, Salem, MA


August 20, 2013

Fantasy Matchups: 2003 Beverly vs. 2010 St. John's Prep lacrosse

Picking a winner between the area's two best-ever lacrosse teams no easy task


“Each year, that win gets a little bigger.”

A win for the ages. Who knew at the time that seven years later St. John’s and Duxbury would stage a game that was just as good, if not better?

Instead of fighting for statewide acceptance like Beverly was in 2003, St. John’s was fighting for the rest of the state. A few years into Duxbury’s title run it had become the Green Dragons against the field.

“Duxbury has been a great measuring stick for Massachusetts,” St. John’s coach John Roy said. “It’s almost like Tiger (Woods) in golf; everyone was trying to get to that level.”

The Eagles believed they were ready in 2010. For the second straight year St. John’s defeated Duxbury in the regular season, but the Green Dragons shocked their challengers in the first half of the title game rematch, opening a 7-3 advantage.

St. John’s was the team that mounted a comeback this time, slowly pecking away in the second half. Momentum clearly favored St. John’s by the time it knotted the game at 10-10, but then disaster struck.

“I stepped in the crease again,” Campbell, the Prep’s all-time leading scorer, said recalling a play with less than a minute to go. “At least I got a shot off in my senior year and hit the post. Looking back I think, ‘What an idiot.’”

Duxbury took an 11-10 lead with 18 seconds left when Seamus Connelly scored. It looked like Duxbury’s championship streak would continue, but Campbell would be heard from again.

The Prep had one more chance and everything was riding on the faceoff following Connelly’s goal. Macdonald, just like he had done so many times before, quickly pushed the ball forward off the faceoff. Blackwell, playing the wing for the first time that year, scooped the ground ball and broke for the net.

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