Boston High School: Hunter Arnold

South Hadley's Fitzell takes MVP in All-American game

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
2:35
AM ET
BOSTON – Two days after the best teams in the state took to Boston University’s Nickerson Field, the best individuals took to the same field in the second annual Bostonlax.net All-American game.

Behind T.J. Fitzell’s (South Hadley) MVP performance (two goals, assist) and four goals a piece from Hunter Arnold (Acton-Boxborough) and Jay Drapeau (Westford Academy), Team Under Armour shook off the early rust and cruised to a 20-14 win over Team Cascade.

But when the final horn sounded, it wasn’t about the final score or the individual performances, but rather soaking in the environment and partaking in a great cause.

All proceeds generated from admission were donated to the Wounded Warrior project.

“It’s for a great cause, it was a great thing to be a apart of and it was at a great venue like BU,” Fitzell said. “To be able to come out and perform it’s quite exciting.”

“It’s a lot of fun, I met a lot of guys, I only knew three or four guys coming down here so I met a lot of guys from the area that have been playing lacrosse so it was a good time, I had a lot of fun.”

Team Cascade jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter behind a pair of goals from James Burr (Middlesex) to go along with tallies from Danny Seibel (Belmont Hill) and Needham’s Mike Panepinto.

With 31 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, Kevin Bletzer (Catholic Memorial) scored the second Team Under Armour goal that was the front end of a 7-0 run, keeping Team Cascade off the scoreboard for nearly 12 minutes.

Bridgewater-Raynham’s Travis Reid scored back-to-back goals to end the drought and Team Cascade went into the half trailing by three.

Team Cascade cut the lead down to one with a 3-0 run on goals from Morgan Cheek (Nobles), Seibel and Panepinto but pulled away throughout the second half, and igniting an all-star game feel.

With time winding down, Drapeau scored the goal of the night going behind the back to beat Tyler Blaisdell (Thayer Academy) over his right shoulder for the score.

Arnold’s monster weekend: Hunter Arnold was one of three members of the Div. 1 Champion Acton-Boxborough Div. 1 championship team that took to the field Monday night, joining LSM Austin Wolf (Team Under Armour) and midfielder J.T. Kelly.

Arnold scored a goal in the Colonials’ 5-4 double overtime win over Duxbury and went off for another four goals Monday night on the same field.

“Overall the weekend was awesome,” Arnold recalled. “First the state championship game, there is nothing better, nothing better than beating Duxbury. Double-overtime and then today it was fun a lot of great guys out here.”

Arnold wasn’t the only one who took to the Nickerson Field again, as did Division 2 champion Medfield’s John MacLean, Brian Bissell, Blake Frasca, Matt Crowell and goalie Robert Treiber and Division 3 champion Cohasset’s LSM Tim Gillis.

Jelling together: It was the first time that many of these players had met, let alone played on the same team together. Before the game the players got a 20-minute warm-up to find their rhythm.

It didn’t take Team Cascade long to find their offensive stroke scoring four of the first five goals.

“We gelled together pretty quick after passing and catching drills we all came together,” B-R’s Reid said.

It took Team Under Armour a little longer to figure it out, but once they did, they were too much to handle.

“Well we were a little sloppy on offense so we slowed it down a little but got better shots and pumped in some goals,” Fitzell said.

Arnold added: “It was pretty easy to get along with these guys out here everyone knows how to play. We all know how to move the ball well, it was just a bit rusty to begin.”

Announcing our Mr. Lacrosse finalists

June, 12, 2014
Jun 12
7:17
PM ET
With six teams remaining which will vie for three state championships on Saturday, we’re taking a look at our Mr. Lacrosse award today, announcing our five finalists.

The recipient of the fourth annual Mr. Lacrosse award, presented to the top overall player in MIAA lacrosse, will be announced on Thursday, June 19.

Without further ado, the five candidates are, in alphabetical order:

Hunter Arnold, Sr. A, Acton-Boxborough: Arnold was named an Eastern. Mass All-American this year for the Division 1 North champion Colonials. The Keene State-bound attack stands among the leading scorers in the state this season with 65 goals and 40 assists.

