Boston High School: Charlie Hardy

Recap: No. 8 Concord-Carlisle 9, No. 16 Reading 7

May, 23, 2013
READING, Mass. – No. 8 Concord-Carlisle lacrosse stormed out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back as they defeated No. 16 Reading, 9-7, behind an intelligent and disciplined defensive effort.

Despite a furious second-half comeback, Reading (16-2) cou;d not overcome a six-goal second half deficit on Wednesday in both team’s final tune-up before post-season play begins next week.

[+] EnlargeBrozowski
Ryan Kilian for ESPNConcord-Carlisle long-stick midfielder Nick Brozowski collected eight ground balls in the Patriots' 9-7 win over Reading.
The Patriots would maintain their 5-0 lead through the second quarter and in to the half as their senior defensive unit of Evan Boynton, Sam Barrett and Javier Flores did an excellent job of containing the explosive Reading attack unit.

“This is the best we have played defensively,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said after the game. “I was really worried about the match-up because the have three really good attackmen. Sam Barrett had his best game of the year for us today and Evan [Boynton] and Javy [Flores] also played well. They are three all-league kids on defense and I think they rose to the occasion today.”

Don’t look now but the defending Division 2 state champion Patriots (12-5) have won four games in a row and seven of their last eight, including wins over Lincoln-Sudbury and now Reading, as they head into tournament play with plenty of momentum.

“We feel really good about ourselves,” Dalicandro said. “I think we can compete with anyone but we need to do the three key things we talk about. We need to value and share the ball, play great team defense and get saves from our goalie.”

Concord-Carlisle completely dominated the start of the game and led 6-0 until 2:58 on the clock in the third quarter when Greg Connery would score the Rockets’ first goal of the game.

Reading goalie Matt Comerford (10 saves) would then come up with a big save as the clock ticked down in the third quarter and Conor Frazier would take a deep outlet and find Charlie Colvin (2 Goals) for a goal with point-one seconds remaining on the clock.

Trailing 6-2 heading into the final quarter of play, Reading would come to life and begin to get out in the open field as they would cut the Concord-Carlisle lead to 8-4 with 6:36 to play.

“We want to play our style of lacrosse,” Reading head coach Charlie Hardy said. “We are a little more run and gun and we want to get out in transition.”

After Reading (16-2) started to seize momentum, Concord-Carlisle attack Tim Badgley (2G, 1A) would score and important ninth goal with 5:40 on the clock to give Concord-Carlisle a 9-4 lead.

Reading would not let down, however, as Charlie Colvin, Mark Dente and Eric O’Brien all netted goals to cut the C-C lead to 9-7 with one minute remaining in the game.

“I think the kids put a lot of spirit into the comeback,” Hardy said. “The team you saw at the end is the team that we have.”

C-C middie Will Blumenberg would help the Patriots secure a key late possession in the final minute of play to seal the win.

Blumenberg led C-C with three goals on the day while middie Peter Anastos (1G, 1A) also played well offensively for C-C.

“You can’t spot a team like that goals,” Hardy said. “They are too sophisticated and they are too well coached.”

Concord-Carlisle and Reading will now both await the seeding selection for Division 2 on Friday to see whom they will face next week.

“We love playing them as it is a character game,” Hardy said of the annual end-of-year game with C-C. “We want to play them at the end of the regular season so now we get to see what we need to work on.”

Concord-Carlisle also received a strong game from long stick middie Nick Brozowski, who had his usual strong game on groundballs, scooping up eight, and using his quick stick to force multiple turnovers.

Andrew Kielar also played well in net for C-C as the sophomore came up with five of his nine saves in the first half.

Recap: No. 16 Reading 8, Winchester 2

May, 15, 2013

READING, Mass. -- At 6-foot-4 and 280-pounds, Matt Comerford is obviously physically intimidating in net, but the Rockets' senior keeper is equally impressively in his ability to be a powerful vocal leader all over the field.

Instructing his fellow Rockets on and off the ball, Comerford made 16 saves to help push the defending Middlesex (Liberty) champions (14-1, 9-0) to an easy 8-2 home win over division rival Winchester (10-5, 5-5) yesterday afternoon.

