- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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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.
A FULL DECK
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.”