Duxbury waltzes past Billerica in D1 semifinal

BILLERICA, Mass. -- After suffering a knee injury in the early part of the season, Duxbury’s Will Siefert made his return to the lineup in the Green Dragons regular season victory over Billerica but was limited to a role on the man-up unit.

Siefert played a far bigger role for the Dragons when the two teams met again, scoring four times to go with three assists and keying a first-half surge that helped propel No. 3 Duxbury to a 19-9 triumph over No. 2 Billerica in the Div. 1 state semifinals at Marshall Middle School.

“We can put him anywhere and he’s going to play well,” said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet in praise of Siefert. “As the season’s gone on, he’s gotten stronger and stronger. We thought back before the game that Will’s first game back after a knee injury was up here on this field earlier in the season when we had him just playing man up so he was excited to play and he showed it.”

Siefert assisted on two of the Dragons first three goals, then closed a back-and-forth opening quarter with a pretty goal in a 1-on-1 with Billerica (20-3) goalie D.J. Smith that put Duxbury (18-3) ahead for good at 4-3.

He added another goal and an assist in the second as Duxbury built an 11-4 lead at the break and added two more scores in the second half.

“What we were doing was we were moving the ball quick,” Siefert said. “We really needed to get that extra pass. Whoever picked up the ground ball, we talked about finding that first guy, run to the sideline and give it to him. I felt like we did that all day and we dominated ground balls and it really helped us out.”

Junior Paul Hellar also had a huge game for Duxbury, scoring five times to go with a pair of assists. Sam Sweet added a hat trick, Bryan Barry two goals and two assist, and Kane Haffey also scored twice. All told, eight Dragons found the back of the cage in the game, thanks in great part to the work of Henry Narlee on faceoffs.

At the other end, junior goalie Henry Buonagurio made several key stops that kickstarted several transition opportunities and completely swung the momentum of the game over to the Duxbury sideline.

Defenseman Max Randall also turned in a spectacular performance, shadowing Indians star Grant Whiteway and holding the state’s single-season scoring record holder to just one goal.

“Defense is a team effort,” Sweet said. “Grant’s had an unbelievable, unprecedented career. He’s a warrior. Max Randall has covered for the last three years and I think head to head, game in and game out, Max has proven himself to be one heck of a defenseman and today was no exception. Max did a great job.”

Added Billerica coach Craig Flynn on Buonagurio’s effort, “It gives them the momentum. They are a great team. They don’t do anything special out there. Xs and Os wise they just play lacrosse, disciplined lacrosse. Well coached and they have some great players out there. You have to give them credit. They didn’t make any mistakes out there offensive or defensively.”