NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Two days after one of Duxbury lacrosse’s wildest contests of the season, the No. 1 Dragons once again found themselves behind the 8-ball.
But Duxbury constructed a three-goal rally early in the first half, which helped them go on to defeat Needham, 11-7, at Memorial Field Saturday night.
“We want to get back to playing Duxbury lacrosse, and we’ve had a tough schedule [because] we’ve had a game every other day for about three weeks," Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet said. "But I thought we played a great second half, we got off to a slow start in the first half, and sometimes that just happens."
The Rockets, who jumped out to a stunning 3-1 lead in the first quarter, struggled to maintain their two-goal advantage, as missed shots, passes and ground balls opened the door for the Dragons attack and midfield to tally four unanswered goals before intermission.
Senior Sam Sweet (2 G) tied the game at 7:10 of the second quarter after collecting a pass from senior Paul Hellar (2A). Senior Adam Fitzgerald and junior Henry Narlee (2G) then upped the Dragons' lead to 5-3.
“Coach Sweet, one thing he stresses is always get ahead of the ball, and never give up on the play, so once I won the face-off, I saw Reilly [Naton] had the ball, and I just tried to get in front of everybody and beat my defender," Narlee said of his second quarter strike. "I beat him, [my defender] and luckily got the shot off, so I thought it was nothing special, but I just had to get in front and do the fundamentals."
Duxbury, which managed to tally two strikes in the third, ramped up its intensity during the final quarter, as the Dragons' defense initiated four transition goals to secure their 10th victory.
Senior Will Siefert (4 G, 2A), who was responsible for three of his team’s final strikes, set up shop to the left side of senior Lucas Davis’ cage during the fourth quarter and was able to finish Duxbury's transitions with three consecutive tallies.
“In the fourth quarter we stuck together, and we just started to pick it up, started winning ground balls, and got us the possessions that we needed, so it helped us get the goals,” Siefert said. “My buddy, Sam [Sweet], we’ve played together for a while, and he always finds me there [on] the backside, so I just camp out there and wait for the ball, and try to finish it.”
“I think it starts at the defensive end. We get the ball off the ground, then we get a couple of quick passes, and get into transition, and then once we get a little bit of space, our attack man are pretty good at moving the ball and finding the open guy,” Chris Sweet added.
Senior Jamie McGill and junior Nico Panepinto registered Needham’s final goals with two minutes remaining, but their rally was cut short after Duxbury secured the ball on the ensuing possession, and drained the clock with various passes.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” Needham head coach Dave Wainwright said. “We put this on our schedule because we wanted to see where we were at the midpoint of the season, and this is exactly the midpoint. This is game nine for us out of 18, and the fact that we’re at this point right here, we feel as though we’ve got room to grow, but we’ve done a lot of good things along the way.”
“This was a game that we look at the outcome of the score, we’re not happy with it, but we feel as though we can answer some of those problems,” added Wainwright. “We definitely have some talented young men that work real hard and I think they’re going to be ready once it becomes tournament time because we have another half of the season to grow.”