Boston High School: Reed McLeod

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.

Andover thriller highlights Coaches Cup 1st round

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
12:05
AM ET
SUDBURY, Mass. -- It was a flurry at the beginning and a breathless save at the end that delivered a riveting 12-11 victory for 20th-ranked Andover over No. 15 Lincoln-Sudbury in the first game of the first day of the Coaches Challenge Cup on Monday.

The Golden Warriors defeated the host Warriors by running out to a blazing start. However, L-S didn’t go quietly and kept spectators in suspense right up till the final horn.

After cashing in on their first four shot opportunities of the game, Andover (6-0) threatened to rout the Warriors. But L-S recovered to draw within a goal, 8-7, at halftime.

There were four lead changes in the second half, but the Golden Warriors stayed ahead for good on David Belluche’s goal with 6:12 to play, thanks to the defensive effort led by senior goalkeeper Crosby Nicholson and senior long-stick Ben Cook.

“That’s Crosby Nicholson,” Andover head coach Wayne Puglisi said. “He makes those types of saves. I don’t know how many one-on-one chances there were today.”

Nicholson saved the game from heading into overtime by stoning L-S midfielder Reed Spencer at point-blank range with 15 seconds to play.

“Lincoln-Sudbury made us play smarter and stronger today,” Puglisi said. “They’re a team that did things that we hadn’t seen all year long.”

Meanwhile, for L-S, which fell to 3-3 on the heels of a three-game losing streak, it’s all about getting a young group of players on the same page in light of some notable absences on the field. Top attack Marc Pace is out for the season with an Achilles injury and top D-man Paul Tocci has also been on the shelf, not to mention a freak accident to midfielder Dan Delaney that occurred last week.

“We’re young, but we’ve just got to get it done,” L-S head coach Brian Vona said. “That’s our issue, we don’t understand how to compete at a high level yet.”

C-C’s on a roll


The thumping sixth-ranked Hingham administered on Concord-Carlisle during last year’s Coaches Cup was not lost on the Patriots. And they used that unpleasant memory as cause to start this year’s first-round matchup with the Harbormen.

“We were pretty ready to play today,” Patriots senior attack Seth Bird said. “Hingham crushed us in the second round of the Coaches Cup last year in the second round, so we were pretty ready to go.”

Bird and his teammates took flight in the second quarter when they scored five goals to run out to a 7-1 halftime lead. Despite a second-half run from the Harbormen, No. 2 C-C held on to return the favor, beating Hingham 11-6.

“I think Seth Bird just really had a good game,” C-C head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “He was able to get by his man and I think they’re a little young on defense, so that allowed us to get some opportunities and Ben Lesser was able to cash in.”

Bird tallied a four-point game while notching a hat trick for the Patriots (6-0) while Lesser chipped in a three-point game (2G, 1A). Chris Walker-Jacks also added a goal and an assist.

Reed McLeod and David Freitas tallied two goals each in the second half to lead the comeback attempt for Hingham (5-1)

“We’ve got a lot of chemistry going this year,” Bird said of C-C’s offense. “We’ve got an attitude that this is our last chance this year to make a real run in the tournament.”

Wellesley doubles up Winchester
No. 3 Wellesley (5-0) remained undefeated on the early season as they defeated Winchester 8-4 in their first game of the 2011 Coaches Challenge Cup.

Wellesley led 2-1 after the first quarter but extended the lead to 6-2 at the half behind three goals from senior midfielder Sam Lawrence.

“Sam is always one of the best athletes on the field and when he gets in the open field he can really do some nice things,” said Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty. “The last five minutes of the second quarter we really pushed transition like we like to as a team.”

Winchester junior goalie Alex Sharp was exceptional in net all day for the Sachems, turning away 18 shots and making countless highlight film saves, to keep Winchester in the game.

“Winchester really played well,” said Batty. “A good goalie makes those saves and I think he (Sharp) was the player of the game out there today.”

Wellesley junior attack Peter Crane (3 goals, assist) scored the lone goal in the third quarter on a dish from junior midfielder Paul Vasko (1G, 1A) eight minutes in to the second half.

Winchester (2-3) kept fighting the entire way as junior midfielder Brendan Kelley and junior attack Jesse Samek (2G) would score the first two goals in the fourth to cut the lead to 7-4 midway through the final quarter.

Crane would put the game away in the final minutes for Wellesley as he scored his third goal on a pass from senior midfielder Charlie Jennings (2A).

Junior midfielder Oliver Saffrey (1G, 2A) and junior goalie Connor Darcey (10 saves) also played well for Wellesley in the win.

D-S dominant
No. 11 Dover-Sherborn (6-0) got out to a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as they controlled North Andover (3-2) to win the final game on the opening day of the 2011 Coaches Challenge Cup, 11-2.

After a slow start by both teams D-S really turned it on and were sparked by the electric play of junior midfielder Billy Polk (3 goals, assist) and senior attack P.J. Copponi (3 goals).

“I thought we played well after we started being patient against their zone,” D-S head coach Brian McLaughlin said.

The third quarter proved to be the deciding quarter for D-S as they outscored North Andover 4-1 to extend the lead to 8-2 at the end of the third.

“We moved the ball well and got a couple goals in transition that proved to be the difference in the third.” said McLaughlin.

D-S also received strong performances from senior goalie Jeff Williams, who did a great job clearing the ball all day, and senior midfielder Robbie Simms (1G, 2A). D-S will now play Wellesley on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Hingham in the next round of the Coaches Challenge Cup.

“We know each other well,” said McLaughlin. “We played here last year (Wellesley won 6-5). Coach and I are good friends and the kids know each other from playing summer ball. It will be a match-up of the Raiders, red versus blue.”

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