Boston High School: Mike O'Brien

D3 Central/West: Turners Falls 5, Assabet Valley 1

June, 12, 2014
Jun 12
12:30
AM ET
WORCESTER, Mass. -- What would a state championship be without Turners Falls involved?

After a year's absence, the Indians are heading back to the Division 3 state finals. With six titles already to its credit, Turners Falls (23-2) will be seeking No. 7 when they match up against Greater New Bedford Voke (19-9) in the final Saturday here beginning at 1 p.m. The Indians are currently tied with Apponequet Regional for second most state softball titles. Only Bishop Fenwick, with eight, have more.

"This key to our success has been that all us get along and we all support each other," said junior Amber Caouette, who, along with teammate Jenna Putala, belted consecutive home runs in the fifth inning. "That was something we really didn't have last year and we lost (in the WMass final). There was really no connection within the team. But we have grown from it and moved on to this year. Now we are winning again so it's all good."

The Indians, who carry just two seniors, got to this point after rocking Assabet Valley, 5-1, on Wednesday. Turners Falls did what they do best – jump on the opposition early and not let them up for air. Against the Aztecs (21-5), the Indians claimed a 2-0 lead after the first inning on a two-run single by sophomore Mackenzie Phillips.

"Getting those runs early was huge," said legendary Indians coach Gary Mullins, now in his 35th season here. "It takes a little pressure off and calm most of us down. Assabet is a nice club. They hit the ball hard. I thought the top of their order is very tough. Going back to the state finals never gets old for us. For the most part it's a new group of girls who will get that experience."

Mullin's club knocked off Assabet in the 2012 state semifinal en route to the second of back-to-back state championships. Last year, the Aztecs defeated Mt. Everett in the semi round before winning it all.

Phillips, also the Indians' pitcher, didn't have her best stuff inside the circle but had enough to keep Assabet off-track. Phillips, who hurled a perfect game in her team's WMass final against Pathfinder on Saturday, scattered eight hits and picked up six strikeouts.

"If you said we would get eight hits before we played I would have told you that we won the game," Aztec head coach Mike O'Brien said.

Turners Falls picked up a solo run in the third. After loading the bases, Aztec pitcher Maddy Parmeter was called for an illegal pitch with two out, thus allowing Putala, who reached on an error, to trot in from third base.

While Phillips continued to frustrate the defending state champion Aztecs, her offense continued to provide her added run support. Any chance for Assabet to get back into this one proved futile after Putala and Caouette went yard to push the Indians' advantage to five runs.

"They hit two bombs over the fence which is something I have not seen since I've been coaching," O'Brien lamented. "That team has a lot of talent and their pitcher throws strikes and I wish them well in the final. Unfortunately we didn't come up with those clutch hits to keep us in the game. I wish we had the money swing today but all we had was loose change."

Div. 3 softball final: Assabet Valley 5, St. Mary's 2

June, 16, 2013
6/16/13
1:03
AM ET
WORCESTER, Mass. -- After losing to Turners Falls in last year's Division 3 state semifinal round, Assabet Valley returned this season with one sole purpose. The bitterness of that one run loss the Indians a year ago remained with the Aztecs throughout the off-season and they would use it as ammunition coming into this year's campaign.

Following Saturday's 5-2 victory over St. Mary's of Lynn in the Division 3 finals at Rockwood Field, Assabet can now wipe the Turners Falls game away from its memory banks and replace it with the joy of claiming its first state championship.

The Aztecs (21-4) broke this game open with a four run third inning. Tied 1-1 at the time, Assabet began the decisive frame with Jocelyn Orangio beating out an infield single. Brittney Lutz then laid down a bunt to the left side. Spartan third baseman Kaleigh Finigan, after fielding the ball, attempted to throw out Orangio at second. The throw beat the sophomore but shortstop Molly Doyle was unable to handle the throw thus putting runners on first and second. Mogran Parmeter followed by lining a single off the glove of Doyle into left field, scoring Orangio to make it 2-1. After a Jen Casavant single loaded the bases, the Aztecs proceeded to bounce into two force outs at the plate.

With an opportunity to escape a serious jam with only one run allowed, St. Mary's pitcher Brooke L'Abbe walked Nicole Cormier to force in Assabet's third run. The Aztecs didn't stop there. They scored two more runs on Deanna Hnilica's infield single and ensuing throwing error by Finigan to grab a 5-1 lead.

"What a great year," Assabet head coach Mike O'Brien said. "Nobody thought we could do this or even win a district championship. We've won two district championships and now we've won a state so I'm very proud of these girls. Our goal was to keep them under two runs and we gave up two. We felt two runs or less we would have a real good chance to win this.

"They made a couple of mistakes and we capitalized. That's how we've won all year. After losing in the state semis last year this team fought all year knowing they wanted to get back there and even a bit further. We were able to get back to the state semis (beating Mount Everett in extra innings) and today was just the pinnacle of all of that."

The Aztecs got on the board first in their half of the second on back-to-back doubles by Casavant and Madison Parmeter. The Spartans (19-6) would tie it in the third. Alex Fisher singled, took second on a SAC bunt and scored after Aztec pitcher Madison Parmeter threw the ball into right field after fielding Victoria Viger's bunt.

Following the four-run inning bestowed upon by Assabet, L'Abbe, a senior, was lifted. The combination of sophomore Jordan D'Orsi and eighth-grader Mia Nowicki kept the Aztecs hit less the rest of the way. With D'Orsi and Nowicki doing their job, the St. Mary's offense failed in comparison as Parmeter (CG, 5 hits, 3 Ks) held the Spartans in check in their quest to jump back into this one.

"I was watching their feet and if they crowded the plate I would throw it inside on them," said Parmeter, a sophomore. I don't think a lot of batters expect that but I have a lot of spin on my pitches and was able to keep them off-balanced for much of this game."

In the seventh, St. Mary's attempted a comeback by scoring a solo run. Cassandra Lafauci doubled to left and came around to score on a throwing error by first baseman Casavant. But that would be the only rallying cry put forth by the Spartans as Parmeter recorded the final out giving Assabet the triumph.

"It's tough," said Spartans coach Colleen Newbury, who was looking to claim her team's third state title having won it in 2009 and 2010. "It is especially tough for our seniors who don't get to play another game. That team played great and made the plays where we didn't. They played great defense against us. We have some good kids coming back so I think it will be a bright future for us."