Jay Drapeau, Sr. A, Westford Academy - Drapeau is a two-time ESPN Boston All-State selection, two-time Eastern Mass. All-American and also is a finalist for the Mr. Lacrosse award for a second straight year. The Loyola commit was again among the state’s scoring leaders with 86 goals and 56 assists.

Nick Marrocco, Sr. G, Duxbury – In his two years as starter in the Division 1 finalist Dragons’ cage, Marrocco has earned just about every honor there is to be had. An ESPN Boston All-State selection last year, this is the Georgetown commit’s second season as a Mr. Lacrosse finalist

John Sexton, Sr. LSM/D, Lincoln-Sudbury – Already a two-time ESPN Boston All-State selection, this is Sexton’s second straight year as a Mr. Lacrosse finalist. The Notre Dame commit is also a two-time Eastern Mass. All-American.

Robert Trieber, Sr. G, Medfield – The two-time Eastern Mass. All-American has led the Warriors to the Division 2 state title game. A Tufts commit, Treiber was an honorable mention ESPN Boston All-State selection last year.

D1 North final: Acton-Boxborough 8, L-S 7

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
1:54
AM ET


ALLSTON, Mass. -- With their season series tied at one, last night's Division 1 North final between Dual County League rivals Acton-Boxborough and Lincoln-Sudbury seemed primed to end yesterday's tripleheader at Harvard with a flourish.

It didn't disappoint.

The Warriors and Colonials tore the house down at Harvard Stadium for 48 minutes, and at the final horn it was A-B surviving with an 8-7 win and a trip to Saturday's state final.

“Always playing L-S is a rivalry,” Acton-Boxboro midfielder Chris Wiggins said. “Last year we lost all three games, but this year we're 2-1. It's a big step up. I think it was just the heart. We never really wanted it bad last year. This year this is the only thing we wanted; we wanted to beat L-S.”

With the game tied at five after three quarters both sides played a final 12 minutes that will not soon be forgotten by any in attendance.

A-B's Hunter Arnold and Wiggins scored goals 19 seconds apart before the Warriors responded with goals by Greg Roder and Connor McCarthy.

With all of the Colonials’ vaunted weapons it was an unlikely hero who scored the winning goal. Sophomore Peter Hatch put home a goal with just over three minutes left, and the Colonials defense held the rest of the way. Hatch was one of six different goal scorers for the Colonials.

Joe Cormier, who had a hat trick for the Colonials, said the depth provides an added confidence for the squad.

“It's so relieving,” Cormier said. “You don't second guess yourself. It makes the game that much faster, it makes the defense move that much more, and inevitably more goals.”

L-S hurt its own cause with seven penalties in the game, and the Colonials made them pay. A-B scored three times in man-up situations.

“We've been working on it quite a bit so we've been better as of late,” A-B coach Pat Ammendolia said of his team's man up. “It's not anything I’m giving them it's just them making plays. I don't a heck of a lot of coaching. I just put them in the right spots and let them make plays.”

L-S had its chances to finish but failed to do so. Two chances right on the crease in the waning minutes failed to find twine.

“I think they had better intensity throughout the game,” L-S coach Brian Vona said. “We had a lot of intensity too, but I don't think we matched their intensity throughout the game. I think we had it in spurts. I really just think they executed.”

The Warriors were led offensively by a pair of goals from Eric Holden and a one-goal, one-assist game from Harlan Smart.

SEXTON GOES DOWN: It is safe to say that John Sexton was Lincoln-Sudbury's anchor. The senior long-stick midfielder was a star on defense, controlled the faceoff X, and had the green light to shoot. However, the Warriors had to play over half the game without him as Sexton went down with a leg injury in the second quarter.

“Sexton left a legacy here of kids that want to work hard,” Vona said. “That kid willed us the last couple of years. He's a great player on the field, but off the field he's really special.

“One of the kids said it best, John led us all year to this moment. He made all the kids game ready in case he went down, and the kids played hard.”6

For Ammendolia, who coached against Sexton for four years, winning the title without the Under Armour All-American on the field took a little sheen off the festivities.

“You hate to see Johnny Sexton go down, he's a heck of a player,” Ammendolia said. “It's too bad we had to win without him on the field.”