“We like to make sure we are talking all the time on the field,” Comerford said. “Today we were all talking and forcing a lot of low percentage shots. I do a lot of a goalie drills in practice to work on that, but when you get in the game it is just more reaction.”

Mark Dente and Greg Connery fronted the Rockets with two goals, while teammate Conor Frazier also netted one goal and assisted three. Dente assisted an additional effort.

“We go through our reads in practice,” Frazier said. “Progressing through the reads and looking for who is open. You have to look where the first slide is coming from.”

Reading cruised away from an early second-quarter 1-1 tie prompted off an assist from Dente to teammate Andrew Bourque.

Dente eyed the offense from behind the crease and reacted quickly to a group of Rockets' cutters hitting the net to set up the 2-1 score at 10:38 in the second quarter. Dente lobbed the ball in front of Winchester goalie Henry Gjesteby, where Borque leapt into the air and swatted in the score.

Frazier drew the defense to the side of the net and worked a pass across the front of the goalie to set up a 6-1 tally by teammate Charles Colvin with 35.5 seconds left in the third-quarter. Seconds later, Colvin grabbed the next face off and worked the ball to Dente for a streak-finishing goal and a 7-1 lead.

“We have played some really tough teams and we are maturing,” Reading head coach Charlie Hardy said. “[Learning from] those college games over the weekend, we moved the ball well and pass pass dodged.”

The Sachems struggled to score consistently and were unable to assist a single effort.

Winchester's Gerald Nvule won the first draw of the second half and broke through two defenders to score the 1-1 equalizer at 11:38. The junior placed a heavy bounce shot underneath Comerford where it slowly rolled off him and into the back of the net.

The Sachems took 30:58 to score again, while finally tallying off an unassisted effort by Mike McGee. The sophomore ran an isolated chance from behind the net, where he reached his stick out just far enough around Comerford to finished a 7-2 tally despite being pushed down from behind.

Reading has now beaten last years' Middlesex (Liberty) co-champs three straight times, including a 9-7 road victory in April.

“Finally to be back on top with a full league win is a good feeling,” said Comerford. “I still have nightmares of the losses sophomore year and we kind of blew it last year.”

D2 boys' lax: Foxborough 3, Reading 1

June, 1, 2012

READING, Mass. – No. 10 seed Foxborough (16-3) continued their dominating brand of defensive lacrosse as they defeated No. 7 seed Reading 3-1 in a Friday evening Division 2 first-round matchup.

In a game that featured two All-American goalies and two disciplined team defenses, it was not a surprise that it would be a low scoring affair. Foxborough senior goalie Greg Stamatov and Reading junior netminder Matt Comerford were both on point all game saving eight and 12 shots, respectively.

Reading would strike first in the opening quarter as junior Greg Connery beat his man on a left side dodge and beat Stamatov and give the Rockets a 1-0 lead.

The one-goal Reading lead would hold up through the second quarter as both teams pitched shutouts in the scoreless second. The inability of both offenses to get quality shots on net was more a credit to the defensive game plans of both coaches and the discipline rotations of the players.

Foxboro’s aggressive on-ball defense stood out all evening, highlighted by the play of sophomore close defender Luc Valenza, who possesses some of the fastest hands in Massachusetts lacrosse.

Foxborough senior midfielder Jake Soccorso would tie the game in the third quarter with 1:49 remaining after both teams fought off the first penalties of the contest.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth quarter Foxborough patiently controlled the majority of the possessions. Both defenses remained flawless until Foxborough junior midfielder Tyler Ames beat his man from X and snuck a shot past Comerford to give Foxboro a 2-1 lead with 3:52 remaining in the game.

Ames would add the third and final goal, with under a minute to play, to seal the win for Foxborough. The goal was a result of Comerford leaving the net in an attempt to gain a final possession for the Rockets.

“I am proud of these guys,” Foxborough head coach Matt Noone said. “Greg Stamatov is a great goalie but we have a great 10 people in front of him as well.”

Reading, playing without key members of their attack and defense, competed all game but could never muster enough quality opportunities to gain momentum.

“Both teams played outstanding and both teams have incredible goalies that played very well,” Reading head coach Charlie Hardy said. “Foxborough was great tonight and all of the credit goes to them.”