D3 softbal semi: Assabet Valley 3, Mt. Everett 1

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
1:51
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AMHERST, Mass. -- Mount Everett was feeling it. After putting together six solid innings of shutout ball, and leading 1-0, the Eagles entered the seventh and final inning of Wednesday’s Division 3 state semifinal a bit giddy knowing they stood on the cusp of earning their first state final appearance in school history.
With their junior hard-throwing pitcher Alicia Bazonski tossing zeros on the scoreboard, conditions seemed ideal for this Berkshire-based school to continue in its history-making quest.


Not so fast.


Central Mass. champ Assabet Valley, who were virtually non-existent at the plate over the first six frames showed some much-needed life in the seventh. The Aztecs were able to push across the tying run in the frame and then added two more in the eighth to claim an improbable 3-1 triumph at UMass.


What the Eagles failed to accomplish in their inability to tack on a couple of more runs during regulation would prove to be their demise. Assabet, a team noted for scratching and clawing until the final out, stuck to the script and the end result is an opportunity to bring home its first state championship. The Aztecs will face St. Mary’s of Lynn for the title on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. from Worcester State University’s Rockwood Field. The Eastern Mass. champs won back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010.


Needing any kind of lift, the Aztecs finally got one in the seventh. Senior Morgan Parmeter led things off by stroking a single to right. After stealing second, Parmeter took third on a Jen Casavant ground out. With Mount Everett’s infield drawn in an attempt to keep Parmeter at third on any ground ball, sophomore Maddie Parmeter, Morgan’s younger sister, ripped a hard single to right to knot game at 1-1.


“Nobody on this team wants to go home," Maddie Parmeter said. “Especially our seniors who didn’t want this to be their last game. I knew my sister was on third base and I wanted to get her home, so I just hit the ball as hard as I could. I think they were expecting bunt so I just pulled back and hit it and was able to get it past them."


Assabet’s dugout, which resembled a morgue over the first six innings, suddenly rose to life. The following inning, the Aztecs stuck the dagger in the backs of the Eagles. With two out, Brittney Lutz reached on an infield single but never stopped running. The senior ended up beating the throw to second putting the go-ahead runner into scoring position.


Lutz later revealed that she thought the ball had gotten away from first baseman Natasha MacLeay and kept on running. MacLeay, after receiving the throw from shortstop Emily Coon, hesitated long enough to allow Lutz to slide into second safely.


A bit discombobulated over the previous events, Bazonski tossed a wild pitch which allowed Lutz to easily take third. Morgan Parmeter next lined a solid single to right to put Assabet ahead. Casavant followed by ripping a hard grounder off the glove of third baseman Sam Hoover and into left field which resulted in a double and plating Parmeter with an insurance run.


In the bottom half of the eighth, Maddie Parmeter (CG, 4 hits, 5 Ks) set the Eagles down in order giving the Aztecs (20-4) their first crack to win a state crown in any sport in school history.


Having last reached the semifinal round back in 1990 when it lost to Hopedale, Mount Everett (21-2) claimed a one-run lead in their half of the third. A one-out double by Brooke Morehouse was proceeded by Chandler DeGrenier’s RBI single.


“Give Assabet the credit because they stayed with it," Eagles coach Kurt DeGrenier said. “They put the ball in play against Alicia [Bazonski] and were taking choppy swings and hitting line drives. We held them off for six innings and then they got us. I’m proud of our girls because they had a great season but today you have to give their pitcher a lot of credit. She wasn’t throwing very hard but was keeping us off-balanced. We didn’t put the ball in play very hard at all against her."


The way Bazonski was hurling, it appeared as though one run might be enough. Bazonski surrendered seven hits and struck out seven.


“That girl is a great pitcher,” Assabet coach Mike O’Brien said. “She spotted the ball well on the outside corners and throws in the lower 60s consistently. For some reason our girls never got down. We were down 1-0 going into the seventh and anyone could’ve folded at that point in time. But the character and integrity of this team is don’t stop fighting until the very last out is recorded. We started to get to (Bazonski) a little late but she’s a real competitor and I give their coaching staff a lot of credit too.”


Wahconah Regional 10, Belchertown 0
Chloe Warren, Gabrielle Lavino, Liz King and Rachel Brennan all had two hits to lead the second-seeded Warriors to a 10-0 thumping of Belchertown in the Western Mass. Division 2 final. Warren also drove in a pair.


The Warriors (21-2) scored five runs in the first inning and added five more in the fifth to put this one away. It also marked Wahconah's 21st straight victory after starting the season 0-2. The Warriors face Central Mass. and defending state champion Grafton here on Thursday in the state semifinal beginning at 3 p.m. The top-seeded Orioles complete their season at 19-5.

D2 boys' lax: C-C claims 4th state title

June, 16, 2012
6/16/12
2:17
AM ET


WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Concord-Carlisle boys' lacrosse team wrote a new page in their long and storied history book on Friday night as they defeated Algonquin 13-3 to win the school’s fourth state championship and first since 1998.

The undefeated Patriots saved one of their strongest efforts for last as they struck early and often and played some of their best team defense of the season in the Division 2 state championship game.

“We have never had a season where we have played up to or beyond our potential every single game,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “It is amazing.”

Concord Carlisle (22-0) got all the offense they would need in the first quarter as senior midfielder Jackson Finigan set the tone early by netting the games first two goals on strong individual efforts. Finigan and freshman midfielder Will Blumenberg would each net hat tricks in the opening quarter to give C-C a 6-0 lead after one.

Finigan would add his fourth goal of the game with 4:36 remaining in the second quarter to give C-C a 7-0 lead heading into the half.

Concord-Carlisle All-American goalie Doug Gouchoe made five of his nine saves in the first half and the C-C defense held the talented and high-scoring Algonquin attack of Conor Healey, Mike Wood and Keegan Gillis scoreless in the half.

Algonquin (22-2) got on the board with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter as Wood scored the first of his two goals on the night. Blumenberg would answer for C-C with his fourth of the game a minute later.

C-C closed out the quarter with three more tallies to Algonquin’s one score to take a 12-2 lead into the final quarter of play.

Wood and Finigan would exchange goals in the final quarter as C-C controlled possession to seal the win.

Finigan finished the game with six goals and Blumenberg added five goals and two assists to lead the C-C offensive attack.

“It was a team effort,” Finigan said. “Everything that I did would not have happened without the guys on the field out there.”

Senior Leadership: “The seniors on the team this year are the hardest workers we have,” Dalicandro said.

