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Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Fahey lifts St. John's Prep in OT

By Scott Barboza and Brendan Hall
ESPNBoston.com

CAMBRIDGE -- James Fahey wandered Harvard Stadium's field in a daze Wednesday night.

"What just happened?" The St. John's Prep senior defender asked to nobody in particular.

It was a valid question because Fahey had just turned the Massachusetts high school lacrosse world on its head, scoring the winning goal in the Eagles' 12-11 overtime victory over Duxbury to earn the Division 1 state title.

With Fahey's strike, St. John's Prep (20-2) captured its first lacrosse championship and put an end to the Green Dragons' six-year stranglehold on the state championship. The win also allowed the Eagles to avenge last year's overtime defeat by Duxbury (22-2) on the same stage.

"I told the kids before we got here that we were here last year," Prep coach John Roy said. "I didn't want them to stand in amazement of how big this place is. All I could find myself saying was, 'Man this place is big.'"

Roy's squad was up for the occasion in the extra session when Fahey, who has committed to UMass, barreled down the left side from midfield, spurred on by an outlet pass from goalkeeper Nick Triano.

Fahey's teammates cleared to the other side to create a lane to the net in front of Green Dragons goalie Micky Zaverucha. Fahey took care of the rest, beating Zaverucha on the short side.

"When I had situations like that happen early in the season, when there would just be one person between me and the goal, my teammates knew what to do," Fahey said. "They do a great job of clearing my side and letting me go one-on-one with the goalie.

"I couldn't ask for a better situation."

St. John's Prep forced the game to overtime on a fortuitous bounce in the frenetic final minute of play.

Seamus Connelly lifted Duxbury to an 11-10 lead with 18.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on a goal assisted by Bryan Barry (3 goals, 2 assists).

Off the ensuing faceoff, Eagles midfielder Colin Blackwell clanged a shot off the post behind Zaverucha that caromed to Garrett Campbell, who scored with 7.6 seconds left.

"You've got 18 seconds left, you've got to keep yourself motivated," said Campbell, who netted four goals in the win. "You can't say it's over yet. A goal is a goal, no matter how pretty it is, top corners or batting it into the net. A goal is a goal, and it goes up on the scoreboard and counts."

Cohasset takes Div. 3 state title

With less than 90 seconds to go in the first half and his Cohasset Skippers clinging to a one-goal lead over Norwell in the Division 3 state final, Stew Curran gathered his troops for a little pep talk. Among other things, he told them to find some good looks and fire away.

And suddenly, a 4-3 lead turned into a 7-3 halftime advantage, with his players "feeling like they were walking on air."

"I like to say it was what I said in the timeout," Curran kidded after Cohasset won its first state title since 2007, holding on for a 10-8 win.

The top-seeded Skippers (20-2), who have won three titles in five seasons, finish an incredible four-game run in which they outscored the opposition 55-18.

Fitting, though, that the run ended with a very familiar rival.

"I've played with these guys [Norwell] our whole lives -- middle school, club teams -- so they know us very well," said senior attack Will Wise. "They wanted to stop our elite scorers. Last game, it was kind of more on our role players. This game, we had to get our real game going and do what we wanted to do."

And as shown by their three-goal, 54-second flurry at the end of the second quarter, Cohasset ran rip them off in spurts like few others.

It started when junior midfielder Tom Flibbote (four goals) took a feed from Ian Quinlan and rushed across the attacking zone, left to right, before ripping a laser across his body from 20 yards out to beat Pat Johnston high for a 5-3 lead with 1:05 to go.

"Thomas can really shoot the ball," Curran said. "He had a nice little split-dodge up top and really banged it in there."

Dean Driscoll then connected on a feed from Wise on the man-up 37 seconds later, followed by Wise's wrap-around strike with 11 ticks left.

"That was huge," Flibbote said. "After that, I felt pretty good. I didn't say anything, but I was feeling good."

Meanwhile, junior Alex Kennealy manned the faceoff circle nearly flawlessly. Using his quickness, the Colgate commit was as dominant as he has been all year, winning all but six draws on the afternoon. "Alex Kennealy, he's one of my buddies, is just amazing at the X," Flibbote said. "Loves it, he's going to college for it. He dominates the X, and that's one of the reasons why we got it done this year."

Medfield moves on to Div. 2 final

It hadn't been easy.

In its journey through the Division 2 East bracket, No.3 seed Medfield beat its previous three opponents by a margin of just four goals.

Wednesday's East final was no different as the Warriors needed two overtime periods to put down top-seeded Hingham in an 8-7 thriller. Senior midfielder Matt Bletzer scored the winner, his third goal of the game.

Medfield (18-4) kept one of Massachusetts' most dangerous shooters, Hingham's John Fitzgerald, largely in check. However, the Syracuse recruit's strong personal effort with 3:09 remaining in the fourth quarter erased Hingham's four-goal deficit and pushed the game into overtime.

"Fitzgerald's obviously a great player, he's got a lot of strengths," Medfield junior defender Garrett Read said. "We just tried to take away some of those."

After a 3-3 first half, Medfield ran out to a 7-3 lead in the third quarter.

Hingham (19-5) began its climb back on Fitzgerald's first goal, scored in the last minute of the third. Senior midfielder Jake Quinn netted his third goal of the game before Brett Canepa drew the Harbormen within a goal in the fourth.

"We did what we came here to do," Hingham head John Todd said. "Everything except for winning. We stuck to our game plan. They just had one more goal than we did."

That strike came with 3:30 remaining in the second overtime as Bletzer created space on the right wing and ripped off a shot, beating Hingham goalkeeper Derek McInnis just inside the far post.

"I think we showed great mental toughness throughout," said Medfield junior goalie Sam Aronson, who finished with 26 saves. "The way we played in so many tight games and to battle through those was great."

Medfield will face Division 2 West champion Longmeadow for the state title Saturday (3 p.m.) at Foley Stadium in Worcester.