Recap: No. 2 A-B 13, No. 1 Needham 6

May, 18, 2014
May 18
1:37
PM ET
ACTON, Mass. -- After the pomp and pageantry of senior night had worn off, Acton-Boxborough was faced with a four-goal deficit 10 minutes into its game against a Needham team that won the first six faceoffs of the game.

The Colonials adjusted and remedied the situation with seven straight goals en route to a 13-6 thrashing of the Rockets in front of nearly 1,000 people at Leary Field.

“We had a slow start,” A-B's Hunter Arnold said. “Senior night we had a lot of guys who don't usually start playing. Everyone stepped up. We were down 4-0 and realized we had to turn it on to win. Needham's a good team, but we brought it tonight.”

Arnold quarterbacked the Colonials’ attack with five goals, four of which came in the second half. Overall, six different Colonials scored.

The tide began turning when A-B figured out Needham's 10-man ride. The Colonials forced the ball through the middle with fast midfielders and pushed the game into transition whenever it could. The defense also did its part pushing the pace, forcing Needham into 11 turnovers.

“I think we had a lot of transition goals,” A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia said. “We have a lot of guys that can score, and any one of them can go off. They can all go off; it just depends on when and where.”

Senior midfielder Chris Wiggins stepped to the moment with a four-goal performance. Fellow seniors Joe Cormier and Joey Biggins also had goals.

“End result was ridiculous,” Wiggins said. “We came in hoping to knock them off. We're looking for a state championship and we knew this could potentially be the final so we wanted to show them what we got. Thirteen-to-six, that's a pretty big deficit.”

Needham dominated at the faceoff X (14 wins) and controlled ground balls (25-14), but couldn't adjust properly on offense to stem the A-B run. The Rockets were held scoreless for a stretch of 25:55 between the first and third quarters.

“They figured us out,” Needham head coach Dave Wainwright said. “We got stale on our offense. We threw some balls away and they made us pay. They stepped on our throats and wouldn't let us breathe again. We tried to do some things to get some looks, but it just wasn't in the cards for us tonight. They were prepared and we weren't.”

Jack Walsh had a pair of goals for Needham.

CRIMMINS CONTROL: Every body needs a strong backbone and Sean Crimmins played the role for A-B. The junior goalkeeper turned aside six shots and organized a defense that pressed Needham to the outside and forced into low-percentage shots.

“It all started with number eight in the cage,” Wiggins said of Crimmins. “He held it together; he controls the defense real well. We had a couple guys go at [Mike Panepinto], he's one of the most athletic kids we've seen all year, so I think shutting him down was the main point to stop their offense.”

Crimmins said that the goal was to keep everything simple and slow on the defensive end.

“We were just trying to game manage,” Crimmins said. “They were getting three-minute possessions and a few shots, but they were just moving the ball. We were just trying to keep long possessions, let the time run out. We knew if we got in a gunfight with them we might not win.”

Recap: No. 4 Lincoln-Sudbury 11, No. 5 A-B 6

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
2:54
AM ET
ACTON, Mass. -- It started as a battle between two of the top teams in Massachusetts, but in the end it was a statement win for Lincoln-Sudbury.

The Warriors racked up eight second-half goals, and cruised past Dual County League rival Acton-Boxborough, 11-6, Thursday afternoon.

“I'm happy we won,” Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Brian Vona said. “[They’re a] very good team. We're going to play them again and probably again after that in the playoffs.”

A-B led 4-2 early in the third quarter before the Warriors’ motor hit sixth gear and took off.

Eric Holden scored all three of his goals in the second half. Greg Roder, in his first game back from injury, scored two of his three goals in the second half.

“It just felt good coming back,” Roder said. “We had a slow first half, but at halftime we had a reality check and it opened up on the offensive end.

“We got a lot of goals in transition; that's how we like to play. We want to make sure that when we bring it over that's when we want to attack. We don't want to play six-on-six offense. We want to go when there's less guys to slide; we like to dodge and shoot. That's what we ended up doing in the second half and I think that's what led to our success today.”

The Warriors attacked in bursts. L-S had four pairs of goals scored less than a minute apart.

