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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
It took three years, which in Raider country feels like an eternity, but DS boys lacrosse is back on top of Division III following a 7-4 victory against Grafton in the DIII state finals on Friday at Babson College.
Pierce Gregory has proved worthy of every bit of preseason hype he received this year, and that trend continued when the star sophomore attack-man netted the game’s first two goals on Friday to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead in the state championship game. Charlie Alfieri fired home a goal off of a feed from senior captain Timmy Polk (two goals) to give DS a 3-0 lead at the end of one.
Grafton cut the deficit down to 3-1 at 10:35 of the second quarter, but DS created chaos on Grafton’s clear attempts, making it nearly impossible for the Indians to get into any sort of rhythm on offense. Peter Barnard fired home a strike off a feed from Ford Pegram to give the Raiders a 4-1 lead at halftime. Junior attack-man Erik Niit made it a 5-1 game 1:32 into the third quarter. Grafton cut it to 5-2, but back-to-back goals by Polk gave DS a 7-2 lead at the end of three.
The Raiders surrendered a pair to Grafton’s Sean Tylesley and Ryan Warner midway through the fourth, cutting the lead down to 7-4, but that’s as close as Grafton would get. A save by Matt Gallitano (six saves) with a little over three minutes to play allowed DS to retain possession and chew clock en route to their fifth state title in school history.
“I’m just happy that we won,” said Gallitano on the victory. “We’ve been working as hard as we could all season long, and it just shows the work that we put in.”
For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.