Hours away from BC High lacrosse’s Division 1 state semifinal matchup against Catholic Conference rival Xaverian this evening, we’re taking a little time to get you better acquainted with one of the breakout starsof the Eagles’ postseason run.
Looking back at BC High’s shocking upset of D1 dynasty Duxbury, sophomore midfielder Sam Friedman announced himself to the Massachusetts lacrosse community going off for a hat trick, including the game-winning goal in overtime, against the Dragons.
We caught up with the Abington native earlier this week for this Q-and-A:
Q: What was the key to beating Duxbury and starting the team on this run?
A: “Obviously, going into that game, a lot of people didn’t think we had any chance of beating them. Historically, they’re the best team in Massachusetts. But Coach [Tim] Kelly, the day before the game and that practice, we just went over what we had to do to beat them. At the end of the practice, he told us that not only were we capable of winning, but that he expected us to win. I think that confidence from him trickled down through the entire team.
“I think Ian [Yanulis] and Billy [Breen] both being from Duxbury, they knew a lot about them. And before that game, they talked about how their entire goal for their high school careers was to beat Duxbury as BC High players because of the rivalry between them.”
Q: What was the plan on the sideline after you won the faceoff against Duxbury to start overtime? What was your role in that play?
A: “Coach was just trying to even out the field, so that we were able to score from multiple angles. We didn’t have a set play or anything. Pete Timmins passed the ball, and might have meant to pass it to Pat Cronin, but it ended up on my stick and I had time and room, so I wound up and shot it. Coach Kelly had told us to try and bounce them high corner or anywhere high on the goaltenders. So I guess it just worked out.”
Q: This team has turned into a second-half team, making a couple runs in the second half of the last two seasons just to get into the tournament. Does this team play better with its back against the wall?
A: “There weren’t any expectations for us to do anything against Duxbury, so we’re able to put the pressure on ourselves to go out there and do our best and at least show the state that we weren’t going to get blown out against them. That’s the type of team we are. I think we would’ve liked to play them in the regular season, but having the chance to play them and knock them out of the playoffs, I think that was special and that’s what drove us.”
Q: What influence has Coach Kelly had on the team, outside of the game plan?
A: “I think he’s a really good coach, obviously. He works a lot on what we practice with him, it’s always very focused. We go over what we didn’t do well in the last game, or things that we need to do to win the next game. He’s really positive. Going into that Duxbury game, that confidence, I think that’s what we needed. If a lot of teams were going into that situation, I think they’d expect to lose and that’s why they do. But him saying that not only saying that we had a chance to win, but that he expected us to win, that confidence and positivity allowed us to win that one.”