Beverly High boys lacrosse coach John Pynchon has the scouting report and could have spent the last 48 hours pouring over every little detail surrounding Hingham.
Pynchon has watched the tape of his team’s East Division 2 semifinal against Hingham last year — which the Panthers lost, 8-4 — to find any tendencies the John Todd-coached Harbormen might have.
Focusing on an upcoming opponent in great depth no doubt helps a coaching staff develop a game plan. But ultimately this game — the Division 2 state semifinal today at Harvard University (3:30 p.m.) — like all others, will be decided by which team plays better.
“It’s 90 percent us,” said Pynchon about his team’s focus. “We’ve had essentially one day to prepare. We look at the info we gather and put together a game plan, but we’ll do the same stuff we try to do and I’m sure John will try to do what they’ve done. It comes down to which team plays better.”
The Panthers (14-8) may not have come into any of their three playoff games as overwhelming favorites, but they clearly had a slight advantage over Northeastern Conference foes Danvers and Marblehead, two teams that they defeated twice each during the regular season. Wakefield, meanwhile, was the higher seed, but most expected Beverly to be in the hunt in that North semifinal contest.
Hingham presents an entirely different situation. The Harbormen are currently 18-5 and faced little resistance in their journey through the South sectional.
They played a loaded schedule during the regular season and faced a common opponent with Beverly. Hingham defeated St. John’s Prep, 15-5, while the Panthers lost to the Prep, 17-14.
Hingham has two marquee players in midfielder Caleb Brodie and long-stick midfielder Jack Ullrich. Brodie will continue playing lacrosse at the University of Maryland next year.