After his team notched the biggest lacrosse upset in the state this year, BC High head coach Tim Kelly put in all in perspective.
His Eagles had just beaten Duxbury in the MIAA Division 1 tournament – a tournament the Dragons have owned for the last decade – with a 10-9 overtime victory. But Kelly knew from the get-go his Eagles were on level footing with their opponent.
“Playing six on six, we knew we were their equal,” Kelly said following Friday’s win. “We just had to stay out of the penalty box. They were so good on the man-up. We knew from our scouts that we had to play six on six to have any kind of a chance. But we knew we could play them straight up.”
Duxbury, which had made 11 consecutive final appearances leading into this season, had won nine titles in 11 years.
The Dragons (16-6) held a 6-3 lead at halftime, after cashing in on several man-up opportunities during the first half. However, BC High (11-9) scored three straight goals to open the second half and drew even with the Dragons by the end of the third quarter.
The teams went back-and-forth in the fourth, with Duxbury taking three separate one-goal leads, only to see the Eagles come back and tie. BC High tied the game, 9-9, with just 16 seconds remaining in regulation on a goal by freshman A.J. Kucinski.
“Pretty quickly, we were able to get it back to 6-3,” Kelly said. “But it was that next goal that we knew we be pivotal. If it’s 7-3, it’s getting tough, but at 6-4, you’ve got a little momentum going.”
The Eagles controlled the opening draw in overtime, with Billy Breen winning the faceoff. After a quick timeout while in the offensive half, Sam Friedman scored the game-winning goal – his third of the game – to down the No. 3 seed Dragons.
Entering the postseason a .500 team and the No. 14 seed in the field, but having enduring a daunting schedule, Kelly felt his team was ready for the occasion.
“We felt we were the team nobody wanted to play,” Kelly said. “You look at the strength of our schedule, we were first in those rankings for a long time.”
Pat Cronin joined Friedman in tallying a hat trick, while Pete Timmins contributed a three-point (1 G, 2 A) game.
In addition to stalwarts like Duke-bound defenseman Ian Yanulis (coincidentally, a Duxbury native) and goaltender D.J. Barille (10 saves), Kelly praised the efforts of players who rose to the moment, including freshman long-stick midfielder Oskar Djusberg, who also had a hand in the faceoff duties.
“Everybody came to play today,” Kelly said.
BC High advances to the quarterfinal and waits the pending result of Saturday’s first-round matchup between Catholic Conference rival St. John’s Prep and Andover.