ALLSTON, Mass. – No. 1 seed Hingham and No. 3 Medfield would go toe-to-toe on Wednesday afternoon in a classic Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 boys’ lacrosse final. With both teams being so evenly matched, it would be only fitting that the game would end in overtime,
With 2:10 on the clock in overtime, Medfield attack Andrew Melvin would win it, as the senior beat his man to the cage from behind the net to give Medfield an 11-10 overtime victory. The win sends Medfield (22-3) back to the Division 2 state championship for the third time in four years.
“When it comes down to overtime at Harvard, you need to put the ball in the stick of your senior leader and the quarterback of our offense,” Medfield defenseman Ben Cox said after the game. “That is Andrew, and he stepped up big for us today.”
Medfield led early and took a 7-4 advantage to the half as they controlled the possessions and did a great job of executing their scoring opportunities.
Cox (1 assist) and goalie Robert Treiber (8 saves) both did their job on the day as the tandem helped contain a dangerous Hingham offense for most of the half.
Trailing by three goals Hingham would come out of the half and score the next three on goals from David Freitas (3 G, 1A), Matt Giarrusso and Boyce Bleak to tie the game at 7-7.
Treiber made the save of the day as the goalie stopped a late opportunity that would have given Hingham the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“Robert [Treiber] stood on his head,” Cox said. “I think they hit him once in the face, and were buzzing shots at him.”
Despite going back and forth in the final quarter it would be Medfield who would take the control of the game in the final minutes of play as freshman John Maclean (2G) and junior Matt Cahill would score big goals to give Medfield a 10-8 lead late in the final quarter.
Medfield’s offensive balance was highlighted by the play of a trio of freshmen, including Mclean, Matthew Treiber and Nigel Reiff.
“Great composure, good maturity, and we brought them along the entire season,” Medfield head coach John Isaf said of his freshmen. “We have been giving them increasing levels of responsibility and building their confidence. John (Mclean), Nigel (Reiff), and Matt (Treiber) are all guys that have really helped us.”
Despite trailing by two goals late in the game Hingham’s Patrick Burke and Jacob Brodie would net the ninth and tenth goals of the game for Hingham as they tied the game, 10-10, with just 24.7 seconds remaining in the game on Brodie’s goal.
Hingham’s (21-4) spirited comeback would last midway into the first overtime period as Melvin would find the back of the net to help send Medfield back to the state championship game on Friday night (7 p.m.) at Foley Field in Worcester.
“I was here my freshman and sophomore year and I was sitting on the bench and not getting much time,” Melvin said. “I feel like now, as seniors, we have earned it. We are excited and pumped to get back out to Worcester.”
Defenseman Jack Ullrich (1G) and goalie Tommy Bannan (9 saves) played well for Hingham in defeat.
“Hingham is a very talented team,” Isaf said. “They are well coached. They were very patient in the second half and got some good looks.”
Medfield’s Matthew Crowell (1G) and faceoff man Brian Bissell also shined for the winners.
Medfield’s win sets up a date with Western Mass. champion Longmeadow, who defeated St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 15-6, in Wednesday night’s Western vs. Central battle.
“One more game,” Isaf told his team after the game. “You guys got one more goal, and one more ground ball today.”
Medfield will need to continue to take advantage of the loose balls , team depth and clutch playmaking as they look to avenge a 16-1 mid-season drubbing at the hands of Longmeadow.
“We go seven middies deep,” Isaf said. “The whole D-middie group; we go five attack deep and it helps us stay fresh come the fourth quarter and in overtime which helps us make a play like that.”