Finigan, Gouchoe, All-American long pole Henry Bumpus and midfielder Mike O’Brien (1 Goal) were the C-C captains this year.

Finigan will do a postgraduate year at Deerfield before heading to the University of Delaware to play lacrosse in 2013.

Gouchoe will head to the Air Force Academy where he will continue playing lacrosse.

“Doug has been unbelievable,” Dalicandro said with a smile on his face. “We are going to miss him next season along with all of the seniors.”

Bumpus, who missed the Shriners All-Star football game at Gillette Stadium on Friday to play in the state championship, will play football at Brown University next fall with his brother John and C-C football teammate Andrew VanderWilden.

O’Brien, an All-American soccer player, will head to the University of Pennsylvania next fall as a member of prestigious the Wharton School.

Refuse to Lose: Concord-Carlisle senior lacrosse players Bumpus, Finigan, Tyler Koning and Anthony West were also members of the Concord-Carlisle football team that went 13-0 and won the Division 3 Super Bowl under head coach Mike Robichaud.

“Going undefeated in two sports and winning two state championships are some really great memories that we will leave behind,” Finigan said.

The Futures: Blumenberg, who also starts at defensive back on the football team and guard on the basketball team, is a unique talent at Concord-Carlisle. The freshman was a top scorer this season while playing attack and midfield for the Patriots.

With top long pole Evan Boynton returning for his senior year along with Sam Barrett, Javier Flores and Blaine Taylor, the C-C defense should again be one of the top in the state.

Algonquin also returns many key components next year at attack with Gillis and Wood, in addition to midfielder Davis Kraft and goalie Giles Ober.

D2 EMass final: Concord-Carlisle 5, Wellesley 4

June, 14, 2012
6/14/12
12:38
PM ET


ALLSTON, Mass. -- Concord-Carlisle took one step closer to their dream perfect season on Wednesday night as they defeated Wellesley 5-4 in the Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 championship.

No. 2 seed C-C (21-0) used their typical blend of strong defense, timely offense and elite goaltending throughout the game and held off a spirited fourth quarter comeback by the Raiders.

“We just made one more play than them,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said. "It could have gone either way. It was a one goal game and they really pressed us at the end."

Wellesley (19-4) jumped out to an early one goal lead at the 7:46 mark in the first quarter as senior midfielder Oliver Saffery (2 Goals) took a pass from behind the cage and flipped it behind his back to beat Concord-Carlisle All-American goalie Doug Gouchoe.

Wellesley dominated the early possessions in the opening quarter but Gouchoe turned away five big shots in the opening frame that could have extended the lead even further for the Raiders.

Concord-Carlisle took momentum right back from Wellesley at the start of the second quarter as freshman Will Blumenberg (1G, 1 A) won the opening face-off and found defensive midfielder Tyler Koning for the game-tying goal at the 11:49 mark in the second quarter..

Junior attack Charlie Painter would give Concord-Carlisle their first lead of the game with just under a minute remaining in the first half. Painter took a feed from classmate and fellow attack Tim Badgley (1G, 1A) and beat Wellesley goalie Connor Darcey low to give C-C a 2-1 lead at the half.

Darcey also kept the Concord-Carlisle lead from getting away from the Raiders as the senior came up with several key saves in the second quarter including two at the end of the half.

“We hit a couple of pipes and Darcey robbed us a couple of times as well,” Dalicandro said. "Both goalies were unbelievable today. They are the two best goalies in the state.”

C-C exploded out of the halftime intermission and scored two quick goals with less than a minute gone off the clock. Blumenberg and senior midfielder Jackson Finigan both added unassisted tallies to give C-C a 4-1 lead. Badgley would fire home another goal in transition on a feed from senior midfielder Mike O’Brien at the 7:06 mark in the third to give C-C a 5-1 lead after three quarters.

After exchanging possessions for much of the fourth quarter Wellesley attack John Caraviello cut the C-C lead to 5-2 as the sophomore’s goal sparked the fourth quarter Wellesley comeback.

Senior attack Peter Crane followed suit with another score to bring Wellesley to within two goals at 5-3 with 3:30 remaining in the game.

When the game appeared to be all but over Saffery would score again with 31 seconds remaining to cut the C-C lead to one goal at 5-4.

C-C would get possession off a Blumenberg face-off win and run the clock out to take the victory and advance to Friday night’s D2 state championship game at Foley Stadium in Worcester.

Elite keepers: Both Gouchoe (Air Force) and Darcey (Penn State) had fantastic games for their respective teams as they drew the praise from fans, coaches, teammates and opponents alike.

“He played great today,” Gouchoe said of Darcey. “He pretty much kept his team in the game the entire time. He had some unbelievable saves against Will Blumenberg, Jackson and kids like that. It sort of makes it hard to play against when he is such a great goalie. You do not want to mess up and make yourself look like a sieve in front of him.”

Next Up: Concord-Carlisle will face Central/ Western Mass. champion Algonquin on Friday night at Foley Stadium in Worcester. The D2 state championship face-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Central Mass. champion Algonquin defeated Western Mass. champion Minnechaug, 11-6, Tuesday evening to set up the state championship match up.

In last year’s D2 state final Medfield defeated Algonquin 13-9. Medfield also defeated Concord-Carlisle at Harvard Stadium last year by a score of 11-5 in the 2011 Eastern Mass. D2 final.

D3 boys' lax final: D-S 16, No. Reading 6

June, 14, 2012
6/14/12
3:19
AM ET


ALLSTON, Mass. – It took a period, but once the Dover-Sherborn boys' lacrosse team got going, it wouldn’t be denied.

The Raiders scored 11 goals in a row after the opening quarter, turning an early 2-0 deficit into a rout as they defeated North Reading, 16-6, in the MIAA Division 3 state final at Harvard Stadium.

Seniors Jared Spence (4 goals, 3 assists) and Ben Newbert (goal, 5 assists) ended their high school careers in style, with plenty of help in the attacking end from junior Brandon Jaeger (5 goals).

And after so many close calls in years past –- including four losses in the final -– Dover-Sherborn finally has its first state championship.

[+] EnlargeDover-Sherborn Lacrosse
Courtesy of Ryan KilianTwo-time All-American Billy Polk helped Dover-Sherborn win 10 of its first 11 faceoffs and build a lead in Wednesaday's Division 3 state championship game at Harvard Stadium. The Raiders won their first-ever boys' lacrosse title in a 16-6 romp.
“To finally win one was a nice feeling, that’s for sure,” Raiders head coach Brian McLaughlin said. “Especially with the five seniors we have – this is their third time (in a state final).”

