ALLSTON, Mass. – Dover-Sherborn dominated the first half, but needed several late goals to hold off a furious comeback by the top seed Cohasset to claim the D3 boys’ lacrosse state title with a 12-10 victory on Wednesday evening at Harvard Stadium.
It was the Raiders’ second consecutive state title.
“That’s a tough team, they battled hard there and another five minutes, who knows what happens,” said D-S head coach Brian McLaughlin after the trophy presentation.
The Raiders jumped out to a 6-2 lead after the first quarter thanks to a potent offensive attack led by Brandon Jaeger, who had a goal and an assist in the period, and sophomore Matt Davies, who had two of his three goals in the first.
The Raiders seemed to score every trip down field, but starting in the second quarter Cohasset began preventing the Raiders from getting inside and limiting the chances. In the third quarter, the Skippers started chipping away at the lead.
Willem Golden scored twice for Cohasset in the second half and John Mills added a goal as the Skippers cut the lead to 8-6 with 22.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Just when it seemed like Cohasset had taken the momentum, D-S answered with two backbreaking goals.
Matt Huemme ripped in a goal with only four seconds left in the third and, seven seconds into the fourth quarter, Keaton Stoner won the face-off and raced down the middle to make it 11-6. McLaughlin credited the return of his senior face-off man as one of the major factors in his team returning to Harvard Stadium.
“Keaton [Stoner] was awesome on the face-offs, got us a nice goal late and got us a fastbreak goal,” he remarked. “That helped us a lot because their defense, after the start, really shut us down.”
Cohasset continued to press and score goals, including Cole Kissick’s second of the night and a goal by Jeff Powers in the final minute that made it 12-10. The Skippers had another chance but a turnover finished the Cohasset rally.
D-S senior goaltender Ryan Goodall was full of praise for his opponents.
He said, “Our defense is pretty awesome the way it is…the fact that they scored 10 goals is a testament to how good Cohasset is.”
Jaeger focused on the strength of the Cohasset defense and its ability to turn the tide against the strong Raiders attack.
“We ran all our plays, scored on most of them; then they came out in the second half and jumped all our plays,” he explained. “We had to zip the ball around more until they went to a man-to-man and we could run our regular offense.”
In the end, the Raiders had enough for the victory and, after a long wait for the first, D-S celebrated with two fingers raised, as they brought home its second championship in a row.
McLaughlin will not be resting on his laurels, however.
He commented, “We have a lot of young, talented kids coming up, so you keep working at it, keep working hard. Cohasset is a young team, so I imagine they’ll be in the mix again next year. They’re good; that was a tough game.”