The turning point in the game came late in the third quarter when Holden put on a successful ride deep in the Colonials’ end that forced a bad pass that turned into an own goal. The goal put L-S up, 7-5, and took the wind out of A-B's sails.

“An own goal there is tough to swallow,” A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia said. “It happens and you can't dwell on those types of mistakes. I think we tried to, but it just didn't quite work. I thought our effort was there throughout the game. They just outplayed us in the second half.

A-B forced the action early and brought physicality to the game. Hunter Arnold stepped up for the Colonials with a hat trick. Arnold's first two goals put the Colonials ahead going into halftime.

“Hunter's a great player,” Ammendolia said. “[He’s a] three-sport captain, and he's been with us for three years and he's gotten progressively better as an athlete every year we've had him.”

Long possessions and key ground ball wins kept L-S on the attack for long stretches. Faceoffs and ground balls were even, and each team was able to put shots on cage regularly. However it came down to sliding on the defensive end, the Warriors held A-B scoreless for a 13:57 stretch of the second half, and solid goaltending.

When the Colonials responded Jack McCready was there. McCready continued his stretch of solid play with an 11-save performance.

“Jack made a few good saves today,” Vona said. “He's been steady for us; he's been that way all year for us. I thought he played great.”

Recap: No. 5 A-B 12, No. 6 Westford 10

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
1:47
AM ET
WESTFORD, Mass. – Simply by meeting expectations, Westford and Acton-Boxborough put on a show more likely to be found in June than April.

The DCL rivals went toe-to-toe for 48 minutes before A-B's relentless offensive pressure wore down the Grey Ghosts and propelled the Colonials to a 12-10 win.

“Win, lose or draw that was one of the best games I've ever been a part of player, coach, or fan,” A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia said. “That was just a good, tough lacrosse game by both sides … Two good teams slugging it out. It's a good win.”

The Colonials assaulted the Grey Ghost defense from the opening faceoff.

A-B oushot Westford, 50-26, but really did their damage in terms of possession. The Colonials constantly backed up their shots to extend possessions.

As the game progressed Westford wore down and gave the Colonials the space needed to pull away.

No one did that better than Hunter Arnold. Arnold looked like a man among boys in the fourth quarter scoring three goals and assisting on a fourth. He finished the game with four goals and two assists.

“We just worked the ball on offense, had some pretty good defensive stops all game,” Arnold said. “[It was a] good game. We were just finally able to stick our shots. Once we got one, the floodgates opened and we let them rip.”

Early on, it was Westford's game as A-B was unable to put together quality chances. The Colonials outshot Westford 15-4 in the opening period but were only able to put three on cage. Westford only put two on cage but both found the twine, thanks to Jay Drapeau and Shane Kilday, to put the Ghosts up 2-1 after 12 minutes.

A-B responded in spades in the second, scoring three goals in a 51-second span to open up a two-goal lead. Arnold got it going with his first goal and J.T. Kelly assisted on Arnold's goal and scored two 25 seconds apart.

Kelly also put in yeoman's work at the X, winning some key faceoffs in the second half.

“I give all the credit to our coaches,” Kelly said. “I've never played attack in my life and they switch it up with the personnel. We've worked on picks a lot and switching; we have a lot of athletes so we can get the ball around quick and move quickly.”

POSITIVE TAKEAWAY: Despite scoring 10 goals, the Ghosts' offense looked out of sorts. Drapeau scored three goals, as did Ryan McNabb, while Ryan Hesseltine had a goal and four assists.

However, A-B's long offensive possessions took them out of a large chunk of the game.

“When we got the ball on offense we were pushing too much,” Hesseltine said. “We didn't give the defense a break. It's tough for them to defend that. We've got to get the ball down, have a possession, and give ourselves better chances to score.”

Even with the loss, Westford coach Matt Tholander was pleased with the performance.

“Good competition up and down the field,”he said. “We came up on the short side, but our effort was there. I'm happy with that.”

D1 North: Central Catholic 35, A-B 0

November, 9, 2013
11/09/13
12:34
AM ET
LAWRENCE, Mass. -– In last night's Division 1 North semifinal between Central Catholic and Acton-Boxborough both teams turned the ball over four times. Central was the only one who capitalized.

