The Hometown Weekly for all your latest local news and updates! 25 Years of Delivering Your Hometown News!  

Lancers spoil debut for Morse, Xaverian lax

Junior close D Nolan Dion (5) avoids the ride and moves the ball up the field. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Often slept on due to their distant location out in Western Mass, perennial Division II power Longmeadow made an extremely loud statement on Thursday night when the Lancers (1-0) traveled out east for their season-opening tilt at Xaverian.

The long-awaited debut for new head coach Daggett Morse did not go as planned for the Hawks (0-1), as a scoring barrage by senior midfielder Luke Syzluk (six goals, one assist) helped catapult Longmeadow to a resounding 18-8 victory. The Lancers being without the services of senior attack-man Carter Hanrahan makes the win that much more impressive.

“I need to coach better,” said Morse following the game. “Long season ahead. Time to watch the film and figure out where we need to improve.”

From the onset, Longmeadow was In control. The Lancers dominated the face-off X, with Luke McHugh going 14-of-15 on the evening. A 3-0 run to begin the game by the Lancers was countered by an upstairs rip by Xaverian senior captain and Ithaca commit Jack Pastore to cut the deficit to 3-1. Longmeadow spent the majority of the remainder of the quarter on the man-up and made Xaverian pay with a 4-1 run, highlighted by a pair of goals from Syzluk and a beautiful backhanded shovel shot upstairs by senior attack-man Richie Joseph (five goals, five assists).

After taking a 10-3 lead into halftime, Longmeadow continued to pound away early in the second half. Xaverian’s offense struggled to penetrate Longmeadow’s relentless defense. The Lancers extended their lead to as many as 10 at 14-4 late in the third quarter, but Xaverian countered with back-to-back man-up goals by junior Ben Ryan to make it 14-6 at the end of three.

What looked like a potential Xaverian comeback was quickly put to bed by Longmeadow early in the fourth following back-to-back goals by attack-man Sam Weaver to make it a 16-6 game. Longmeadow maintained their 10-goal edge until the final whistle to come away victorious.

“We knew what we had as a team,” said Luke Syzluk following the victory. “We just brought everything we had. We knew they were fourth [ranked in the state], and that just didn’t matter at all because we know what we have. We brought it today and it showed. Big warning out there."

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

Comments are closed.