Boston High School: Brenden Finigan
April, 22, 2012
By Ryan Kilian | ESPNBoston.com
Ryan Kilian for ESPN.comWELLESLEY, Mass. -- Concord-Carlisle got a spectacular defensive effort and timely and effective offensive possessions to defeat fellow Division 2 power Wellesley 8-4 on Saturday in the finals of the 2012 Coaches Challenge Cup.
Concord-Carlisle (6-0) got out to a 6-1 halftime lead and never looked back as they moved the ball efficiently on offense, received strong net play from senior goalie Doug Gouchoe and added great rotational team defense in the second half to seal the victory.
“It has been a great week,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said.” The defense was awesome. “I knew Doug [Gouchoe] would be Doug but I am very impressed with the defense led by Henry [Bumpus]. Henry is the only one back and the other guys played JV last year. Evan Boynton was a short stick d-middie and Sam Barrett transferred back in.”
Wellesley (5-2) got on the board first to open the game as senior midfielder Oliver Saffery scored the first of his two goals on the day to give Wellesley a 1-0 lead. Concord-Carlisle would answer back with six unanswered tallies, including two man-up goals in the second quarter, to take a five goal lead into the half.
“This week we have come out so strong in the first two quarters,” Gouchoe said. “It is up to the defense to preserve that lead. Our offense has proved they can come out and score 8-9 goals now and that is big for our defense.”
Saffery would strike again out of the break for the Red Raiders on a man-up rip to cut the C-C lead to 6-2. Wellesley senior goalie Connor Darcey made 12 saves on the day with four coming in Wellesley’s third quarter shutout.
Trailing 6-2 heading into the fourth quarter Wellesley buckled down on defense and cut the lead to 6-3 as they held C-C scoreless for a 20-minute period before C-C senior attack Mike O’Brien beat the Wellesley defense on a great individual effort to ensure the win for the Patriots.
“We have to play smart,” said O’Brien. “We are not the flashiest players but we have a lot of kids who work hard and are smart with the ball. When we play well we are a really hard team beat.”
Wellesley also received strong play from senior long stick midfielder Ryan Cassidy, who excelled all tournament long for the Red Raiders. The senior followed up a huge semi-final effort in a win over Winchester with another strong performance on Saturday.
“It was great team win,” said C-C’s Bumpus. “We are playing smart and that has been what is getting us ahead in these teams. We do not make mistakes and that is what led to the Coaches Cup win.”
C-C freshman attack Will Blumenberg and junior attack Tim Badgley each scored twice for Concord-Carlisle in the win.
“Our offense starts with our defense,” senior attack Jackson Finigan said. “Without our defense we would not get as many opportunities for our offense. Our defense transitions the ball so well and gives us so many chances. We know that even if we do not get it the first time we are going to get the ball back.”
D-MIDDIES IN FOCUS
As good as Gouchoe and C-C’s close defense was on the day the most unheralded work was done by the d-midfield unit of seniors Tyler Koning (1 G), Anthony West, junior Brendan Finigan and sophomore Nick McCormack.
“Those guys played JV last year,” Dalicandro said. “Brendan, Tyler, Westy, and Nick was even on the freshman team. They all did a great job today.”
The 2012 finals was a rematch of the 2011 Coaches Challenge Cup finals that was held in Winchester. Wellesley defeated C-C 5-2 on a rain soaked Saturday afternoon to win the Cup for Wellesley.
Darcey was the star of last year’s game as the Penn-State bound net minder had 15 saves in the win.
After Saturday’s game Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty graciously handed the trophy over to Concord-Carlisle.
“Concord-Carlisle deserves this trophy,” said Batty after the game as he presented the Cup to C-C. “You won with class and if we are lucky we will get to play you again in June.”
HINGHAM TAKES CONSOLATION
In the third place game Hingham defeated Winchester 9-5 behind four goals from senior attack Noah Ellis and two goals from senior attack Kevin Blair.
Hingham led 7-2 at the half but Winchester stormed back in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 8-5. Hingham midfielder Caleb Brodie would score the lone fourth quarter goal as the Harbormen take home third place in the Coaches Cup.
Lincoln-Sudbury defeated Andover 9-6 and Dover-Sherborn defeated North Andover 6-4 in the first two Coaches Cup consolation games of the day.