A 2-1 deficit after one turned into a 7-2 lead at halftime, with Newbert scoring one of the goals and assisting three others. Jaeger scored twice, with freshman Matt Davies, senior Billy Polk and Spence also getting in on the act in the second period.

The Raiders (19-4) dominated the faceoffs, with Polk and junior Keaton Stoner combining to win 10 of the 11 faceoffs in the first half.

“If you can keep getting the ball in lacrosse, it’s tough for the other team,” McLaughlin said. “Since we controlled the ball and ran our offense through, it was a big plus for us.”

It was more of the same in the third period, as Davies, Spence and junior Matt Huemme all scored within the first four minutes to make it 10-2. D-S continued to dominate possession in the middle of the quarter, with only a couple saves by Hornet senior goalie Brian Conway on Newbert preventing the Raiders from increasing their lead.

They eventually did, however, with goals from seniors Peter Kostokos and Chris Flight to make it 12-2. North Reading senior Eric Valenti whipped on in from 15 yards out to finally stop the Radiers’ run with 1:13 left to go in the frame. Valenti and Jaeger swapped goals in the final minute of the period, and it was 13-4 in favor of D-S going into the fourth.

North Reading (22-2) head coach Chuck Campobasso credited Dover-Sherborn’s ability to keep control of the ball and limit his team’s opportunities.

“We didn’t have possession because they’re unbelievable,” Campobasso said. “They’re not gonna turn the ball over, they’re not gonna make mistakes.”

Spence scored 1:18 into the fourth to make it 14-4. Junior Michael O’Brien and senior Cody Carbone gave Hornet fans something to cheer about with back-to-back goals, making it 14-6, but Jaeger put the exclamation point on the Raiders’ fantastic season with his fourth and fifth goals in the closing minutes of the game.

North Reading started off strong, scoring the game’s first two goals. Junior Cameron Knight opened the scoring 2:02 in with a well-placed bounce shot from 14 yards out. Junior Anthony Lytle made it 2-0 with 5:20 to play in the first period, taking a pass from Valenti and going top shelf over D-S junior goalie Ryan Goodall’s shoulder.

Spence got the Raiders on the board just 35 seconds later with a goal from close range. Polk started the play with an excellent run from midfield, dodging three North Reading players in the process.

The Hornets outshot D-S in the first 12 minutes, 6-3, but Goodall made some good stops toward the end of the period to keep it a one-goal game.

“He made some great saves,” McLaughlin said. “They have a great offense, and they shot well. [Goodall] came up big for us.”

Newbert said he and his teammates were rushing their attack in the first quarter, but a more patient approach in the second turned the tide.

“After the first quarter, our coaches told us, ‘We’re not gonna get them back in the first 10 seconds. Just settle down; we got a whole game to play,’” Newbert said. “That’s what we did. We didn’t force the passes in the middle, and kids really ran their routes, made the cuts. Once that kinda settled us down, we really started getting going.”

Sophomore defenseman Zach Ambrosino played a solid game for Dover-Sherborn, picking up a couple key ground balls in his own zone to prevent the Hornets’ talented attackmen from getting shots on goal.

Valenti had two goals and two assists in his final game for North Reading. He’s one of eight seniors whom Campobasso said will have a long-lasting effect on the program.

“You see the excitement at some of our games, with some of the youth guys that they want to play for North Reading High School,” Campobasso said. “That’s their legacy…This is unbelievable, but it’s gonna be long-term with the amount of kids that are going to be coming out to play for us.”

This was the Raiders’ day, however, and one they went through plenty of growing pains to get to. The team lost in overtime to Scituate in the 2009 state championship, and fell by a goal in last year’s final to Weston.

Dover-Sherborn has been knocking on the door a long time. Wednesday, they finally burst through.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Newbert said. “More than anything, our coach, he’s been here so many times, and to finally win it for us and him, it was just a great way for us to go out."

D2 boys' lax: Catholic Memorial 10, Medfield 9

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
12:26
AM ET
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- No. 3 Catholic Memorial fought off a spirited Medfield fourth-quarter comeback to hang on to a 10-9 victory in a Division 2 quarterfinal game on Tuesday night.

No. 7 Medfield (16-5) battled back from a three goal deficit, trailing 8-5, heading into the fourth quarter. Warriors senior attack Conor Roddy (4 goals) and sophomore midfielder Matthew Crowell (2G) scored two big goals each in the final quarter with Roddy scoring with 25 seconds remaining in the game to pull Medfield to within one at 10-9.

CM (19-3)would hold off one final Medfield shot at the buzzer to earn the hard-fought 10-9 victory.

“We knew going in that it was going to be a one or two goal game,” CM head coach Kevin Lynch said. “We run similar stuff to each other on offense and on defense. Both teams have great athletes and I knew it was going to come down to the end.”

CM led 3-2 after one quarter and 5-4 at the half but it would be the third quarter that proved to be the pivotal quarter for the Knights as they outscored Medfield 3-1 and dominated possessions.

The third quarter would prove to be one of the most physical quarters of the tournament to date as Medfield would be penalized four times and CM on three occasions. Late in the quarter CM played for one second with three men down before Medfield’s David Parsons would score a 6-on-4 man-up goal at the end of the quarter.

Face-offs: Medfield senior Clay Richard is one of the best at taking draws in New England but CM senior Antonio Zegarelli and the CM face-off group did a great job of battling for each possession.

“Our entire face-off unit of Chris Ryan, Aaron Marcel and Antonio Zegarelli really came together and worked very well tonight,” Lynch said. “They did a good job neutralizing a very good Medfield group. You could tell [Richard] had the face but we did a good job of making adjustments to get the ground ball.”

Know Your Role: CM midfielder Austin Bannister saved his best for last as the senior scored both of his goals in the final 6:04 of the game with the biggest coming with 32 seconds on the clock as he answered Crowell’s second goal of the fourth quarter to give CM a 10-8 lead .

“We knew we had to step our games up on both offense and defense tonight and we did,” Bannister said. “It was really a team effort all the way until the end tonight. The big thing this year is to just know your role. Everyone knows their role right now and everyone is just doing their job.”

Semi-Final Match-Up: CM will match-up against No. 2 seed Concord-Carlisle (19-0) in Concord on Friday in one D2 Eastern Massachusetts semifinal. Face-off time is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Concord-Carlisle.

