SUDBURY, Mass. – Mired in a dogfight with Dual County League rival Acton-Boxborough Tuesday, No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury had an opportunity to send the Colonials home in regulation. With possession on the wing, coming out of a timeout, the Warriors worked a set play, only to see A-B longstick Mike Duggan block a shot as time ran out in the fourth quarter.
The teams were tied, 13-13.
Chris Giorgio made sure there wouldn’t be a repeat scenario in the overtime period, notching his second goal of the game off a set play and lifting the Warriors to a win in their season opener.
“It was a great job by the defense, getting the ball away from them and setting up our offense,” said the junior, who’s moved up from the defensive midfield this season. “[Coach Brian Vona] told us to hold the ball and not push it too hard, be safe, possess the ball and then if you find a chance, go for it.”
The fact remained that No. 11 A-B (1-1) was fortunate merely to stay in the game after L-S (1-0) used a four-goal second quarter to take a 9-5 lead to the half.
In the third, the momentum swung swiftly in the opposite direction though, as the Colonials ripped off four straight goals in a six-minute period of the third to tie the game, 10-10.
“They were amazing, they were not stopping at all,” Giorgio said of A-B’s comeback effort. “They were getting ground balls, they were more physical than us in the third quarter and I think that’s what basically got them through it.”
The Colonials held two separate leads in the fourth quarter, thanks to three goals in the period by Tyler McKelvie (5 G). L-S knotted the score at 13-all on Matt Hall’s fifth goal of the game, scored with 1:57 remaining.
WE ARE YOUNG, SO WE SET THE WORLD ON FIRE
The Warriors were ravaged by injuries last season, but their depth was evident in the fact that they still made the Division 1 tournament quarterfinals.
During last year’s stretch run, a good number of L-S’s underclassmen were pressed into service either earlier or perhaps relied upon more than otherwise would have been anticipated.
It might just make this year’s team all that much better in the long run.
“We have a bunch of juniors and sophomores who have really stepped up and practiced hard.”
ESPN Boston preseason All-State teamer Dan Delaney contributed a seven-point game (3 G, 4 A) Tuesday after he was called upon to take a larger role in the offense last year as a sophomore. He’s part of a deep and talented junior class this year, that’s a big reason why the Warriors started the season at the No. 2 position in our poll.
“Dan Delaney was a beast for us at the end, along with Henry Guild, a junior, Matt Hall, another junior, Jordan Dow’s a junior. Those guys have come together," Vona said.
DCL A CONFERENCE TO WATCH
If Tuesday’s matchup is any indication, the DCL should be an absolute maelstrom.
In addition to the Warriors and Colonials, the DCL should be well represented in our Top 25 poll through the year and into the postseason. With a much improved Westford Academy squad coming in, in addition to perennial power Concord-Carlisle and defending Division 3 state champion Weston in the small division, expect a lot of rock ‘em, sock ‘em throughout the league schedule.
“That’s a great team that deserves a lot of respect around the state this year,” Vona said of A-B after Tuesday’s game.
The road doesn’t get any easier from here for the Colonials either, who travel to play the Grey Ghosts on Thursday, in a stretch of three straight Top 25 opponents to start the season.
“Westford’s legit, they’ve got a good midfield and a good attack, too,” A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia said. “It’s going to be another tough test.”