Boston High School: Brendan Lovely

D2 lacrosse: Foxborough 8, Walpole 7

May, 29, 2013
WALPOLE, Mass. – Walking away from an 8-7 win over Walpole in a Division 2 tournament preliminary round matchup, Foxborough head coach Matt Noone referred to his team as the “Road Warriors.”

His Warriors have proved themselves a worthy adversary on the road during the regular season, and they were want to continue the trend on Tuesday facing the Rebels. They ran with it.

“We took the adversity, we took the seed, and we went, ‘alright, let’s prove what we can do,’” Noone said.

Despite trailing the Rebels 5-3 at half, Foxborough (13-7) pulled ahead in the third on the backs of attackmen Tyler Ames and Kyle Sperzel, who both tallied hat tricks.

Yet, it all came down to the defense, as Walpole (11-8) made it a one-goal game late in the fourth. In the final minute, with possession and coming out of a timeout, the Rebels cycled the ball around the attacking zone, looking for attack Chris Frye, who’d already scored five goals (for six points) on the afternoon. With less than 30 seconds to play, Warriors senior pole Ryan Smith sealed the victory, forcing a Rebels turnover with a deft stick check.

While the Rebels – in particular Frye – were able to get theirs, the Warriors held (just enough) when it counted most.

“Nice little slap check there,” Noone said of Smith’s crucial defensive play. “I had Brendan [Lovely] on [Frye] at the beginning of the game, but Brendan was a little too aggressive on him. So I wanted to change it. Lukey [Valenza] ended up on him for a while in the third quarter and then Ryan ended up on him.”

However, the defensive struggle against the Rebels began even before the game’s start, with Foxborough’s coaching staff implementing a zone defense.

“We knew they like the inverts, so we put a zone in today and I think our zone did well today,” Noone added.

It was a bittersweet end for the Rebels, in particular Frye – a 60-goal scorer this year who ended the season with a dazzling display of skill and a pure nose for the cage.

“It was a game of runs,” Rebels head coach Jason Andalo said. “We made ours early, they made theirs late and we came up one short.”
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Here are a smattering of thoughts from No. 25 Foxborough’s 10-2 non-league win over Barnstable on Friday morning:

The Warriors (2-0) are built from the crease out, with ESPN Boston All-State goaltender Greg Stamatov leading the way. However, against the Red Raiders (1-2), Foxborough’s defenders were able to eliminate any kind of possession game for Barnstable early, and conversely were able to set up their own offense.

Long poles Conor Lynch, Al Noonan (4 ground balls) and Luc Valenza, along with long-stick middie Brenden Lovely (4 GB) bottled up the Red Raider attacks’ dodges and were able to use their speed to capitalize on Barnstable’s turnovers.

Foxborough head coach Matt Noone lost a bunch of key offensive contributors to graduation from last year’s squad, so the offense has been a work in progress during the early weeks.

The Warriors displayed their skill against Barnstable though, particularly on Mike Campbell’s dazzling third-quarter goal, scored nearly with his back to cage off a dodge. Campbell netted a hat trick along with fellow attack Tyler Ames.

Midfielder Anthony Fertita also had a three-point game with two goals and an assist.

“Right now, our defense is strong and our offense has come along, but that’s natural for the offense to be a little behind the defense this early in the season,” Noone said. “But we have guys that stepped up today. Mikey Campbell stepped up on attack and obviously Greg Stamatov in goal is just great.”

After some early season shockers, it looks as through the Hockomock League title are very much up for grabs.

Noone was in agreement.

“I think [the league] is wide open,” he said. “Obviously, Franklin and Foxborough have had a mark on their backs with us winning the small Hock and Franklin winning the big Hock. But the other day Mansfield beat Franklin and North Attleborough beat King Philip.

“For now, we’re just worrying about what we can do here in Foxborough.”