ALLSTON, Mass. -- It seemed like nothing could end the thrilling Division 2 semifinal between Beverly and Hingham.
The teams played through an intense rainstorm in the third quarter and ended regulation tied. However, after an additional 2:25 the end came when Hingham's Matt Rosso dodged left around a defender and put the ball in the cage to give the Harbormen a 9-8 win.
The win advanced Hingham through to Saturday's state championship game. The Harbormen will play either Medfield or Shrewsbury.
“My midfield line was all popping on the sideline,” Rosso said. “We were saying this was our time to get something done. It was one of the most exciting moments of my lacrosse career.”
Rosso's goal was the cherry on a madcap finish that saw Beverly score twice in the final 2:30, including a seeing-eye goal from Ian Butler with 16 seconds left in regulation to get the game to overtime.
“We obviously didn't help ourselves in the last two minutes, but that's a credit to them,” Hingham coach John Todd said. “They did what we did [last] year to claw back and take advantage of our mistakes. They're a great program, and John does a great job.”
The game started with a staring contest as the teams traded goals through the first quarter. Down 3-2 entering the second quarter the Harbormen scored the first three goals of the period to go up 5-3. Beverly would tie the score three more times but never retake the lead.
The Harbormen ran their offense with their depth. Five different players scored for Hingham including Jacob Brodie who had a hat trick. Hingham's depth allowed for players big and small to shine.
“Kevin Shoyer, helluva’ game,” Brodie said. “He had a couple big ground balls, held the ball for us, killed a couple penalties. Those are the small things that really count.”
Mark O'Rourke had a pair of goals for the Harbormen and Pat Burke added a pair of his own.
Beverly, which had scored 10 or more goals 13 times this season, was stifled for long stretches by Hingham's defense. The precise slides by the long poles, combined with Santilli's goaltending, kept the Panthers at bay. Hingham held Beverly to one goal over a span of 24:37 that stretch from the end of the first quarter into the fourth quarter.
“I think our defense really picked it up,” Brodie said. “They've carried us the entire season. Jack Rice, Johnny Miela, Brendan Morris, Jack Santilli every single one of those boys played a helluva game, helluva season. They're the reason why we're here. Our offense, yes they helped us, but the defense carried our season.”
Despite the loss, Beverly's star was Kevin Lally. The Umass-Lowell bound senior goalie played up to the moment turning aside 11 shots and anchoring Beverly's clearing game.
“That kid was a wall the entire game,” Rosso said. “It took a shot like that a couple yards away from the net to get anything past him. We knew we weren't going to win with 15-yard, wind-up shots so we definitely wanted to get the ball as close to the crease as we could before we let it go.”
Nick Albano had a goal and two assists for the Panthers. In his final high school game Matt Page had two goals for Beverly. Sophomore attackman Hunter Spencer also had a pair for Beverly.