The Raiders turned a pair of A-B turnovers into 14 points and stomped the Colonials 35-0 to earn a berth in next weekend's D1 North final against Everett.

The Raiders fumbled the ball five times and lost four, the defense stepped up and held A-B each time. The Colonials were unable to break into Central's red zone until the last possession of the game and that ended with a Hunter Arnold pass getting intercepted in the end zone by Nick Boes. It was Boes' second interception of the game and fourth of the playoffs.

Boes and Markus Edmunds led the Central attack from the middle and turned Acton's rock-hard offense into a gravel pit. The Raiders held the Colonials to 143 yards.

“Normally five fumbles spells doom,” Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos said. “Each time we turned the ball over the defense picked us up and did the job.

“[Markus is] one of the best linebackers around; he really is. Every week we does what you saw tonight. He's our leader, but Nick Boes has played really well. The guys up front have been doing the job. We rotate guys in at defensive line and our nose guard, George Elias, has really come on. To shut out a team like that the defense played really well.”

Central quarterback Mike Milano had a rough game early, fumbling the ball away twice in just over 11 minutes, but he buckled down and piloted the offense to 341 yards. Milano went 8-for-12 for 161 yards. His 57-yard touchdown pass to Dan Wilson early in the third quarter put the Raiders up 28-0 and salted the game away.

Milano also rushed for 75 yards and Central's third touchdown, just before the half.

“I had a lot of misreads, and fumbles, today, and my teammates picked me right back up,” Milano said. “We just kept our composure, stayed confident and played hard.”

LINE CONTROL
In the trenches you have to get dirty, and Central's line did just that. The Raiders' line was able to open hole and the bevy of tailbacks to get into the secondary untouched.

Their shining moment came when they opened up a nearly five-yard hole for D'Andre Drummond-Mayrie, who ran 50 yards, untouched, for his second touchdown.

“If look at those touchdowns [there were] huge gaping holes,” Drummond-Mayrie said. “They had a huge game.”

Keyed by senior Joe Brown, the line on both sides staked their claim to the real estate early and never sold.

“Our offensive line, the last few weeks, has really played well,” Adamopoulos said. “I think they're starting to come into their own.”

DYNAMIC DEMERS
The MIAA this season has been lucky enough to have seen it's share of spectacular kick returns, and Cody Demers added one of his own in the second quarter.

Demers fielded the ball at his own 40-yard line, run over the near hash, stuttered and cut in the middle of a pack of defenders, and ran all the way home. The score broke a scoreless deadlock early in the second quarter.

“I caught the ball and went up to the middle of the field, and I had so many good blocks I kind of froze up,” Demers said. “I wanted to make a move somewhere and I just saw daylight and went for it. Incredibly momentum booster for our team.”

Demers also intercepted a pass in the second quarter, and reeled in three balls for 44 yards receiving.

BRING ON THE CHAMP
Everett. In the world of MIAA football everyone knows it as a synonym for dominance and success. The Crimson Tide are up next for Central Catholic, and the Raiders said they are ready to embrace the challenge.

Adamopoulos said that playing such a formidable schedule thus far, even going back to include scrimmages against Reading, Xaverian, and Mansfield, will help his team next weekend.

“We've got a huge test next week,” Adamopoulos said. “They're a great program, and it's going to be exciting to play them.”

“They've had a history of being great,” Demers said. “If you want to be the king you've got to be the king."

Recap: Acton-Boxborough 43, Waltham 8

October, 26, 2013
10/26/13
12:11
AM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The primary intangible, that has become Waltham's staple throughout the season, failed to appear when it needed to most.

With a head-turning figured of just 4.8 points allowed per game, it was the Hawks' defense that put them the unique position to win their first Dual County League Large title. But it was not meant to be.

Acton-Boxborough's triple-threat Wing-T backfield blasted through Waltham with considerable ease Friday. The Colonials scored 27 unanswered points en route to a 43-8 shellacking at John L. Leary Field.

For A-B, it is the first DCL title won in five years and 21st overall.

