Boston High School: P.J. Capponi
May, 14, 2011
By Tom Layman | ESPNBoston.com
DOVER, Mass. -- The Apri 29 loss to Tri-Valley League powerhouse Medfield could have done one of two things to the Dover-Sherborn boys' lacrosse team. It could have spiraled the Raiders’ season out of control or it could have served as a launching pad for bigger and better things.
It’s safe to say the Raiders chose the latter.
No. 10 Dover-Sherborn (13-2) claimed it’s fourth straight victory since that defeat with a 10-5 triumph over No. 16 Walpole on Saturday afternoon at Nathaniel Frothingham Field.
“I think we had won a few game games before [the loss to Medfield] and getting to a loss you kind of take a look at yourself and say what can we do better,” said Raiders head coach Brian McLaughlin. “We’ve been concentrating on some of those things.”
The Raiders began the game with a 2-0 lead in the first quarter because of good spacing and precision passing in the offensive zone, which was just the way the game began a few weeks ago against Medfield.
However, this time the Raiders didn’t go into a prolonged scoring funk as P.J. Copponi scored three goals and three other players recorded multi-goal games. Ben Newbert, Jared Spence and Brandon Jaegaer all collected two goals apiece, and Billy Polk added a goal and three assists.
“We’ve been in that situation before and we didn’t want to let what happened against Medfield happen today,” said Copponi. “We knew we had to do some things differently and we did. It worked out well.”
The offensive output will be appealing to look at in the box score, but the Raiders’ defensive unit provided the backbone for the scoring surges in the second half. Walpole was held to one goal in the final 21 plus minutes of the game, and McLaughlin saw some of the little things that his team has been concentrating on in practice come through in a key game.
“We did a great job of getting back in the hole today, not giving up fast breaks,” said McLaughlin. “When you lose to a great team like Medfield you look at what you are doing and what you can improve at.
The Raiders don’t have to wait long until that next shot at Medfield, barring the typical fluctuation of New England weather expected this upcoming week. Medfield has owned the Tri-Valley League since the start of the league, and the suddenly hot Raiders’ will need a complete victory like the one they got on Saturday to knock the “King” from the thrown.
“Medfield is our rival and we like to come out strong against those guys,” said Copponi. “We came out strong, but we didn’t really finish the way we wanted to. We had a couple of good days of practice after that and knew that we had a lot of work to do. Medfield is a great team and we have another shot at them, luckily.”