Dragons go for state title

Written by Administrator
 | Tuesday, 10 June 2008 13:44
It never gets old for Duxbury lacrosse Coach Chris Sweet, who takes his boys’ lacrosse team to the State finals for the seventh straight year on Wednesday night at Harvard Stadium.

It never gets old for Duxbury lacrosse Coach Chris Sweet, who takes his boys’ lacrosse team to the State finals for the seventh straight year on Wednesday night at Harvard Stadium.

Winners of the last four State championships, and five in the last six years, Duxbury will try to extend its unbeaten streak against Massachusetts high school teams to 91  games when it takes on #3 seeded Billerica at 7:15 p.m. in the finals.{sidebar id=4}

The last time Duxbury lost to a MA high school team was in the State finals in 2003 when the Dragons lost to Beverly, 8-7.

On Sunday afternoon in Duxbury the Dragons earned their shot at another state crown when they knocked off #4 seeded Xaverian, 14-6.

In oppressive 95-degree heat, the Dragons methodically put the Hawks away at a somewhat slower pace then they have been accustomed to in the play-offs.{sidebar id=1}

“It was sure hot out there,” said Sweet. “I thought we played steady. It was a slow start, but we plugged away.”

After turning the ball over on their first possession and watching the visitors draw first blood, the Dragons finally got their offense going with 4:42 left in the first quarter when senior Scott Austin dodged his defender and came around the net on the left side to beat goaltender Chris Herbert low to the far corner.

dhs-lax-defense.gifBoth sides appeared sluggish in the early going, as neither team was passing crisply or holding onto the ball.

Duxbury finally pulled ahead for good at the 2:24 mark when Derek Sweet was the beneficiary of a Hakeem Lecky rush up field. The junior attack spotted Austin on the side and fed him a pass that he redirected toward Sweet to make it 2-1.

Sweet was hoping to get a little more breathing room for his Dragons, and senior attack Matt Landry obliged by taking a give-and-go pass from Austin in the slot and beating Herbert with 54 seconds left in the quarter for a 3-1 lead.

The game was just 12 minutes old, but it was obvious both teams were struggling with their offense and the heat, despite opportunities by both squads that clanked off the posts.

 Duxbury called a timeout after Xaverian hit the post, giving Sweet a chance to discuss some offensive options with his team. The moved worked to perfection, as Austin pulled one of his behind-the-net moves to make it 4-1 midway through the second quarter.

Derek Sweet took advantage of a lethargic Hawk defense at the 3:48 mark, spotting Gus Quinzani all alone in the slot to make it 5-1, and Austin fooled the Xaverian defense by circling the net and beating Herbert to make it 6-1 at halftime.

It was the second time this year that the Dragons faced Xaverian, and in game one they proved they didn’t have the fire power to come back from a five-goal deficit.

Goals by Sweet and Lecky maintained Duxbury’s five-goal margin at 8-3 with 7:13 to go in the quarter, and it grew to 10-4 at the end of three quarters on another Sweet goal and a tally by Jake Harvey.

There was little doubt who was in control, so it was only a matter of who would get in the scoring column in the final 12 minutes.

Goals by Sweet and Lecky put the game away at 12-4 with 9:38 to go. But two of the prettiest goals of the afternoon were yet to come, as Harvey raced in from midfield down the right side to beat Herbert, and Quinzani brought the crowd to its feet when he wrapped a shot around his neck to beat back-up netminder Sean Halloran after taking a pass from Andy Puopolo.

“This is the time of the year when your seniors have to step up and do the right things on and off the field,” said Sweet. “They have to stay focused and put off all the celebrating until after the tournament is over. A lot of these kids have been here and know how hard you have to work to get here, so I’m hoping that experience will pay off for us on Wednesday night.”{sidebar id=6}