DANVERS — Sixth seeded St. John’s Prep needed to find a way to ground BC High in the East Division 1 boys lacrosse quarterfinals yesterday considering the visitors were riding an emotional wave after defeating third seeded Duxbury in overtime in the previous round.
Instead, the hosts appeared to be sleepwalking in the early going and when the Prep finally woke up it was too late as BC High scored the 8-6 upset win.
“We knew they (BC High) would be emotional after the win over Duxbury. We had to try to neutralize their emotion early,” said Prep head coach John Roy. “They scored those two, man-up goals and didn’t look back until the fourth quarter.”
The host Eagles took two penalties in the opening 90 seconds and allowed No. 14 seed BC High (12-9) to score three times before Shawn Waldren put SJP on the board. The visitors would lead as large as 8-1 before the Prep made a furious, fourth quarter comeback that fell just short.
“A start like that helps momentum,” said Roy referring to the visitors ability to make the most of the early man-up opportunities.
The Prep’s strength on defense is it’s long poles and Tucker Mathers, Bryan Uva, Lucas Bavaro and Eamon O’Leary weren’t the issue defensivel. BC High, knowing it’s attack would have trouble, looked to run its offense through the midfield.
Pat Cronin scored three consecutive goals in the second quarter to stretch the lead to five at the half. He, Pete Timmins (two goals, one assist), Sam Friedman (one goal) and Pat Kearney (one goal) accounted for 8 of the nine BC High goals. Attacker Alex O’Brien was the only non-midfielder with points grabbing a goal and three assists.
BC High head coach Tim Kelly knew the team would need as many goals as possible while it had a stranglehold over the momentum because at some point, the hosts would respond.