READING, Mass. – No. 8 Concord-Carlisle lacrosse stormed out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter and never looked back as they defeated No. 16 Reading, 9-7, behind an intelligent and disciplined defensive effort.
Despite a furious second-half comeback, Reading (16-2) cou;d not overcome a six-goal second half deficit on Wednesday in both team’s final tune-up before post-season play begins next week.
The Patriots would maintain their 5-0 lead through the second quarter and in to the half as their senior defensive unit of Evan Boynton, Sam Barrett and Javier Flores did an excellent job of containing the explosive Reading attack unit.
“This is the best we have played defensively,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said after the game. “I was really worried about the match-up because the have three really good attackmen. Sam Barrett had his best game of the year for us today and Evan [Boynton] and Javy [Flores] also played well. They are three all-league kids on defense and I think they rose to the occasion today.”
Don’t look now but the defending Division 2 state champion Patriots (12-5) have won four games in a row and seven of their last eight, including wins over Lincoln-Sudbury and now Reading, as they head into tournament play with plenty of momentum.
“We feel really good about ourselves,” Dalicandro said. “I think we can compete with anyone but we need to do the three key things we talk about. We need to value and share the ball, play great team defense and get saves from our goalie.”
Concord-Carlisle completely dominated the start of the game and led 6-0 until 2:58 on the clock in the third quarter when Greg Connery would score the Rockets’ first goal of the game.
Reading goalie Matt Comerford (10 saves) would then come up with a big save as the clock ticked down in the third quarter and Conor Frazier would take a deep outlet and find Charlie Colvin (2 Goals) for a goal with point-one seconds remaining on the clock.
Trailing 6-2 heading into the final quarter of play, Reading would come to life and begin to get out in the open field as they would cut the Concord-Carlisle lead to 8-4 with 6:36 to play.
“We want to play our style of lacrosse,” Reading head coach Charlie Hardy said. “We are a little more run and gun and we want to get out in transition.”
After Reading (16-2) started to seize momentum, Concord-Carlisle attack Tim Badgley (2G, 1A) would score and important ninth goal with 5:40 on the clock to give Concord-Carlisle a 9-4 lead.
Reading would not let down, however, as Charlie Colvin, Mark Dente and Eric O’Brien all netted goals to cut the C-C lead to 9-7 with one minute remaining in the game.
“I think the kids put a lot of spirit into the comeback,” Hardy said. “The team you saw at the end is the team that we have.”
C-C middie Will Blumenberg would help the Patriots secure a key late possession in the final minute of play to seal the win.
Blumenberg led C-C with three goals on the day while middie Peter Anastos (1G, 1A) also played well offensively for C-C.
“You can’t spot a team like that goals,” Hardy said. “They are too sophisticated and they are too well coached.”
Concord-Carlisle and Reading will now both await the seeding selection for Division 2 on Friday to see whom they will face next week.
“We love playing them as it is a character game,” Hardy said of the annual end-of-year game with C-C. “We want to play them at the end of the regular season so now we get to see what we need to work on.”
Concord-Carlisle also received a strong game from long stick middie Nick Brozowski, who had his usual strong game on groundballs, scooping up eight, and using his quick stick to force multiple turnovers.
Andrew Kielar also played well in net for C-C as the sophomore came up with five of his nine saves in the first half.