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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
With a surplus of talent returning from last season’s ISL champion team, 2018 is a season stacked with extremely high expectations for St. Sebastian’s lacrosse, who enter the ranked No. 17 nationally, according to Inside Lacrosse.
The list of Division I-bound laxers playing at St. Sebastian’s in 2018 is absolutely staggering, as players have already given their verbal commitments to prestigious academic and lacrosse-rich institutions such as Duke, Maryland, Holy Cross, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins.
This past week, the Arrows (4-0) began their season and wasted no time time getting into the thick of it, playing a slate of games against some of the top competition not only in Massachusetts or New England, but the entire country.
Seb’s opened up with a 14-6 victory over Westminster on March 20 behind a hat trick by junior attack-man and Cornell commit Brian Piatelli, a hat trick by Medfield native and senior attack-man Peter Pickard, two goals by Holy Cross commit and Needham native Peter Murphy, and a pair from sophomore Declan Maguire.
On March 22, Seb’s upended one of the top public school teams in the state with a 7-1 victory over Catholic Conference power BC High. The victory came thanks in large part to a pair of goals by both Piatelli and Duke commit and Westwood native Mike Swirbalus, as well as a shut-down defensive effort by Providence-committed defensive pole and Westwood native Cam Martin.
The next day on March 23, the Arrows took down No. 19 IMG Academy (FL), 9-8 in overtime. IMG has produced elite all-world lacrosse talent in recent years, such as current Albany attack-man and 2017 No. 1 high school recruit Tehoka Nantecoke.
The game turned out to be exactly as advertised: a gritty back-and-forth affair that featured a pair of goals by both Pickard and Medfield native and Holy Cross commit Matt DeSisto, as well as 11 saves by Hopkins-bound goaltender Alex Gainey. Maryland-bound midfielder and Needham native Will Plansky took a pass from Piatelli and fired home a lefty bouncer in overtime to move Seb’s to 3-0, giving the Arrows their biggest win of the season thus far in dramatic fashion.
On Saturday, the Arrows made it three wins in four days with a 17-6 victory over Navy Prep (MD) behind a season-high five-goal performance by Swirbalus.
With this much Division I talent rostered, as well as the amount of chemistry these boys seem to share with one another, the Arrows have a great chance of winning a second straight ISL title and making a run in the national tournament come May/June, where they would likely be seeing IMG once again.
Seb’s will host Roxbury Latin on April 3 before playing their annual rivalry match with Nobles on April 6 at Harvard.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.