[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Dover-Sherborn boys lacrosse has solidified itself as one of the premiere teams in Division III, entering Friday’s date with Hockomock champ and Division I power Franklin at 8-3 (5-1 TVL).
Despite holding a two-goal lead late, the Raiders were unable to hold off the powerful offense of the Panthers (11-1, 7-0), as a goal by Nitin Chaudhury with 27 seconds to play broke an 8-8 tie and delivered Franklin the comeback 9-8 victory. Senior captain and attack-man Timmy Polk led DS with three goals and three assists.Bradley Peterson got the Raiders on the board just 15 seconds in after Matt Paolatto won the opening face-off, dashed in and fed a pass to a cutting Peterson who took the ball to X, dodged, and stuck it home up high for the 1-0 lead. Pete Barnard made it a 2-0 game off a feed from Noah Sampson with 8:28 remaining in the opening quarter. Jake Davis fired home a goal with 4:55 to play and the Raiders clung to a 2-1 lead at the end of one quarter.
Franklin tied the game at two with 9:01 to play in the second quarter before Polk untied it on the man-up by launching home a left-handed cannon for the 3-2 lead with 8:01 remaining in the half. Franklin responded with a pair to claim a 4-3 lead with 3:49 remaining in the half. With 37 seconds left in the half, Polk delivered a left-handed strike from 10 yards out to tie the game at four at halftime.
Franklin took a 5-4 lead midway through the third quarter, but Pierce Gregory tied things at five on the man-up as the game entered the final quarter still deadlocked. Polk completed the hat trick to give the Raiders a 6-5 lead with 7:27 to play. Franklin evened things at six before Henry Kenney gave DS back the lead at 7-6 with 5:55 remaining. Erik Niit made it a two-goal game at 8-6 with a cut and finish at the crease with 3:21 remaining, forcing Franklin to take a timeout.
Following the break, Franklin responded with three straight goals, the final coming from Chaudhury on a crazy dodge and nifty feed from Davis with 27 seconds to play. The Panthers stunned the Raiders for the 9-8 win.
At the time of print, DS will look to get back on track against Holliston on May 15.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.