- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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WEST ROXBURY, Mass. – It’s not about the quantity of chances, it’s about the quality.
There weren’t many scoring chances to go around on either side in Tuesday night’s Catholic Conference lacrosse duel between No. 4 Xaverian and No. 12 Catholic Memorial, but the Hawks were simply the more patient, more efficient team.
Xaverian took a 7-3 win, completing a season sweep over its league rival, while improving 5-0 in Catholic Conference play.
“Possession is everything in a game like this,” Hawks head coach Tim Gardner said. “We know they can score if we give them the opportunity. They have talent and I think they’re their best with odd-man opportunities and on the fastbreak, so really we just wanted to slow the game down – play six-on-six.”
The Hawks (7-2) had contributions from six different goalscorers and never trailed.
Xaverian took a 3-0 lead through the first quarter, with goals from Will McCarthy and D.J. and Sean Sperzel. A pair of second-quarter goals from Lukas Buckley helped the Hawks to a 6-2 halftime lead.
In the second half, Xaverian’s staunch defense took over, limiting the Knights’ clean looks at the cage, as CM (7-3) was only able to get four shots on goal.
“We’re making our slides and recovering well, it’s all the things that you hope guys are doing – talking, communicating,” Gardner said. “They’re really buying into the system. They’re great athletes out there and we’re just letting them run.”
Joe Zegarelli made nine saves to keep the Knights in it, while Zach O’Brien scored a pair of goals. Frank Cosolito scored the lone goal of the third quarter to get CM within three goals at 6-3, but
“They controlled that game, the possession time had to be 60-40,” CM head coach Kevin Lynch said. “They won some faceoffs and, then when they got the ball, there’s a reason they’re a top team. They get the ball, they hang onto it. They took their time, got good shots and made them count.”