"It's been a while, so I'm happy for the kids," said 28-year Colonials coach Bill Maver, his team improving to 6-1 and 4-0 in the DCL. "We have three good backs who block for each other just as well as they run the ball. I can't say enough about our guys up front. They really played well tonight. Our kids came to play tonight."

The Colonials offense shaked, rattled and rolled the Hawks (4-2, 3-1) throughout the chilly evening. The offense proved dominant, finishing with 517 yards, including 327 during the first half.

With A-B holding a 16-8 lead early in the second quarter, the Colonials took their game to another level soon after. After a J.T. Kelly 95-yard kickoff return was called back due to a holding penalty, the Colonials simply shrugged it off and started their drive in the shadow of their own goal post. A-B didn't stay there long once senior running back Tom Saponaro busted downfield for a 90-yard jaunt padding the Colonials advantage to 22-8.

Soponaro finished with 116 yards on eight carries.

However he wasn't A-B's leading ball carrier. That distinction belonged to William Tejeda. The senior rushed 15 times, gaining 157 yards with three touchdowns. Tejeda was virtually unstoppable breaking free on touchdown runs of 22, 3 and 80 yards, respectively.

"Our line had a great game today," Tejeda said. "The holes were there and I just hit them. During the first quarter we were winning the line of scrimmage battle against them. There was a lot of hype about their defense coming in but I don't think they had seen the Wing-T all year so it's a big difference and I think that is what got them."

A-B took an 8-0 lead on its second possession. A Tejeda 22-yard run into the end zone on fourth down followed by his conversion rush seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night. With Waltham's offense stubbing its toe with some ill-advised penalties to snuff out drives, the Colonials managed to go on top by 16 points early in the second quarter. Marching 63 yards, Tejeda closed the deal with a 3-yard sprint around right end followed by quarterback Hunter Arnold's conversion dive over the goal line.

The Hawks did make a mild run in this one. Following A-B's second score, Waltham senior quarterback Dana Parello (6-of-19, 133 yards) engineered a 54-yard drive capped off by a 23-yard scoring pass to Brendan Bonadio. Any momentum gained following the score quickly evaporated into thin air following Saponaro's sprint with just under five minutes remaining before halftime.

"Tejeda is a track guy who is pretty fast and runs hard," said Maver. "Saponaro is just a great football player. But overall this was a team effort throughout."

The Hawks didn't help their cause after Parello was picked off by Arnold at the A-B 26. The Colonials wasted little time turning that miscue into points.

On its fourth play of the drive, Tejeda broke loose for an 80-yard touchdown giving A-B an comfortable 28-8 halftime lead. The Colonials got the ball to open the second half and would add to their total. Two Arnold (6-of-7, 122 yards) completions sandwiched around some strong running by Tejeda, Saponaro and junior Gabe Cormier (48 yards on 13 attempts) set up Arnold's 1-yard plunge to make it 36-8 with just 3 minutes gone in the third.

While Waltham's offense (215 yards) continued to remain stuck in neutral, the Colonials' second unit came in and found a way to add more salt to the wound. A Kelly 3-yard carry across the goal line midway through the fourth completed A-B's 35-point margin of victory.

Now in their sixth year as a DCL member after leaving the Greater Boston League, the Hawks blew an opportunity to secure their first league crown.

However, like the Colonials, Waltham has already secured a postseason berth.

Now it is just a matter of getting the ugly taste of this defeat out of their mouths.

"This is certainly not the way we wanted to perform in a big game like this," third-year Hawks coach John Bourque said. "We made some bad penalties and turnovers and that can't happen in a game like this.

“Next week is a fresh start so we look forward to that and getting better. This is a little medicine for us. We'll take our licks and make a decision as to what we do as a team. We'll figure it out and fix it and move forward."

D1 lacrosse: Acton-Boxborough 10, Marshfield 9

June, 6, 2013
6/06/13
1:18
AM ET
ACTON, Mass. – With a berth in the Division 1 semifinals on the line, No. 4 Acton-Boxborough hosted No. 5 Marshfield in a quarterfinal game that pitted two of the state’s most physical, up-tempo teams against each other.

