HINGHAM — Through the first 23 games of the season, the Beverly boys lacrosse team was only held to single digits six times. Only once was it limited to less than five goals.
With no fewer than six scoring threats on the field at all times, the Panthers’ offense had to be considered one of the most dangerous in Eastern Massachusetts lacrosse.
But yesterday in an East Division 2 semifinal, that dangerous offense met its match as top-seeded Hingham held the Panthers well below their scoring average in an 8-4 win. Hingham will now play Medfield Wednesday at Harvard Stadium in the East Div. 2 final.
The Harbormen (21-3) locked on to Brendan Flaherty, Dom Abate and Ryan Shipp and played tight defense everywhere else, forcing Beverly to beat them from the outside in, which also put pressure on the Panthers to maintain possession.
Beverly didn’t have many quality scoring chances, and even when it did, Hingham senior goalie Thomas Bannan made the tough stops.
“They were having all their shots from at least 10-15 yards out. Our D-middies were doing a great job in the crease, keeping on their crease guys, too,” Bannan said. “Our transition defense did a great job compared to last game (against Winchester), when we struggled a little bit. They scored almost all their goals in transition; this game, I don’t even know if we gave up one in transition.”
Hingham hit Beverly (19-5) with a three-goal first quarter and held a 5-1 lead at halftime. David Freitas scored his third goal of the game just six seconds into the third quarter on a man-up situation. At that point, it seemed as if Beverly’s window was closing.
Needing goals of its own, Beverly watched Hingham freshman Jacob Brodie score back-to-back goals in the final two minutes of the third quarter for an 8-1 lead.