marrocco in the second half of Wednesday’s MIAA Div. 1 East quarterfinals match.

“I got two open netters, so I’ll take that,” exclaimed Tanner.

After Tanner’s strikes had been recorded, Duxbury responded with two more tallies to secure their lead for good, as the Dragons defeated the Panthers, 15-3.

Yet, despite the loss, Tanner exclaimed that his team was focused on earning a spot in the quarterfinals, especially since the senior class hadn’t made it that far in past tournaments.

“We set our goals to get [to the quarterfinals], and that’s what we did,” Tanner said. “We took down Mansfield, [which] was a tough game, blew them out a little more than we thought we were going to, but we got the win, [and advanced to Duxbury].”

Franklin, which ended its 2012 campaign 16-5, will graduate eight seniors, but return 22 underclassmen next season. And even though Tanner ended his senior year without a trophy, he explained that it was still a fun final season with the Panthers.

“It was a great senior year. I’ve never gotten this far [because] the last two years, we’ve been knocked out in the first round, so to get to the third round [was] kind of enlightening”

Mass High School Lax Recap: Duxbury 15, Franklin 3

By Hayden Bird 

DUXBURY, MA – In yet another display of force, the Duxbury high school boy’s lacrosse team downed Franklin to reach the state semi finals, 15-3.

In what was essentially uncharted territory for Franklin’s senior class, which hasn’t made it this far in the state lacrosse tournament, they came in riding an impressive 16-5 record.

Yet from the opening faceoff, it became eminently clear that Duxbury was not in the mood for upsets.

The Dragons (21-2) stormed into the game with five unanswered first period goals.

No respite came for the away team in the second quarter either, as players like Seamus Connelly, Sam Sweet and Henry Narlee continued to dominate.

As always, the key to Duxbury’s success came from their preparation.

“We had a good week of practice and we had Franklin scouted,” noted Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet. “So we came in very confident and I think that showed right off the bat.”

By halftime, the score stood at a lopsided 9-0 for Duxbury.

Duxbury senior Seamus Connelly powered the Dragons offense with six goals. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for Noontime Sports)

Even with key players like Max Randall out, and others still trying to return from injury; Coach Sweet and his team haven’t missed a step.

“That shows our depth. It’s kind of a logjam of good players,” said Sweet. “Max Randall was out today, but he’ll be back on Saturday.”

Duxbury now moves onto the semi finals against Lincoln-Sudbury this Saturday. The game will be played in Duxbury at 2pm.

Franklin coach Lou Verrochi expressed his thoughts on the year ending for his team by saying, “I’m sad to see it go, but Duxbury is just in a class of their own.”

He then gave a nod to departing seniors by saying, “I can’t say enough about them. They’ve been four-year starters, some of them, and you know they’ve had a great career. I’m going to miss them. It’s going to be tough to replace them, but we’re young.”