Lockdown D: The Foxborough defense has allowed only two goals in their last four games, including two wins over Bishop Feehan and Mansfield to conclude the regular season. They shut out Silver Lake 9-0 in the preliminary round of the D2 tournament and maintained their consistency on Friday.

“We are just a little town in Foxborough in the south that is finally here,” Noone said. “I think we proved it by beating Reading and I think we proved it last year.”

Stamatov has been the rock in net for Foxborough all season but the Villanova bound senior deferred all credit to his teammates.

“Everyone was all over the place and ready to help,” Stamatov said. “They forced shots that were down the alley and not good angles and I can make those saves a little bit easier.”

Next up: Foxborough will travel to Concord on Tuesday to take on No. 2 seed Concord-Carlisle (18-0) in the D2 EMass quarterfinals. C-C boasts one of the state’s best defenses with All-American goalie Doug Gouchoe (Air Force) and All-American close defender Henry Bumpus (Brown, football) leading the way. C-C defeated Wakefield 15-6 on Friday to advance to the quarters. Faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

“I do not know too much about them but I see that they are beating everyone so that is going to be a tough game,” Stamatov said. “If we just play our system we can beat anyone.”

Foxborough keeps historic run going

June, 8, 2011
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -– It took all four quarters for Foxborough’s offense to produce points against Reading’s midfield and defense, but in the end, the Warriors earned an impressive 8-1 victory over Reading on Tuesday afternoon in an MIAA Division 2 East quarterfinal.

“It was a good game. We worked hard [and] it feels like we wanted it more,” Foxborough senior co-captain Connor Whalen said. “We want to keep [our tournament run going because] we’re making history right now.”

Foxborough’s offense came to life when Whalen netted his first of three goals at 9:37 in the first quarter. Reading (15-6) responded two minutes later with their only strike of the contest when freshman David McDermott connected with junior Nick Guenard, who sent the ball past Greg Stamatov (13 saves).

The Warriors (19-3) recovered and earned their second lead of the contest during the closing seconds of the opening quarter, as senior James Stather scored to give Foxborough the lead for good.

“It looked like we weren’t clicking in the first quarter,” Foxborough head coach Matt Noone said. “We had our opportunities, some silly turnovers [but] they turned it on in the second quarter.”

Senior co-captain Cam Felix connected with Whalen in the second quarter, while senior Dan McCarthy found junior midfielder Jake Soccorso in the third. The Warriors offense added four more goals during the final 12 minutes, as Soccorso and Whalen each chipped in one, while senior midfielder Jake Hyland recorded the final two points.

“Our defense was spot on today, we got a great goalie in Stamatov. We just possessed the ball all day long and when you posses, they can’t score. Today was another good example of that and that’s been my theme all year with these guys,” Noone said. “It was just a great game, overall effort by the offense and the defense.”

“I think we just ran out of gas,” Reading head coach Charlie Hardy said. “We [had] a little bit of illness over there. We have three kids with mono, two kids were [vomiting] before the game. I think they played hard, they’re good kids, they did the best they [could]. Foxborough’s a good team. They’re a good club, they’ve got the right things and they outplayed us today.”

Foxborough will face-off against Medfield on Friday in the Division II East semi-finals. It is the farthest the Warriors have ever been in the MIAA tournament.

“We’ve never been [to the semi-finals] this is all uncharted,” Noone said. “It feels very satisfying and yet, we have a lot of work to do still. I’m very proud of these guys, but they know that there’s a bigger wolf up North and they can take [them] out.”

“We’ve still got to work harder if we want to get any further though,” Whalen said.

No. 15 Lexington takes tune-up over Reading

May, 22, 2011
LEXINGTON, Mass. -- Russell Bollag-Miller is one of those players that, if you lose sight of him for a second, he’ll rear up and bite you when you’re least expecting it.

That was the case on what felt like a rare gorgeous Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Field as Miller took full advantage of the extra attention being shown to high scoring teammate Conor Henrie and popped in four goals to lead the 15th-ranked Minutemen to a 7-3 victory over No. 25 Reading.

“Russell does that. I think this is his third or fourth hat trick this season,” said Lexington head coach Dave Walsh. “He slips by guys. I don’t think people realize he’s that fast and can get by guys. Plus he can shoot pretty well. He finds his spots and he puts them away.”

