By Matt Jenkins
---- — It’s not that John Pynchon and the Beverly High boys lacrosse team needed validation for what they accomplished this season. But the Panthers found out they earned some respect during their run to the East Division 2 semifinals.
It was announced yesterday that Beverly placed two players on the Eastern Massachusetts Lacrosse Coaches’ Association All-American team for the first time in 10 years.
Senior midfielders Brendan Flaherty and Dom Abate were chosen, along with St. John’s Prep senior faceoff specialist Derek Osbahr and junior attack Andrew Gallahue.
Flaherty was named to the First Team while Abate, Osbahr and Gallahue were each Second Team selections.
On the girls side, Pingree School senior goalie Maura Grady and Masconomet senior attack Amy Arnold were named to the United States Lacrosse Girls’ All-American Team.
“It’s tremendous. It shows how much (the program has) grown ... not grown because they used to be great, but when I took over we struggled the first couple years,” Pynchon said. “Both Dom and Brendan were freshmen on the varsity as part of the first team to get us back on the winning track. They had tremendous careers. Both had tremendous seasons and it’s also like career-capping for them.”
Flaherty and Abate each reached the 100-goal milestone this spring.
“It’s a great honor. It means a lot to me, especially because of the people who’ve been here before,” said Abate, who will continue playing at Springfield College next year.
“Making it to the semifinals this year after some tough losses (previously) in the playoffs, it feels like a credit to all the hard work we’ve put in over the past four years.”
For St. John’s Prep, Osbahr was dominant at the faceoff X all season, winning 83 percent of his draws, while Gallahue led the Eagles with 82 points (50 goals, 32 assists).
“Andrew was voted one of the best eight attackmen in Eastern Massachusetts, which is a pretty good honor,” St. John’s Prep coach John Roy said. “Derek, at that particular task, he’s the best I’ve coached and one of the best I’ve seen in high school. Some don’t view the faceoff as important as I do, but look at the college national championship. The Duke faceoff man in the second half, he was the MVP of the championship game. It’s such a valuable asset and I seemed to be saying that (about Derek) after every game this year.”
Flaherty, Abate and Osbahr will also play in the BostonLax.net High School All-American Game at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge Monday (7 p.m.). Interestingly enough, Abate and Flaherty will be playing on different teams.
“I had no part of that. When I got the list I saw that and wrote them an email,” Pynchon said. “I told them to get out there on defense and go head-to-head.”
For the girls, Grady is a two-time Eastern Independent League Most Valuable Player as a goalie. One of the top keepers in the state, Grady will play next year at James Madison.
Arnold, Masconomet’s high-scoring attack, will continue playing at the University of Florida next spring. She was named the Cape Ann League Division 1 Player of the Year this spring.