- Written by Mike Halloran
- Published: 12 June 2011
On Tuesday night, the DHS boys’ lacrosse team could be sitting on its eighth lacrosse title in the past 10 seasons.
Taking on No. 2 seeded Billerica, the No. 3 seeded Dragons allowed the Indians to keep it close for the first 12 minutes of action, then went into overdrive and completely dominated the rest of the way for a 19-9 rout in the Division I semifinals at the Marshall Middle School field in Billerica on Saturday afternoon.
While a large portion of the 19 goals were credited to outstanding performances by Paul Hellar (5 goals/4 assists) and Will Siefert (4 goals/3 assists), it was the Dragon defense that played near flawlessly with goalkeeper Henry Buonagurio coming up with spectacular saves at key times in the contest and the blanket coverage of Billerica star Grant Whiteway (one goal) by junior captain Max Randall.
Things didn’t start out quite so positively for the Dragons, as Billerica’s Ben Meluagh took the opening face-off and raced down field to score in five seconds for a 1-0 Indian lead.
It didn’t seem to rattle Duxbury one bit, as Bryan Barry, Andrew Buron, and Hellar scored three goals over a six-minute span to grab a 3-1 lead halfway through the quarter.
The hosts would tie the game as the quarter wore down, but Siefert would throw several fakes on the Billerica defense before beating sophomore goalie Dan Smith with a shot along the ground to forge a 4-3 lead with 50 seconds left on the clock.
It was all Duxbury in the second quarter, as the Dragons exploded for seven goals and an 11-4 halftime lead.
While the offense was near picture perfect, it was a Buonagurio save that ignited the Dragons in the opening minutes of the quarter, as Buron picked up the rebound and sprinted up field, hitting long-stick midfielder Riley Naton on the run, who fed Hellar for his second goal that seemed to demoralize the Indians.
The pace of the game quickened, as the Dragons sprinted down field once again after another spectacular “Bongo” save, with senior captain Kane Haffey burying his shot past Smith for a 6-3 lead.
The Dragons were now scoring at a goal-a-minute pace with Siefert and Hellar making it 8-3 with 5:46 left in the half, but Billerica’s Ross Murphy broke the steak with 1:21 remaining to give the Indians a ray of hope.
That euphoria quickly disappeared, as Naton, Haffey, and Barry scored in the final 1:04 for an insurmountable Duxbury lead.
By the end of the third quarter the lead had grown to 16-7 and Billerica was playing defense with a goaltender double-team by the middle of the fourth quarter.
“What can I say?,” said Coach Chris Sweet. “We executed all over the field. Our defense and Henry were outstanding. Every time they had a good look at the cage he made the big stops. We were great on face-offs and groundballs, and our offense moved the ball really well and found the open guys.”
Having dismantled what many feel would be Duxbury’s biggest challenge now allows the Dragons to hopefully administer some payback on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. at Harvard Stadium when they take on St. John’s Prep, the defending State champs, who defeated Duxbury, 12-11, in OT in last year’s title game.