The Colonials would utilize an aggressive, five goal third quarter to hold off a gritty Marshfield squad and come away with the 10-9 victory.

[+] EnlargeActon-Boxborough Lax
Ryan Kilian for ESPNBostonNo. 4 seed Acton-Boxborough edged No. 5 seed Marshfield. 10-9 in a Division 1 quarterfinal on Wednesday and advance to play Dual County League rival Lincoln-Sudbury in the semifinals.
“That is our M.O.,” Acton-Boxborough head coach Pat Ammendolia said after the game. “We like to attack, attack, attack.”

Despite arriving in Acton slightly behind schedule, due to travel delays, Marshfield jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of the game. Nolan Ryan and Mike Carbone banged home quick scores to give Marshfield the 2-0 advantage.

A-B (18-4) would settle in midway through the first quarter as their defense buckled down and their offense would score four first half goals as Joe Cormier, Chris Wiggins, Trevor Kononenko and J.T. Kelly added scores to even the game at 4-4 at the half.

“They are a tough, physical team,” Marshfield head coach Jake Jones said. “I thought we did a good job defensively of slowing them down early on.”

In an evenly played, back-and-forth game, the third quarter would prove to be the difference. Cormier did a great job at the faceoff X for A-B ad helped the Colonials control the majority of the possessions in the quarter.

A-B took advantage of the time of possession advantage, stayed aggressive, and went on a 5-2 run in the third, behind three goals in the quarter from A-B attack Thomas Cotter.

“We like to go, go, go and when we are clicking like we were in the third quarter we can score in bunches,” Ammendolia said.

Leading 9-6 heading into to the fourth quarter, Carbone would score the first goal out of the break to cut the A-B lead to 9-7.

A-B’s Hunter Arnold would then answer to extend the lead back to three goals at 10-7. The A-B defense, led by goalie Rick Kronenwett, would remain stout until the final minute of the game when Carbone would put a scare into the Colonial faithful.

Marshfield’s Shawn Daly, who played a great game all evening, would find the diminutive but tough Carbone for two late goals at the 34 and 13 second marks in the fourth to cut the lead to 10-9.

Cormier would secure the ensuing draw for A-B to preserve the one-goal victory.

“That put a scare into us late when they scored those two,” Ammendolia added. “We got the big faceoff at the end, got it behind the net and killed it. It was a good team effort today and we did the little things that were important.”

Marshfield concludes their season with an 18-5 record and showed tremendous heart and fight as they battled the entire game until the final horn sounded.

“I am just real proud to have coached these guys,” Jones said. “Having started with a lot of these guys last year, in my first year as their coach, I have seen the growth of many of them and I am just real proud.”

Marshfield goalie Pat Burchill also played well in net making 15 saves in the game.

An All-DCL Large State Semifinal: A-B advances to the D1 state semifinals for the first time in program history. They will take on a familiar foe in DCL Large rival Lincoln-Sudbury on Saturday. L-S defeated Billerica, 14-1, in quarter-final action in Sudbury on Wednesday.

L-S (17-2) defeated A-B both times they met in regular season play.

“We have a lot of respect for that team and their coach,” Ammendolia said. “We look forward to playing them. L-S is just a real good team and we are just going to go out there and give it our best.”

Recap: No. 2 Lincoln-Sudbury 19, No. 5 A-B 8

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
12:54
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SUDBURY, Mass. - For a moment in the early minutes of the second quarter, Lincoln-Sudbury lacrosse fans would have been excused if they suddenly experienced flashbacks to the team's previous meeting against Acton-Boxborough.

On April 4, the Colonials came storming back after L-S had opened up a six-goal advantage, actually taking the lead late before the Warriors rallied to come back for a 12-11 victory.

Saturday, L-S came flying out of the gates once again and built a 6-0 lead with 3:03 left in the first quarter. Thomas Cotter scored twice in a row, followed by a dodge-and-rip by Scott Rogers that cut the deficit to 6-3 with 5:36 left in the second.

This time around, however, there would be no comeback as the second-ranked Warriors reeled off seven of the next eight and went on to finish with a 19-8 victory over No. 5 A-B at Myers field.

