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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Medfield High School boys varsity lacrosse team completed a successful season on Tuesday afternoon at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School in the MIAA Division II state semifinals. After winning the South Sectional in dramatic comeback fashion against Walpole last Saturday night in Ashland, the Warriors (12-6) fell to a very strong Longmeadow team by a final of 13-10.
3-0 leads seem to have served as a bit of a jinx to the Warriors throughout these 2017 playoffs, as during their 13-12 comeback victory over Walpole in the Sectional finals, the Warriors jumped ahead 3-0 before trailing 8-3 and later coming back to win in overtime. On Tuesday, the Warriors again found themselves ahead 3-0 with just over a minute to play in the first quarter thanks to goals by Johns Hopkins commit Owen Murphy on a strong left-handed drive and finish, senior attack-man Mark Nevins off the rebound of a Jack Cahill shot, and sophomore Mike Hauptman off a sweet feed from freshman Jack McCordic.
However, Longmeadow responded with an offensive explosion in the final minute of the quarter, netting three goals in the final 32 seconds to even the game at three at the end of one despite Medfield being the clearly better team for almost the entirety of the opening frame.
Just 27 seconds into the second quarter, Longmeadow went ahead 4-3 following a bounce shot during a fast break off the opening face-off. With 6:04 to play, Medfield put an end to the 4-0 Longmeadow run via Jack McCordic, who scooped a loose ground ball in the middle of the box and fired a shot low to knot the game at four. Longmeadow would counter the McCordic snipe with two goals in the final 3:51 of the quarter, and entered halftime with a 6-4 advantage.
The Warriors began the second half of play with incredible offensive tempo thanks to key face-off wins by freshman face-off specialist Michael Tyer. The possessions won by Tyer paid off in the form of back-to-back goals by Cahill just 38 seconds in on a drive and left-handed rip up high and Nevins’ second of the game off a nice feed from senior midfielder Jack Fitzgerald behind the cage, tying the game at six with 10:10 to play in the third.
Following the second tally of the afternoon from Nevins, Longmeadow put home two straight goals to give themselves an 8-6 edge with 8:17 remaining in the quarter. The Lancers would add another to extend the lead to 9-6, but Nevins would complete the hat trick and cut it to a two-goal game at 9-7 at the end of three thanks to a feed from McCordic at the top of the box.
Just 26 seconds into the fourth, Longmeadow extended their lead back to 10-7 with a goal on the man-up. Hauptman quickly cut it back to a two-goal game after quick-sticking a pass from Fitzgerald on the doorstep into the back of the cage. McCordic cut the Longmeadow lead down to one at 10-9 with a scoop and shoot from nine yards away with 7:52 left. The Lancers responded with two straight goals, however, to pull ahead by three at 12-9 with 2:40 to play. An empty netter by Longmeadow when Medfield pulled goaltender Liam Gately out of the cage to serve as an extra defender extended the lead to four at 13-9 with 1:44 to play. Holy Cross-bound Jack Cahill got Medfield back to within three with 59 seconds remaining on a strong right-handed rip, but the Warriors were unable to get another quality offensive chance and the Lancers prevailed 13-10.
While the loss certainly stings, Medfield assistant coach Daggett Morse said that this group of Warriors was a pleasure to be around.
“Some of our flaws and mistakes caught up to us,” said Morse. “We had a really fun group this year.”