Big 2nd Half Lifts L-S Over Xaverian

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By Jake Levin @jakelevin09

SUDBURY— It was a tale of two halves on Friday, as the No. 3 ranked Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors played host to the undefeated No. 11 Xaverian Hawks. Tied 5-5 at the half, everything would come together for the Warriors in the third quarter, as they would score five straight goals en route to a 15-9 victory.

L-S attackmen Matt Ward (four goals, three assists) and Union College-commit Owen Toland (three goals, two assists) paced Lincoln-Sudbury’s offense, even during an evenly played first half. The pair assisted on one another’s goals, including Toland’s tally at 10:43 of the first quarter, tying the game at 3-3.

Toland would score again with only 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter, capping off a 3-0 spurt that began with the Warriors trailing 3-1.

Not only was it a sign of things to come in the second half, Ward thinks it could be a sign of what is to come for the offense on a grander scale.

“I think we saw a glimpse of our offense today,” Ward said. “We’ve been struggling. I definitely think we’re going hard and we can get better from here.”

Ward began Lincoln-Sudbury’s second-half onslaught 2:09 into the third, a goal which gave the Warriors the lead for good. Toland followed exactly a minute later to make it 7-5 L-S, with St. Michael’s-commit Colin Steiger adding another just 21 seconds later. Ward scored again on a helper from Toland, right before Kyle Smith put the exclamation point on the run at 6:44 of the quarter.

The Warriors found their success on offense while Xaverian integrated a zone defense, partially the result of being undermanned in the midfield. Hawks head coach Tim Gardner noted after the game that the team was without Alec Coia and Adam Harrington, two players who figure prominently on Xaverian’s depth chart and are a big part of what it does defensively.

“We did well in the first half, they made halftime adjustments,” Gardner said. “They’ve seen good zones before, they made the adjustments and broke it open. It’s a game of momentum and they were able to grab all of it in the third.”

Lincoln-Sudbury put the game on ice to begin the fourth quarter, scoring the first four goals to make it 15-6. John Herlihy, Ward, Smith and Hayden Donley led the run for the Warriors.

Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Brian Vona was pleased after the game with his team’s resiliency. The game marked a season-high in goals for the Warriors, as well as their largest margin of victory.

“Resiliency is awesome to see as a coach,” Vona said. “They made us think today. They did a great job – they ran a zone, they ran a shut-off, they ran a regular man-to-man, they ran a crease slide, they ran a chase-and-slide. Those guys are good coaches, they made us think today and I knew they were going to.”

Not to be overlooked was the play of Hamilton College-commit Seamus Fagan, who was dynamite in the cage for the Warriors. Despite Xaverian’s 3-1 lead to start the game, Fagan limited further damage, making two big saves in the first, and more importantly the senior prevented the Hawks from ever reclaiming the lead with seven saves in the second quarter.

In all, Fagan stopped 13 shots.

“We’re playing tough teams and it’s tough to come back,” Vona said. “That is something for us to build on.”

“We always have to face adversity, especially against teams like Xaverian,” Ward said. “They’re coached extremely well and have some fantastic players. Coming out of the half we were fired up, we knew we had a spark.”

 

Box score and game stats

Xaverian 3 2 1 3 — 9

L-S             4 1 6 4 — 15

 

Lincoln-Sudbury

Matt Ward – 4 goals, 3 assists

Owen Toland – 3 goals, 2 assists

John Herlihy – 2 goals, 1 assist

Kyle Smith – 2 goals

Colin Steiger – 1 goal, 2 assists

Finn Garrity – 1 goal

Jake Titus – 1 goal

Hayden Donley – 1 goal

Paul Forester -1 assist

Seamus Fagan – 13 saves

 

Xaverian

Sam Jean – 3 goals, 1 assist

Jack Daoust – 3 goals

Drew Lee -1 goal, 1 assist

Shaun Padden – 1 goal

Andrew Perry – 1 goal

Trevor Carroll – 1 assist

Jack Whalen – 1 assist

Teagan Alexander – 6 saves

Joe Perry – 2 saves

 

Faceoff-X: Lincoln-Sudbury 14, Xaverian 10

 

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