"No one was worried," said L-S midfielder Greg Roder, one of three players to score four goals in the game. "We knew what happened last time and how it was a close game and we knew we were going to take it right back from them."

Take it right back L-S (9-0) did, as Henry Guild (four goals, three assists), Jordan Dow (two goals, three assists) and Roder all scored to close out the first half with a 9-3 lead.

Guild and A-B's (10-2) Hunter Arnold traded goals to open the third, then L-S stuck three in a row - two from Roder around one from Dan Delaney (four goals, two assists) - to push the advantage to 13-4.

Cotter completed his hat trick to temporarily stop the bleeding, but the Warriors responded with scores from Dow, Guild and Delaney to push the lead back into double digits (16-5), before both coaches mutually agreed to start emptying the benches.

"I think they are a very good team," L-S coach Brian Vona said of Acton-Boxborough. "I think they are a well coached team but I think our kids were just ready, they were ready for tonight. They’ve been practicing hard. I know its age old stuff, but they’ve been practicing hard, they’re working hard, and they’re playing together."

Recap: No. 12 Acton-Boxborough 18, No. 4 Westford 13

April, 10, 2013
4/10/13
12:26
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WESTFORD, Mass. -- With so many league matchups taking place early in the season, Acton-Boxborough knew it had to make a statement against Westford Academy to avoid losing pace in the Dual County League Large race.

The Colonials did exactly that, dominating in all phases of the game en route to an 18-13 victory over the No. 4 Grey Ghosts at Westford Academy.

Ten different players found the back of the cage for A-B (4-1 overall, 1-1 DCL), topped by Scott Rogers (four goals, two assists) and J.T. Kelly (four goals, one helper). Trevor Konenenko added a hat trick while Hunter Arnold and Brian Picca each contributed a goal and two assists.

On defense, poles Ian Maxwell, Gabe Cormier, Austin Wolf and James Gnall, along with LSM Kevin Brogie, were outstanding in front of goalie Rick Kronenwett.

"We're very athletic," said A-B head coach Pat Ammendolia. "Last year I think we had some great lacrosse players. This year, we have some good lacrosse players but I think we've got great athletes on this team. We can run and that's definitely a strength of ours, team speed. That's what we like to do, get out there and try to run by people."

In order to do that, the Colonials needed to have possessions and the trio of Joe Cormier, Gabe Cormier and Josh Bucens took care of that. Joe Cormier was particularly dominant as the main draw-taker and A-B won all eight faces in the opening quarter and the offense staked the team to a 6-1 lead.

The Colonials would extend that lead to as many as nine goals in the second as Joe Cormier, Arnold, Konenenko, Bryan Sweeney, Rogers, and Kelly all scored during a 6-1 spurt. Loyola-bound attackman Jay Drapeau (four goals, assist) had the first tally of the frame for Westford (4-1, 1-1) and added two more before the half to make it a 12-5 game.

"We isolated their shorties up top, we ran our system and dodged up top," Rogers said of the offensive explosion. "Their slides were a little late and we just put it to them, put the ball in the back of the net. When we ran down the alleys, their slide would come from the crease. J.T. [Kelly] did a good job of popping up to the high crease and getting a couple looks. I got both my assists to him."

Acton-Boxborough pushed the lead back up to nine in the third (15-6) as Rogers, Max Emond and Kelly all connected before Josh Sawyer (four goals, assist) slowed the run. The Colonials slowed the pace in the fourth, trading goals to start the frame with Joey Biggins getting the final score for an 18-9 lead with 5:05 left. The Grey Ghosts popped in four in a row to close it out.

"I think I underestimated their athleticism a little bit," admitted Westford coach Matt Tholander. "I knew they had good, individual, on-ball defenders but I didn't realize that the faceoff circle was going to be a huge problem for us. Faceoffs and ground balls were the big differences in the game."

"Our unsettled defense has been better this year and we obviously got caught up a little bit there with our matchups," he continued. "We knew defensively, we weren't ready at the beginning of the year and we're a long way from where we need to be but like I said to the kids, I've been on this side of it multiple times with A-B where they bum-rush us and next time around, it always seems to work out that you always get another shot at them."

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