Gov’s Earns Comeback Win Over Seb’s


By Jake Levin @jakelevin09

ALLSTON—Down four goals early with a steady rain only worsening, it would have been easy for No. 2 Governor’s Academy to pack it in on Saturday afternoon against No. 4 St. Sebastian’s.

Not this Gov’s team, however. With a chance to remain in control of their ISL destiny, Gov’s (11-2, 11-0 ISL) rallied from a 5-1 deficit after one quarter to defeat Seb’s 11-9 in the 2018 Boston Cannons High School Rivalry Series at Harvard Stadium.

“Once we relaxed and settled down and started playing, we were okay,” Gov’s head coach Steve Moreland said after his first taste of the Seb’s-Gov’s rivalry. “But I wasn’t counting on spotting them five goals like we did. So I’m proud of them for digging in.”

Brian Piatelli scored just 28 seconds into the game for the Arrows and assisted on three goals later in the quarter to help Seb’s (14-2, 10-2 ISL) build that 5-1 lead after 12 minutes. Gov’s couldn’t run any semblance of an offense early, with their lone goal in the first quarter coming via FOGO Nate Laliberte on run, scoop-and-score.

But even Laliberte, one of the top faceoff men in the country, struggled to find his footing on a consistent basis against the unit of Will Frisoli, Brendan McKenzie or whomever else Seb’s countered him with at the faceoff-X and on the wings.

Once Gov’s began taking advantage of Laliberte’s wins at the X, however, it was a key turning point in the game.

Jack Wood snapped a 9 minute and 33 second scoring drought for both teams at the beginning of the second quarter to make it 5-2 Seb’s, signaling the changing of the guard in the game.

Will Murtagh would follow with the first of his four goals on the day and just 17 seconds later, as time expired in the first half, Wood dove by the crease and finished, to pull his team within a goal at the break.

“We stayed with it,” Murtagh said. “We’ve been in that place before and it’s just key to not get too down.”

Wood would score the equalizer, completing his hat trick in the process, making it 5-5, 51 seconds into the third quarter.

Seb’s responded with a quick 3-0 run, however, first with a pair of strikes from Piatelli just 17 seconds apart and again with a Peter Murphy tally a minute later to reestablish a comfortable 8-5 lead. Had Gov’s used up all its energy coming back to tie the game at 5-all?

“That’s the way it goes when you play a team of this caliber,” Moreland said. “They can score in bunches, so you can’t get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. You’re always worried about that, but we play a lot of guys. We play a lot of guys over the course of the season for this very reason – to get them game experience so that we can be in shape and be ready to play in games like this.”

Right on cue, Murtagh scored seven seconds after Murphy’s strike. Along with Zach Ludd, Murtagh ignited a 6-0 spurt for Gov’s  which included Gov’s first lead of the game at 9-8 with 22 seconds left in the third quarter.

Ludd would score the first goal of the fourth quarter, 3:11 in, and after Seb’s goalie Alex Gainey made a fantastic initial save, the ball fell back into cage giving Gov’s an 11-8 lead.

Michael Swirbalus scored with 3:23 left in regulation, but that would be it for the Arrows, as the Gov’s defense held strong down the stretch.

“We’d kind of been there before,” Seb’s head coach Adam White said, referring to last season’s game at Harvard when his team enjoyed a 7-1 lead before ultimately hanging on to win. “We knew that Gov’s is never out of a game, they have too much firepower and they work too hard. Our mission was to try and stay steady and make the next play. After that, they just made more plays than we did the rest of the way.”

Gov’s employed lockdown defense from the first quarter on, led by defensemen Tim Roberts, Patrick Flaherty and LSM Luke Moriarty figuring most prominently in shutting the Arrows down. But Moreland acknowledged that it was a total team effort after the game, noting that if Gov’s had any weak links, Seb’s would have exposed them.

“You’ve got to cover these guys as a team, you really do,” Moreland said. “You’ve got to defend as a pack. They’re so crafty. They’ve got a lot of movement; they’re good with the ball and they’re good off the ball.”

In their usual timeshare, Kyle Gaffey and Andrew Brown made six saves apiece for Gov’s. Gainey had 12 saves in a losing effort for the Arrows.

The victory for Gov’s sets up a bout with No. 8 Nobles (11-4, 9-1 ISL) on Wednesday, with the top of the ISL on the line once again.


Box Score

Sebs 5 0 3 1 — 9

Govs 1 3 5 2 — 11



Will Murtagh – 4 goals

Jack Wood- 3 goals

Zach Ludd- 2 goals, 1 assist

Nate Laliberte – 1 goal

C.J. Baroni – 1 assist

Zadoc White -1 assist

Brendan Jordan – 1 assist

Andrew Brown – 6 saves

Kyle Gaffey – 6 saves

Gov’s Team * – 1 Goal



Brian Piatelli – 3 goals, 3 assists

Michael Swirbalus – 3 goals, 1 assist

Peter Murphy – 2 goals

Will Plansky – 1 goal

Will Frisoli – 1 assist

Peter Pickard – 1 assist

Matt DeSisto – 1 assist

Alex Gainey -12 saves


Faceoff-X: Seb’s 12, Govs 9


Video Clips