WAYLAND — It was announced during pregame introductions that the Wayland boys lacrosse team had the top rated defense in Eastern Massachusetts after surrendering less than four goals per game.
The Beverly lacrosse team was not intimidated. In fact, that little tidbit served as motivation for Beverly’s offense and defense.
The Panthers scored four goals in each of the first two quarters and the defense stood out, especially in the second half when Wayland played with a sense of urgency, and Beverly rolled over the Warriors, 9-4, in an East Division 2 quarterfinal.
Beverly (19-4) will play at top-seeded Hingham Friday (5 p.m.) in a semifinal.
“When they announced that our kids got fired up. Our defense got fired up,” Beverly coach John Pynchon said. “They wanted it. Midway through the third I went over there (to the defense) and said, ‘Four is it. Close the door; don’t let them score again.’ They stuck with it and Wayland had three good scoring opportunities and (goalie) Kevin Lally came up huge.”
Pynchon praised his defense, particularly Andrew Irving, Ty Martz, Mike Dooling, Dylan Jutras, Lally, Jack Atherton and Jordan Rawding, for taking control of the game when Wayland changed the pace.
Sensing their season was on the line, the Warriors started the second half with two quick goals, cutting the Beverly lead to 8-4. The Panther defense immediately tightened up and began forcing Wayland into frequent turnovers.
Then, when the Beverly offense took the ball it became even more patient.
“As an offense, we talked about possession being more important than a goal. If it’s going well and we’re on a run, then take the risk, but otherwise pull it out and don’t do anything crazy,” Pynchon said. “At the same time, if you do turn it over, then ride, ride, ride.”