C-C defeated No. 10 Foxborough 11-3 earlier on Tuesday evening. Senior midfielder Mike O’Brien led the Patriots offense with three goals as they displayed an aggressive offense and consistent team defense in their quarterfinal win.

“We know they have a very great defense with some very good offensive players,” Lynch said. “I think if we bring our overall game it will be a very good match-up. I think whoever wins the ground ball game will come out on top.”

Bannister echoed his coach’s thoughts, “We will be ready. We have 15 seniors on the team who are hungry and we have been together for awhile now. We have a Catholic Conference banner hanging in the gym and that was our first goal and now we want to get to Harvard.”

D3 boys' lax: North Reading 8, Austin Prep 4

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
12:05
AM ET
NORTH READING, Mass. -- Mike O’Brien has been a do-it-all type of player for North Reading all season long. He takes faceoffs, he plays offense, he plays defense and he plays on special teams. Without him, the Hornets might not be as successful as they have been this season.

And without Mike O’Brien, North Reading might be pondering its summer plans rather than looking ahead to next round of the tournament.

The junior scored three goals and added an assist while jumpstarting a 7-0, second-half run that helped the No. 2 Hornets take an 8-4 victory over No. 15 Austin Prep in a Division 3 first round matchup.

After the Cougars (13-7) held North Reading scoreless for the first half while taking a 2-0 lead, it was O’Brien who finally got them on the scoreboard. The Prep defense kept long poles attached to the hips of the Hornets high scoring duo of Cody Carbone and Erik Valenti, but O’Brien took advantage of the open space to whip a sidewinder shot from up top.

“We just isolated the person up top,” O’Brien explained. “Whoever drew the short stick, we just had them dodge, and we thought we could take advantage of them there.”

Austin responded with a goal from Brian Haas, but O’Brien came back just over a minute later with his second tally. That forced the Cougars to step out on him and freed up space for Valenti and Carbone to score the next two, the latter coming off a feed by O’Brien to Carbone in the middle for a quick snipe that put the Hornets ahead, 4-3.

“Mike is our unsung hero and no one realizes what he means to this team,” praised North Reading coach Chuck Campobasso. “He takes every faceoff, I can trust him on defense, I can trust him on offense and when he gets open on the crease he gets rid of it real quick. He’s just one of those guys that, when other teams are so worried about Cody and Erik, all of sudden Mike seems to pop open and he takes advantage of it.”

“We don’t have the success we’ve had without him. Even today, Austin put poles on Erik and Cody and we have one middie with a shorty, who is going to take advantage of it? For us, we’ve been lucky to have Mike do that.”

Billy Sexton scored twice, then Valenti and O’Brien added the last two in what was a 7-0 stretch that put the game out of reach.

Valenti finished with two goals and an assist for the Hornets, while Carbone, a 300-point scorer for his career, added a goal and an assist. While admitting that the Hornets need to put together a more consistent effort as they advance in the tournament, he also put his finger on what helped the offense find its groove.

“I think we had more cuts and people were moving more offensively,” Carbone described. “We were able to find the cutters and hit our shots. They were really worried about the crease guy so whenever they slid, we had a guy wide open.”

DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS
Given that these two teams battled to an overtime game during the regular season that ended in a 7-6 Hornets win, it was no surprise that the defenses took center stage early on.

Austin Prep standouts Scott Corcoran (Merrimack commit), Phil Capello (St. Mary’s of Maryland), Steve Jepeal, Will Leramer and Christian Rappa all contributed to several forced turnovers and numerous unforced errors while keeping North Reading off the scoreboard in the first half.

The Hornets were equally as strong in their own end behind Connor Murnane, Phil Bishop, Brian Smith and Chris Schipelliti. It was that group, along with goalie Brian Conway (13 saves) that held the fort until the offense got on track.

“They are a tremendous group of guys. I have the poles, I have the LSM, and I was rolling four different short-stick middies today,” Campobasso said. “I’m very lucky we have guys who understand what we’re trying to do. We’re not doing anything too complicated but they are good at it. They understand when to slide, when not to slide, when to cheat a little bit.”

“They are the backbone and a lot of people don’t think that. When they come here, they assume if they can outscore Cody and Erik, they’ll be okay but then they realize they can’t outscore them because our D is pretty good.”

Coaches Cup recap: Wellesley, C-C final set

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
10:19
PM ET
DOVER, Mass. -- A pair of teams led by stout defenses and outstanding goalies set the stage for what should be nailbiter of a final as Wellesley and Concord-Carlisle each made their way through the stacked field of the Coaches Challenge Cup.

WELLESLEY 8, WINCHESTER 1: The sixth-ranked Raiders got a tremendous game out of defender Ryan Cassidy, who totaled eight ground balls and played lock-down defense to help slow down the No. 11 Sachems in the first of two semifinals at Dover-Sherborn's Frothingham Field.

Wellesley (5-1) assured itself of a title defense by keeping Winchester's (7-1) dangerous group of shooters far away from Penn State-bound goalie Connor Darcey (11 saves).

At one point in the fourth quarter with the Raider D forcing Winchester to keep passing the ball around the box in hopes of finding any hole to shoot through, Darcey could be heard yelling to his teammates, "You're playing perfect Wellesley! Keep it up!"

"Winchester has shooters and we knew that going in," said Raiders head coach Rocky Batty, whose team took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter. "Ryan Cassidy controlled things with Darcey and understood that shooters are shooters, and if they got hot, we would be in trouble. They kept it at 16-18 yards. They drew a line and said 'That's it, this is where you guys will play from.'"

The defensive effort allowed Wellesley to push the transition, and while that didn't always lead to goals, it allowed the Raiders to get settled and at least work long possessions to make the Sachems defense work.

Offensively, Brian Pedersen had a hat trick and Peter Crane notched three assists as Wellesley built a 7-0 lead before Winchester got on the board early in the fourth quarter.

"It was a great team effort overall," Cassidy said. "Our team defense is something we take pride in. We don't have any real stars, we just try to play the fundamentals and work as a unit. This year we have a no-name defense. We try and keep each other as one unit and we do that and stay with the fundamentals, that's when we're most successful."

Despite suffering defeat for the first time this season, Winchester coach John Pirani recalled a similar situation last year where his charges suffered a big loss to Hingham but bounced back to push the Harbormen to a one goal game in the playoffs.