Miller put them away when the Minutemen (13-4) needed it most. He scored three times in the first half as both teams waged a defensive battle that threatened to leave the only curved number on the scoreboard a zero. His first was after a slip-dodge to get loose for a 15-yard laser, and the next two started from behind the net and ended with Miller blazing through the middle for open shots.

Reading also managed a pair in the second quarter with Matt Dente and Nick Guenard breaking through, and Lexington held a 3-2 lead at the break. Miller opened the second half with another deep shot, sparking a 4-0 spurt that allowed his team to gradually pull away.

“We had a lot of motivation to really step up our offense. Our last game (a 4-3 win over WInchester), we really lacked a lot in our confidence so we came in to this one with a different mindset,” Miller said. “We had more confidence in our dodges and getting to the cage and they really weren’t sliding early so when we beat that first guy, there were a lot of open shots.”

Connor Zarin, Geoff Genova and Ben Silberman had Lexington’s other three tallies. Despite being bottled up by Reading’s UMass-bound LSM Larry Gilligan, Henrie focused on playing strong short-stick defense, and along with Genova and the long pole corps led by Arga Yumus and Eric Marcentonio, the Minutemen were able to keep the shooting lanes clear for goalie Shane Taylor, who made 12 stops.

While this wasn’t an official Middlesex League game, the two rivals kept a second date on the schedule to provide the kind of tournament atmosphere both will be entering when the postseason brackets are released next Friday. From the viewpoint of Rockets coach Charlie Hardy, Saturday was a valuable learning experience he hopes his youthful charges will learn from as the season rolls into June.

“This was a good learning experience,” he said. “We have two games left then the tournament. I’m not discouraged. We’re going to be okay. I’m looking at the big picture here and I don’t mind this. I want good games. We didn’t have to play them a second time but I want games like this. They were just the better team today.”

Walsh felt the same way.

"Thats what we talked about. It was about getting a win against a team which has qualified for the tournament which is one of the ways in which we seed the tournament. Getting a win against a team that knows how to win and has won in the tournament in recent years. Its a confidence builder. We have two more games against really tough teams and we have to get wins there so we hope to keep building upon that."

No. 12 Reading holds on against Lexington

April, 29, 2011

READING, Mass. -– Reading boys’ lacrosse head coach Charlie Hardy nearly fainted, but then he could’ve floated above the ground as his Rockets held on to escape with an 8-7 win over Middlesex League rival Lexington on Friday.

No. 12 Reading sweated out a tense final minute with the Minutemen holding possession in their end to hand No. 18 Lexington its third one-goal loss in four games.

“They’re a heck of a program and beat some pretty good teams this year,” Hardy said. “This is exactly what I thought would happen. I think we grew up a lot today. We have a lot of young kids still. We’ve had some kids that were hurt and haven’t played and this was a good test for them, but we need to smooth ourselves out.

“We should gain some confidence from this though. We’ve played some good teams, but no team as good as this one.”

Reading (8-1) took a 6-4 lead into halftime and the Minutemen (7-3) showed they were not going to go away in the second half, twice pulling themselves within a goal.

However, Lexington was never able to find the equalizer as Rockets goaltender Matt Comerford (11 saves) and the Reading defense led by Larry Gilligan stood their ground.

Conor Henrie tallied his second goal of the game for Lexington with 7:21 remaining to pull the Minutemen within one once again.

“Our defense did a good job overall, keeping them to seven goals,” Hardy said. “You should win games like that. I thought Matt Comerford, our goaltender, was great as well.”

Nick Guenard led the offensive attack for Reading, notching a hat trick and two assists. Ross Anderson, Brian Bourque, Greg Connery, Matt Dente and Connor Sheehan all added goals. Dente finished with a three-point game while adding two assists.

However, perhaps the Reading offense’s great contribution came in killing off the clock during the waning moments of the victory.

The Rockets possessed the ball with poise, picked up loose balls and did whatever it took to ensure the win.

“We work on that a lot in practice,” Guenard said. “We just try to keep the ball moving. If someone gets doubled, we try to get open. Everyone’s moving, everyone’s running, we’re trying the best we can to move the ball.”