By Ryan Kilian @masspreps
NEEDHAM – On a cold and blustery Saturday evening No. 5 BC High and No. 12 Needham locked horns in a battle of top Division 1 South programs. With the season in its infant stage, both BC High and Needham were looking to make strides and build upon their opening day wins over ranked teams, in Franklin and Walpole respectively.
Tied at 3-3 at the half, BC High was determined to change the tune in the second half, tighten up their defense, and execute more efficiently on the offensive end.
“I just think our offensive execution was not where it needed to be in the first half,” BC High Coach Steve Lydon said. “Needham is a very good team and we had a hard time getting going offensively.”
BC High (2-0) would respond to the halftime message, outscoring Needham (1-1) 8-3 in the second half, en route to an 11-6 win, their second of the season over a top 13 team.
“We were able to create a little havoc in the middle of the field, which resulted in some transition opportunities for us,” Lydon said. “We have a talented defensive group that has the ability to help us score.”
Creating lot of that havoc was LSM Martin Folan, who disrupted Needham’s offensive flow, with numerous deflections and a key forced turnover on a second half, man-down sequence for the Eagles, helping to shift the momentum in favor of the victors.
“During halftime, Coach told us that we needed to step it up and he challenged someone to make a play,” Folan said.
Folan would do just that, as he was all over the defensive end of the field early on Saturday, while also exploding offensively in the second half, scoring three critical goals to help extend the BC High lead and put the game out of reach.
“Marty (Folan) had three goals tonight for us and when you have that as an offensive weapon, it is big,” Lydon said.
“I tried to really take it upon myself to help get the boys going and get that upward momentum for our team in the second half,” Folan added.
BC High’s offense was complemented by the play of senior midfielder Charlie Pyne, who netted three key goals. Pyne seemed to have the knack for the timely play on Saturday. When BC High needed a score, Pyne and his heavy left-handed shot were there to answer the call.
The Eagles also received a huge game from sophomore attack Aidan Carroll (3 Goals, 2 Assists), who had one of the prettiest goals of the young season, finding a lane to exploit, while receiving a pass from attackman Maverick Woods, and finishing behind his back.
— Ryan Kilian (@masspreps) April 7, 2018
BC High’s defense looked to be in mid-season form in the second half, as they limited the explosive Rocket’s offense to just one goal for the majority of the second half, until two late goals by the Rockets.
The midfield defense and transition play of Ryan Cuozzo, Carter Rice, Folan, Brian Nagle and the injured Brian Price give BC High five to six guys who Lydon acknowledged, BC High can count on to contribute successfully.
The backbone of the Eagles squad the past few years, their close defensive group, led by senior two-time All-American Will Bowen, limited Needham’s offensive opportunities by cranking up the intensity in the second half and locking down opportunities in the zone.
“As a defense, we rely on each other to make plays and we have great leadership, led by (Will) Bowen and goalie Pat O’Driscoll,” Folan said. “The key is that we play best when we play together,” Folan said.
Needham was led by the standout play of junior attack Jason Child who scored three goals in the contest. Child continues to show why he is one of the most dangerous and skilled attackmen in the state.
Danny McEvoy (2 G), Brendan Walsh (2 A), and Michael Calcagni (1 G) also contributed n the offensive end for Needham on the evening, with McEvoy scoring his two goals in the second half.
Both goalies also stood out, as O’Driscoll came up with numerous, pivotal first-half saves, including some crucial man-down stops in the opening frame.
“POD kept us in it in the first half,” Lydon said of his senior goalie. “He had a couple of big saves early, which were important for us to keep it close.”
BC High fights off 2 penalties with saves like this one from Pat O’Driscoll. pic.twitter.com/Ru3sGEkj0S
— Ryan Kilian (@masspreps) April 7, 2018
His counterpart was equally up to the task, as Needham’s Andrew McNally kept his team in the game at times and made some big saves at crucial times in the opening half.
Aidan Carroll – 3 G, 2 A
Martin Folan – 3 G
Charlie Pyne – 3 G
Cole Willett – 1 G
Collin Harrington – 1 G
Maverick Woods – 1 A
Carter Rice – 1 A
Pat O’Driscoll – 10 Saves
Jason Child – 3 G, 1 A
Danny McEvoy – 2 G
Brendan Walsh 2 A
Michael Calcagni – 1 G
Andrew McNally – 9 Saves