"The reason for the tournament is that we wanted great competition in the middle of the year," Pirani explained. "It's a response to the growth of the game and the risk/reward when you engage in that kind of endeavor is that you might get your head handed to you, 8-1. The reward is that you get the experience of playing a really rigorous opponent who prepares you for tournament play later on."

"We lost to Hingham last year, 16-5, and then came within an eyelash of beating them in the postseason," he continued. "I told the kids, 'I don't know how its going to turn out but I do know that we will be better prepared because we had this experience.'"

CONCORD-CARLISLE 9, HINGHAM 4: The eighth-ranked Patriots will face Wellesley in the title game for a second straight year, getting two goals apiece from Jackson Finigan, Tim Badgley and Kevin Delehey and producing a similarly efficient defensive effort to stifle the No. 3 Harbormen in the day's final contest.

Doug Gouchoe stopped ten shots in the cage while Henry Bumpus and Evan Boynton anchored the defense and didn't allow Hingham's (6-1) talented attack group to get anything going.

The Patriots (5-0) kept Hingham off the scoreboard until the third while sniping five of their own. Dave Freitas and Noah Ellis tried to jumpstart the Harbormen, notching back-to-back goals, but C-C quickly put down any hopes of a comeback by reeling off the next three scores.

"I thought it was a great team win," Gouchoe said. "We were firing on all cylinders and playing together on defense. Our energy feeds off our defense. If our defense plays well, our offense is going to have that confidence to go to the net and score."

Also standing out the crowd for C-C was two-way midfielder Mike O'Brien, who scored the first goal after Hingham's two and basically never left the field as he continually hustled back and forth between both ends.

"Our defense has been phenomenal all year," O'Brien said. "We have four solid defenseman we can rotate, our defensive middies, even our offensive middies that go back and play defense. It's really a six-man effort back there. Doug's at the heart of it making big saves but we also try to limit teams from getting good shots on him."

Added C-C coach Tom Dalicandro, "Mikey's the heart and soul of the team. He's a three-sport star and was a two-way star for us today. We told him after the first game he has to stay on the field as long as he can and not come off until he's dead."

With a big smile, Dalicandro added, "And then he's still going to stay on."

Coaches Challenge Cup: First round recap

April, 18, 2012
4/18/12
12:34
AM ET


NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- In one of this year's top boys' lacrosse leagues, Concord-Carlisle and Lincoln-Sudbury are once more playing the role of the Dual County Leagues' perennial powerhouses.

An early season matchup between the defending conference champs may have started a potential let down, but a late push from the No. 2 Warriors in the Coaches Challenge Cup quarterfinals yesterday afternoon showed why both squads remain top in the state.

With C-C jumping ahead by five goals early, L-S (4-2) battled back but never led as they fell by a slim 8-7 margin at Joe Walsh Stadium in North Andover.

“They are the class of the league and we measure ourselves against them,” C-C head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “We said 'value the ball, posses the ball, and take good shots'. I think we did a much better job today than we have done this year of valuing possession.”



The No. 8 Patriots (4-0) burst out of the gate with the first three goals and a 6-1 lead to open.

Ducking defenders from the top corners of their offense, leading scorer Kevin Delehey netted all three of his goals off isolation plays in the first quarter. Slipping under a pair of Warriors, the C-C senior found himself five-yard in front of the netminder in the final seconds of the initial quarter to send the Patriots into the break up 5-1 with his final tally.

A wide-open open breakaway by long-pole Henry Bumpus left the senior walking into one-on-one with the keeper as he put the DCL (Small) defending champs up 6-1 at 11:04 in the second.

“We were able to generate some good offense out of our dodges,” Delehey said. “I run through those dodges hundreds if not thousands of times. At this point so it is really just reaction.”

After two turnaround tallies put the Warriors down 6-3 at half, L-S junior Jordan Dow nailed a pair of open-net man-up opportunities to help cut the deficit early in the third. L-S junior Dan Delaney rolled around his defender and hit a rip ten yards out to bring the score to 7-6 with 4:42 left in the quarter.

Delaney and Dow led the Warriors with two goals, while C-C senior Mike O'Brien also netted a pair.

“We called an invert and saw some matchups we really liked,” L-S head coach Brian Vona said. “We eventually just tightened up defensively. They just out everything'd us.”

Trading goals between the final quarters, L-S entered the last ten minutes down 8-7, but was unable to finish a pair of man-up chances along the post. A steal by C-C senior keeper Doug Gouchoe from behind the net sealed the victory in the final seconds.

HINGHAM ROLLS AGAIN


In other Coaches Cup quarterfinals action, No. 3 Hingham (5-0) never trailed as it was lead to a 9-5 victory over No. 14 Dover-Sherborn (7-1) with six goals from senior Kevin Blair.

“I was really finding the seams on offense,” Blair said. “We are doing a lot of switches off ball, we are picking for each other and it really opens up the middle. We like to isolate and draw the men (out).”

The Raiders evened two score margin in the first, but gradually faded away as the Harbormen found open shots around the crease.

Three straight scores from Blair in the second helped Hingham run away with a 6-3 lead at 3:11. Scoring all three off motion aside the net, the senior caught a lob pass from fellow upperclassmen Reed McLeod (two goals) late in the quarter and side stepped around both the post and the goalie for his fourth tally on the afternoon.

“We have six guys on the field who are able to play well together,” Hingham head coach John Todd said. “We made them practice at a high tempo. [Blair] sees the field very well and is very fast.”

The Raiders managed to work the ball up top for a score from junior Matt Huemme to grab a 6-4 deficit in the final seconds of the half, but were out shot three goals to one in the final two quarters.

Hingham found Blair behind D-S's defense on a counter late in the third then buried a deep rip from senior Kevin Morris to put D-S away with a 8-4 lead at 7:24 in the fourth quarter.

“They pressured the ball real well and we did not have the ball a lot in the second half,” D-S head coach Brian McLaughlin said. “It is hard to score when you can not get the ball back.”

Originally trailing 3-1 in the first, senior Ben Newbert evened the score for the final time on the afternoon by finishing a ground-ball pickup next to the crease then side-arming a 10-yarder to put the score at 3-3 to end the first. Newbert lead the Raiders with two tallies.

RAIDERS PLUNDER
In the first game of the day, No. 6 Wellesley rolled past North Andover, 14-1.

Midfielder Oliver Saffery led the Raiders with four goals, in addition to a team-high seven ground balls. Ryan Cassidy collected two goals to go along with five ground balls.

