Boston High School: Tom Casale

WEST ROXBURY, Mass. – Jack Sharrio had never experienced anything quite like it before. Last week, the St. John’s Prep senior attackman was driving his car when he realized he couldn’t see quite as well as usual. It turned out he was suffering an allergic reaction to the eye drops he’d been taking.

Thankfully, Sharrio was fine, but it forced him to miss the Eagles’ Saturday game against Division 2 power Hingham – a game they lost, 9-5.

On Monday, he made his return to the Prep lineup and put on a show, leading the No. 9 Eagles with a four-goal, five-point performance in their 14-10 win over Catholic Conference rival No. 19 Catholic Memorial.

“His presence was missed [on Saturday],” Prep head coach John Roy said. “So tonight I think there was a little bit of wanting to step up and it showed. He was aggressive all night.”

The Eagles (8-3) halted a two-game losing steak with a renewed emphasis on ball movement, while sending the Knights (6-7) to their third straight defeat – all coming against Catholic Conference competition.

Shawn Waldon compiled a four-point game (3 G, 1 A) while Andrew Gallahue (2 G, 1 A) and Ben Anthony (1 G, 2 A) each had three points. Princeton-bound midfielder Drew O’Connell also dished out two key assists on fourth-quarter goals, providing the Eagles some insurance.

“When we started to cut, Drew O’Connell had his head up and was making the looks,” Roy said. “For us, that’s something that we’ve been looking for.”

While Prep’s streak of games not having allowed a man-up goal was broken on Monday — with CM cashing in on three man-advantages in the first half — the Eagles closed the game with authority, holding while down two men in the final two minutes of the game. Eagles goaltender Tom Casale made two of his seven saves on the game during that man-down situation, snuffing out any thought of a comeback bid.

Derek Osbahr and Anthony Merullo also were instrumental in the victory in their support on faceoffs, winning a combined 16 ground balls.

Sharrio, who quarterbacked the Eagles football team to an Eastern Mass. Super Bowl championship in the fall, has been a key cog to the lacrosse team in each of his four years.

However, this is the first year he’s shifted up to attack. And while Prep has been averaging more than 10 goals a game, they struggled offensively against Hingham.

With a full complement of players, including Sharrio, the Eagles were able to get back to what’s made them effective.

“We were dodging pretty well, trying to find the open man,” Sharrio said. “There were sometimes we could’ve caught and scored a little bit better than we did, but that’s something we can work on. I think it just shows that if we keep this up in the future we’ll be alright.”

Recap: No. 19 St. John's Prep 9, No. 9 CM 8 (2 OT)

May, 4, 2012

WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- There is no question St. John's Prep is going to face adversity as its closes its season with one of the toughest schedules in the state.

Clashing against top-fifteen ranked opponents in six of his final nine games, Eagles head coach John Roy is looking to make sure his squad is well prepped for the postseason. If a three goal fourth quarter comeback and a 9-8 double-overtime victory over Catholic Conference foe Catholic Memorial on Thursday is any sign of things to come, No. 19 SJP (8-4, 5-2) is up to the challenge.

“It is nerve racking to be on the sidelines for a game like this, but it is valuable for the players to get that experience” Roy said. “This is a great way to start this final run of seven games.”

The Eagles upset the host No. 9 Knights (9-3, 5-1) at James R. O'Connor Stadium with three goals and two assists from attack Andrew Gallahue and two tallies by midfielder Drew O'Connell (both sophomores).

With Prep scoring the last five goals of the game, a 15-yard side-arm rocket by O'Connell at 2:26 in the second extra period sealed the victory for the Eagles. As Gallahue worked the sidelines midway the second overtime, the sophomore popped the ball up top to O'Connell who finished along the side post for the win.

“I saw Andrew dodging and I saw an opening,” O'Connell said. “I have been playing since the second grade (and) shooting a lot in my back yard. He had been stuffing me a lot all game, but that one went through.”

The clincher was the second assist for Gallahue, who set up the game tying goal with 33 seconds left in regulation. After the two leading scorers hit net to open the fourth quarter, Gallahue ran a set play from behind the crease and cut backwards to find a slim gap on the outside to organize the third score of the period.

On his way towards the keeper, the attackman caught a slide and popped the rubber up top to fellow Eagle's sophomore Joey Cavallaro for a wide open five-yard finish.

“[Coach] wanted me to go back left, take a dodge, and feed one of the people in the crease,” Gallahue said. “I saw Joey Cavallaro come to me and I just tossed the ball.”

“We do run it in practice, (but) it did not go exactly as we had planned,” added Roy.

The Knights, who never trailed in regulation, took a 3-2 lead at 4:26 in the first quarter and led for the next 40 minutes. A side-net assist from freshman Tyler Bogart set up an open backdoor cut by fellow attacker sophomore Steve Righini to give CM the edge.

The Knights scored the next four, including a one-timer by sophomore Zack O'Brien off a steal and assist by senior Austin Bannister for a 6-2 lead at 4:57 in the second quarter.

“We were trying to use everybody on offense,” CM head coach Kevin Lynch said. “We have come out on the losing end of two overtimes so far and that was our third one.”

Gallahue helped Prep battle back with a pair in the final two minutes of the half, but the Eagles gave up two by CM senior leading scorers Tom Stanton (3 G, 1 A) and John Harrison (2 G) to open the third. CM had an 8-2 advantage in man-up opportunities, while outscoring the Eagles 2 -1 with the extra player.

Prep keeper Thomas Casale made 17 saves, while CM senior Miles McCarthy knocked away 14.

“Their keeper was making good saves all night,” Roy said. “We needed to move to be able to score.”

Both teams have two in-conference games remaining, with second-place Prep a game behind league-leader CM. The Eagles finish their final two weeks of the season with a pair of road games against No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury (9-2) and No. 12 Billerica (8-4) and two home closers against No. 1 Duxbury (11-2) and No. 6 Medfield (7-2).

With six total games left, Prep needs one more win to reach the postseason, while CM has already qualified.