Boston High School: James Beaudoin

DUXBURY, Mass. – A swirling wind and – at times – a driving rain had both No. 3 Duxbury and No. 18 Cohasset out of sorts in Tuesday’s cross-division battle of South Shore powers.

But the Dragons were just a bit crisper, going on a 7-0 run to earn a 9-5 win over the Skippers.

“The weather made it a little bit sloppy and tough to handle the ball, but in the end we had plenty of chances to increase our lead and just didn’t seem to finish inside,” Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet said. “But that’ll come as the season goes on. We’re still trying to put together a complete game.”

The Dragons (5-1) surrendered the first goal, but ran off a string of seven straight goals, spanning into the third quarter. Although the Skippers (6-1) had a run of their own in the second half, whittling the lead down to three midway through the fourth quarter, Duxbury largely held them at arm’s length behind a strong defensive effort and, all the while, winning the time of possession battle.

“You want to shorten the passes up, protect the ball,” Sweet said of controlling the ball during inclement weather. “You’re not thinking about going to the goal so much, just taking care of the ball and usually when you do that, especially in these conditions, defenses usually get a little impatient and make a mistake.

“Then, it becomes obvious when to go to the goal.”

Despite their “impatience” with the ball, as Sweet termed it, the Dragons possessed for long stretches of the first half and took a 6-1 lead to the locker room. Brendan Burke paced Duxbury with three goals, while Trevor O’Brien and Wes Quinzani popped in two goals each.

The possession gap between teams was also a result of Dragons defensive effort however. Sweet lauded the trio of Hunter Marston, Victor Moitinho and Liam Strauss for keeping things clean out in front of goaltender Nick Marrocco.

“I love this defense,” he said. “Our poles that are out there are all very athletic, they’re fundamentally sound and they move the ball well on clears. They communicate well. And, now, they’re playing great.”

Tuesday’s game marked just the second home game for the Dragons against MIAA competition, after hitting the road to take on some of New York’s best (Pittsford, a 6-5 loss on April 5) and Connecticut state power Fairfield Prep in a 9-6 win on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the game marked a bit of aberration for the Skippers, who are considered to be among the favorites to win the Division 3 state title this year. Head coach James Beaudoin said Tuesday’s was his team’s sloppiest performance of the year. While he wasn’t about to blame the weather for the Skippers’ inability to hold onto the ball at times, Beaudoin found the time of possession disparity played a greater role in his team’s first loss on the year.

Despite a pair of second-half goals from Danny Axelson, Cohasset was unable find rhythm in its offensive sets – at least not early enough in the afternoon.

“We were using some new offensive sets and getting the ball to the attack because they didn’t have the ball for most of the game,” Beaudoin said. “That was one of the keys was attacking their defense, but we weren’t getting it into [the attack’s] hands.”

He added, “That was the frustration for us was that the middies were taking it down, they were gassed from playing defense and that one pass just wasn’t crisp enough.”

MIAA boys' lacrosse championship picks

June, 11, 2013

Dover Sherborn (18-4) vs. Cohasset (17-3)

Players to watch: D-S – D Rogers Boylan, A Matt Davies, G Ryan Goodall, M Matt Huemme, A Brandon Jaeger; Cohasset – G Jack Conte, LSM Tim Gillis, M Will Golden, A John Mills, M Colin Whelan.

Breakdown: The Raiders eye their second straight Division 3 title, but face a Skippers team that has won nine straight games dating back to a May 9 regular-season loss to D2 finalist Hingham. D-S feeds off of their goaltender, Goodall, who is equally adept making tough stops as he is springing the transition game with his long-strike passing ability. The Skippers are guided to Harvard by first-year head coach James Beaudoin, who hopes to lead the program to its first championship since 2010.

X-factor: For the skippers to win, they’ll need Golden to bring his A-game to the faceoff X and control play. He’s capable.

Pick: D-S 11, Cohasset 7.


Longmeadow (23-0) vs. St. John’s of Shrewsbury (18-3)

Players to watch: Longmeadow – A Kevin Barry, M Eric Barsalou, G Matt Draymore, M Keegan Dudeck, A Zack Lukus; SJS – G Andrew Arnold, A Hunter Burdick, A Josh Freilich, FOGO Connor Maloney, A/M Andrew Smiley.

Breakdown: The two district champions met once during the regular season, with the Lancers invading Shrewsbury and keeping their perfect season in tact with a 10-8 victory. Both of these teams have their share of offensive firepower, but they can also stop it, highlighted by Pioneers pole Aidan Fox. As their prior meeting, this game will likely be decided by the midfielders and which team is able to win 50-50 ground balls.

X-factor: Another matchup where I’ll be watching the faceoff X. Maloney will need to be on point for the Pioneers to reverse the previous result.

Pick: Longmeadow 11, St. John’s 10 (OT).


Hingham (21-3) vs. Medfield (21-3)

Players to watch: Hingham – G Tommy Bannan, M Caleb Brodie, M Jacob Brodie, A David Freitas, D Jack Ullrich; Medfield – D Ben Cox, M Matt Crowell, A Andrew Melvin, G Robert Treiber.

Breakdown: The last time these teams squared off at Harvard Stadium (2010), the result was a double-overtime instant classic. The Warriors, who were then on a run of two straight state titles, hope the result is near the same. These squads have been near lights-out in front of their goaltenders, so expect a low-scoring struggle.

X-factor: Cox and Ullrich: Two of the state’s best operating in their own end, they are game-changers.

Pick: Medfield 7, Hingham 5.


Lincoln-Sudbury (18-2) vs. Xaverian (15-6)

Players to watch: L-S – M Dan Delaney, A Jordan Dow, M Chris Giorgio, A Matt Hall, LSM Eamon Hunter, LSM John Sexton; Xaverian – D Rob Breed, M Ryan McClellan, M Ryan Scheib, A D.J. Sperzel, M Jack Wheeler.

Breakdown: It’s been a while since the two teams met in the first week of the season on April 6 (a 10-5 win for L-S), and many things have changed. The No. 1 seed Warriors held serve through the bracket, running through their opponents by a combined score of 41-11 on the road to Harvard. Meanwhile, the Hawks had to dispatch last year’s D1 finalist Needham and fend off Catholic Conference rival BC High — in overtime – in the semifinals.

X-factor: It doesn’t matter where he is (taking faceoffs, on defense, on the man-up), Sexton is a force. It’s always worth watching the manner in which head coach Brian Vona deploys Sexton in the game plan.

Pick: L-S 9, Xaverian 6.