The Bourne boys’ lacrosse team didn’t let a third quarter slump stop them from advancing in the Division 3 South Sectional tournament and scoring the road upset.
Traveling out to Franklin to meet seventh-seeded Tri-County on Tuesday, June 4, the 10th-seeded Canalmen netted four fourth-quarter goals to win, 15-14, to advance to the sectional quarter final round.
“Today was a battle. They knew what was at stake,” Bourne head coach Tim Crowley said. “They knew the type of game they can play.”
After taking a 10-6 lead into the break at halftime, the Canalmen fell victim to a series of penalties—specifically six in the span of the 12-minute third quarter. The Cougars took advantage of what was an essentially an entire quarter of man-up opportunities, converting five special teams situations, and adding an even-strength goal. Bourne, meanwhile, could only muster one goal in that time as they found themselves back on the heels and behind on the scoreboard.
Tri-County held a 12-11 lead entering the fourth quarter, sporting a home-field advantage of high, thick grass.
“The field was the great equalizer for them, I think,” Crowley said. “The ball was disappearing in four-inch grass. Even the refs were losing track of the balls in the grass.”
That made things difficult for faceoff specialist Kyle McGuire. After winning more than 85 percent of his faceoffs in the regular season, Crowley said the junior won around 60 percent of the faceoffs, as he was unable to pinch and pick the ball through the tall grass. Even the likes of Mike Bonito, Logan Hawkes and Joe DiMonda—usually great at recovering ground balls—struggled adjusting to the field conditions.
In the final frame, however, the Canalmen reasserted themselves on defense, as DiMonda, one of the senior captains on the back end, took charge and lit a fire under his team.
“We let guys like Joe grab control of the defense. We were really trying to give the captains some leeway with what’s going on. Before I had a chance to tell them, [the captains] were already doing it,” Crowley said. “They recognized what happened in the third shouldn’t have happened.”
The visitors allowed two goals over the final 12 minutes. The Cougars held a 13-12 lead with 8:21 to go, but that would be the final time they’d hold a lead as Bourne answered with three more to close the game with the win.
Senior co-captain Christian Mulkern led the the charge offensively, recording six goals and one assist, while co-captain and classmate Max Hess tallied 12 points, scoring five and assisting on seven more. Connor McGuire and Logan Hawkes each scored once as Ty LaCasse scored two goals and one assist.
Chris Evangelista faced around 30 shots on goal, stopping roughly 15 of them, Crowley said, adding that support of family members, students and school athletic director Scott Ashworth helped fuel the victory.
“That’s what we needed in a game like this,” he said.
For their efforts, the Canalmen get to face unbeaten Nantucket, the two seed, in the Division 3 South quarter finals. Although on paper the Whalers appear daunting, Nantucket has outscored its opponents, 328-41, in the regular season. But for Bourne, the program is used to facing higher-seeded competition.
“We’re used to being lower seeds. We play the Archies and the Bishop Stangs in Division 3 and Old Rochester and Apponequet in Division 2. We’re happy to get a chance to play another Cape team,” Crowley said. “Is it David versus Goliath? No, it’s two evenly matched teams, I think.”
Bourne (11-8) will board the ferry to Nantucket today on Friday, June 7for a 3 PM start time in the Division 3 South Sectional quarter-finals.