Connor Darcey made eight saves in the cage to make it stand up.

"North Andover's a good team, and I'm just glad we came ready to play," Raiders head coach Rocky Batty said. "It's always nice to get a win in the Coaches' Challenge Cup, and we're already excited to play again at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Dover-Sherborn."

GOLDEN WARRIORS GIVE SACHEMS A RUN
In perhaps the day's most riveting game, No. 11 Winchester held off No. 20 Andover in a 10-9 decision.

O'Brien, White favorites for Gatorade POY

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
12:33
PM ET
ESPNHS' Ben Rohrbach previews the Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year race for Massachusetts, today on the Gatorade Player of the Year blog. Among the favorites listed are Concord-Carlisle's Mike O'Brien, and Noble & Greenough's Oliver White.

Rohrbach writes:



Mike O’Brien
Senior midfielder, Concord-Carlisle (Concord, Mass.)

2011 Team record: 15-3-1 (Division 2)
2011 Team standing: Lost Division 2 state championship game

2011 Goals: 20
2011 Assists: 3
2011 Points per game: 1.00
Career goals: 46
Career assists: 11

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Pennsylvania

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Tallied four goals and one assist in Concord-Carlisle’s seven-game run to the Division 2 state championship match. Directly responsible for 23 of the Patriots' 63 goals (36.5 percent). 2011 Boston Globe Division 2 Player of the Year. 2011 NSCAA State Player of the Year. 2011 NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-American selection. Three-time Dual County League All-Star.

Oliver White
Senior forward, Noble & Greenough School (Dedham, Mass.)

2011 Team record: 13-3-1 (Independent School League)
2011 Team standing: Lost in New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A quarterfinals

2011 Goals: 15
2011 Assists: 6
2011 Points per game: 1.24
Career goals: 41
Career assists: 16

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: School Name (commitment)

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation
: Directly responsible for 21 of the Bulldogs’ 45 goals (46.7 percent). Two-time ISL Offensive Player of the Year. Two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic selection.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Devin Devoy: Senior forward, Bishop Feehan (Attleboro, Mass.)
Zachary Herivaux: Freshman midfielder, Beaver Country Day School (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Jack Hilger: Senior midfielder, Hopkinton (Mass.)
Jonathan Mendoza: Senior midfielder, Northfield Mount Hermon School (Gill, Mass.)
Chris Murray: Senior midfielder, Canton (Mass.)


Medfield repeats as D2 EMass champions

June, 14, 2011
6/14/11
8:43
PM ET


ALLSTON, Mass. -- The Medfield Warriors defended their Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 championship on Tuesday night as they defeated the Concord-Carlisle Patriots (20-2) 11-5 at Harvard Stadium.

The Warriors returned to Harvard Stadium this year under different circumstances from years past. They drew a No. 9 seed in the Eastern Massachusetts D2 bracket with a 13-7 regular season record. After losing four of five games at the end of May, including an 11-10 double-overtime heartbreaker to Hopkinton, the Warriors have now won five straight. During their five game run they now boast wins over the two top ranked teams in Division 2 in No. 1 seed Wellesley and No. 2 seed Concord-Carlisle.

“If you were to tell me after the Hopkinton game, our first TVL [Tri-Valley League] loss, that we would be here right now I don’t know would I would have said,” said Medfield senior goalie Sam Aronson. “I would have definitely said no, but I am proud of how everyone stepped up, everyone on our team.”

Aronson and the Medfield defense dominated the ground balls and loose ball opportunities throughout the game forcing turnovers that lead to transition opportunities for the offense.

The Medfield offense was sparked out of the gate by the play of junior attack Connor Roddy (2G, 4A). Following the game’s first goal by Concord-Carlisle’s Matt Carroll (2G) with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter, Roddy would figure in four of Medfield’s next five consecutive goals giving the Warriors a 5-1 lead midway through the second quarter.

“It started off 1-0 but we bounced back with five quick goals,” said Roddy. “We thought we had it in the bag but they came back.”

Concord-Carlisle would answer with a run of their own in the second, netting three goals before the break and cutting the Medfield lead to 5-4 at the half. Carroll scored his second to lead the Patriots run followed by tallies from juniors Mike O’Brien and Jackson Finigan (1G,1A).

“Concord-Carlisle is a great team and is well coached,” Medfield head coach Bob Aronson said. “They had only one loss this season to a great Wellesley team.”

Medfield came out in the second half, locked down on defense and rode strong offensive halves from freshman Matthew Crowell (2G,1A) and junior Chris Diana (2G,1A) to score six goals and extend the lead.

Concord-Carlisle’s lone second half goal came from senior Seth Bird, who was playing in his first game since breaking his collarbone, an injury which had kept him out for the majority of the second half of the season.

“We have just started to come alive the past couple of weeks,” Bob Aronson said. “We have had some tough losses along the way but we learned from them and the kids have built confidence and improved over the season.”

Medfield will face Algonquin (20-4) on Friday in Worcester for the Division 2 state championship. Central Massachusetts champion Alongonquin defeated Western Massachusetts champion Longmeadow 9-8 in overtime on Tuesday.

Notes: Concord-Carlisle was also honored at halftime with the 2011 MIAA Division 2 sportsmanship award. Senior defenseman Michael Anastos (Denison University) was also honored as a 2011 US Lacrosse All-American.

Concord-Carlisle endures Hingham in 3 OT

June, 11, 2011
6/11/11
1:17
AM ET
Concord-Carlisle midfielder Kevin Delehey carried the ball to the top of the Hingham box with 1:40 remaining in the third overtime. With both teams experiencing fatigue from the two-hour back-and-forth battle, the Concord-Carlisle junior dodged right, got a step on his man and ripped a shot that found the back of the net.

“I got a play where I was going to run over the top, maybe pass it off or maybe shoot,“ Delehey said. “The slide did not come so I just took it to the net and shot it. I did not have a very good game through regulation but my coaches told me to be confident, stay with it and it worked out.”

Delehey’s game-winner, with 1:34 left in on the clock, capped off a spellbinding contest that saw Concord-Carlisle (19-1) and Hingham (19-5) exchange blows, take each other’s best shots and leave it all on the field.

“When we played Hingham the first time [11-6 C-C win] Kevin Delehey probably played two minutes in the game,” said Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro. “Today he is a first line middie.”

