2018 D2 State Semifinals: Concord-Carlisle 9, Longmeadow 7

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By Jake Levin @jakelevin09

CHICOPEE—Emerging from the gauntlet which was the Division 2 Central-East Sectional came with its perks for Concord-Carlisle. After battling through some of the State’s top teams in Eastern Massachusetts, Concord-Carlisle was battle-tested for a game with Longmeadow, the best program in Western Massachusetts.

The Patriots are now bound for the Division 2 State Championship game following a 9-7 victory over the Lancers in the state semifinal, a game rooted in lessons learned from back-to-back overtime wins over Wayland and Westwood, respectively, in the sectional semifinal and title game.

“We’re not afraid of the moment,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “Things didn’t go our way in the first quarter, they got three straight, and it didn’t really phase us. I thought our guys held their composure and did a really good job.”

Concord-Carlisle scored twice in the first two minutes of the game, cashing in on a Charlie Cook bouncer and a Derek Stout laser for a 2-0 lead. But the Lancers answered back with four in a row, the final goal of the run being a James Grinstead tally just 15 seconds into the second quarter.

Matt Moreau responded 11 seconds later to put a halt to Longmeadow’s run, followed by Alexi Hunt pinging the inside of the crossbar to tie the game at 4-4, 6:46 into the second.

Unsatisfied, Dalicandro called a timeout with just under two minutes to go in the first half, the game still all tied up. The coach said after the game he felt the Patriots were struggling on offense and wanted the team to regroup with halftime looming.

Robert Doherty took Dalicandro’s message from the timeout to heart, playing a role in each of the next five goals for Concord-Carlisle. He scored off a broken play out of the timeout to give the Patriots the lead for good and again with 5 seconds left in the first half to increase C-C’s lead to 6-4.

He dished out assists to Hunt and Stout in building up an 8-4 lead, and after Matthew finally got one back for Longmeadow, it was Hunt who scored Concord-Carlisle’s final goal of the night with 28.3 seconds left in the third quarter.

“I think we kind of figured out what they were doing,” Doherty said. “Anyone of our guys can take the ball one-on-one against a short stick, so we felt confident.”

Patriots goaltender Ben Kacher made 11 saves in the game, including four in the fourth quarter. After Spencer Robbins scored with 0.2 seconds on the clock in the third, Kacher stopped each of the first two shots he faced in the fourth quarter to keep Longmeadow at bay.

Though Concord-Carlisle was done scoring, Kacher made sure their lead stood up, making two more saves after Longmeadow’s Clayton Moseman scored to cut the Patriots’ lead to 9-7 with 3:18 left in regulation.

“We knew this team liked to shoot from the outside, and I didn’t really see any outside shots until the second half,” Kacher said. “Once I see those 12 to 13-yard shots, I feel really good about them and I’m really confident about saving those shots.”

Defenseman Liam Smith had a big play with about 1:15 left on the game clock, knocking the ball free from a Longmeadow attackman who had a clear lane to the crease.

By that point, the result was a formality. Concord-Carlisle will be playing for their fifth state championship in boys’ lacrosse history on Saturday, at 10 a.m. at Boston University’s Nickerson Field, following titles in 1982, 1987, 1998 and 2012.

The Patriots will take on Reading, the North sectional champions who defeated Scituate in the other state semifinal up in Peabody. Concord-Carlisle defeated Reading in the regular season, 11-6 on May 23, though as Dalicandro was quick to point out, the Rockets didn’t have UMass bound standout midfielder Jack Geiger for that contest.

“They’re a great team,” Dalicandro said. “It’s going to be a tough matchup.”

 

Box Score

Concord-Carlisle – 2 4 3 0 — 9

Longmeadow – 3 1 2 1 — 7

 

Concord-Carlisle

Robert Doherty – 3 goals, 2 assists

Derek Stout – 2 goals, 2 assists

Alexi Hunt – 2 goals

Matt Moreau – 1 goal, 1 assist

Charlie Cook – 1 goal

Devin Smith – 1 assist

Ben Kacher – 11 saves

 

Longmeadow

James Grinstead – 2 goals,

Spencer Robbins – 1 goal, 1 assist

Richard Joseph -1 goal

Matthew – 1 goal

Jack Barron – 1 goal

Clayton Moseman – 1 goal

Aidan Coughlin – 1 assist

Sam Byrne – 1 assist

Greg MacDonald III – 4 saves

Ed Wright – 3 saves

 

Faceoff-X: Longmeadow 15, Concord-Carlisle 5

 

Video Clips

By Jake Levin and Matt Siegel @SportVideoMA

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