With Concord-Carlisle battling significant injuries to some of their key players Dalicandro and his coaching staff have made necessary lineup adjustments that have paid off. Junior midfielders Jackson Finigan and Mike O’Brien scored two goals each from their new attack position. Matt Carroll (2G, 1A), Chris Walker-Jacks (2G), and Brendan Gay (1G) also figured in on the C-C scoring.

“Jackson Finigan and Mike O’Brien have moved to attack and they were just awesome, said Dalicandro. “We do not really talk about the injuries. We just expect the kids to go in and play and they do.”

The Concord-Carlisle defense led by senior All-American Michael Anastos, senior Peter George, and junior Henry Bumpus had their hands full with Hingham junior All-American attack Kevin Blair. Blair scored four goals in regulation but the C-C defense locked down in overtime with the help of junior goalie Doug Gouchoe.

“Our team defense has always been our strong point," Anastos said. “ We were really focused on our slides and made sure we always had a player on Blair.”

Hingham midfielder Tim Driscoll (1G, 2A) and goalie Derek McInnis had strong performances in their final games for the Harbormen.

“We are excited to go back to Harvard,” said Dalicandro. “This senior class is really excited to get there.”

Concord-Carlisle will face Medfield in the Division 2 sectional final on Tuesday at Harvard Stadium. Game-time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.


WESTON, Mass. -- In Tom Dalicandro’s book, Concord-Carlisle’s five-goal outburst in the second quarter of Tuesday’s 10-4 win over No. 13 Weston was a downright laser show.

The fourth-ranked Patriots don’t often engage in barnburners; typically, their strength comes on the defensive side of the field.

However, with a balanced attack highlighted by attack Ben Lesser’s five-goal game, C-C proved they can do it both ways while locking up the Dual County League Small title.

“I thought we had a really good second quarter,” Dalicandro said. “In the first quarter, we had some opportunities, but their goalie made some saves and we turned in on the second. We got four goals, that’s pretty good for us.

“That’s a good team [Weston]. I think they can make a run in the tournament. I can easily see them as a final four team, or playing at Harvard. That was a good win for us because that’s a good team.”

Mike O’Brien (2 goals, assist) and Matt Carroll (1 G, 2A) each tallied a three-point games while Jackson Finigan popped in two goals.

Attack Joey Pasquale led the Weston (13-2, 8-3 DCL) offense, tallying a hat trick.

C-C (15-1, 12-0) was frustrated in the early going by Wildcats goaltender Jared Fong, who made four key saves in the first quarter.

The Patriots led 1-0 after one, but things opened up in the second. Lesser got things started with his first tally little over a minute in. He capped off the half, netting his second of the game with 49 seconds remaining, beating his defender off the dodge.

Lesser came back to add two goals in the third quarter to pace C-C to a 7-3 lead. His fourth of the game came from the seat of his pants. As Lesser swept around the front of the cage, he turned a fired a shot on Fong while falling backwards.

“To be honest, if I knew, I’d tell you,” Lesser responded when asked what happened on the play. “I just ran full speed to my right, turned around and shot it as hard as I could. Somehow it went in though.”

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the third, however, came from Patriots goaltender Doug Gouchoe. The junior made several sensational stops to keep the Wildcats off the board as C-C continued to pile it on.

“Doug played great today,” Dalicandro said. “He made some spectacular saves that were huge. There some truly outstanding saves that, normally, those are goals. Those really changed the complexion of the game. They had some point-blank shots that he made stops on.”

St. Mary's fends off Coyle, moves to D3 state final

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
8:12
PM ET



BOSTON –- For a moment, Coyle-Cassidy appeared ready to extend the MIAA Division 3 State semi-finals with St. Mary’s of Lynn to overtime, but Warriors senior guard Brenna Gonsalves’s half court shot with three seconds left sailed away from the rim and allowed the Spartans to walk off the TD Garden parquet with a 53-50 victory.

“I think Coyle-Cassidy is an excellent team and Brenna [Gonsalves] is a tremendous player, but in that fourth quarter again, it looked like we had them and we can’t break press, which we’ve done all year, but we had just enough to get [the win],” said St. Mary’s head coach Jeff Newhall.

“The kids fought [until] the end. We didn’t shoot that well today,” said Coyle head coach Mike O’Brien. “We can’t say anything about the heart about these kids. They were down by nine came back and we were probably about 10-seconds short.”

The Spartans scored early and often once the game began with an 8-0 run. Although, the Warriors would respond from their slow start, as Gonsalves led Coyle with nine points while junior guard Missy Perry who added four points during the second quarter. Yet, the slow start kept allowing St. Mary’s to build the lead and score easy baskets in the paint.

St. Mary’s kept adding points during the second quarter, but watched their largest lead of the period, 19-12 turn into 22-19 lead at halftime. The Warriors also did a tremendous job at defending Gonsalves and provided a great deal of pressure to their offense.

“We talked about, specifically Gonsalves, trying to give that one shot hopefully no shots. I thought Tori [Faieta] and Cassi [Amenta] were very effective on the boards and Ann Marie [Idusuyi] when she was in there thought played excellent as well,” said Newhall. “I thought for the most part, the idea was to try and slow Gonsalves down first and foremost”

“I think we just got going a little too late this time,” said Gonsalves.

Entering the third quarter, the Warriors took off with the lead, as they added an additional 15 points thanks to Amenta and freshman guard Jennie Mucciarone, who helped their team begin the second half by converting their first four field goals in a row.

Yet, the size of St. Mary’s continued to force Coyle to literally only one shot on their various offensive series.

“I think it bothered us a little bit,” said Gonsalves. “We’ve played teams this size like that and somehow we just didn’t adjust to well.”

Although, the Warriors eventually put together a late rally during the final few minutes of the fourth quarter that featured 13 points from Gonsalves and six points from Perry.

However, with time against them, Coyle & Cassidy started committing fouls and watched their state championship dreams slowly drift away, as St. Mary’s connected on [8-10] free throws during the fourth quarter and a majority of those points came on behalf of Amenta, who converted four points from the line.

“It’s a senior moment, but Cassi goes to the line [and goes] four for four at the Boston Garden with people streamlining and yelling and that’s how you get to this point,” said Newhall.

With the win, St. Mary’s will play their biggest game of the season at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday March 19.

“Everyone left it out on the court, everyone played with heart again,” said Gonsalves. “Its now how we wanted it to end, but we have a lot to be proud of this year, couldn’t ask for anything more.”


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