Duxbury returns to top of D1 lacrosse

ALLSTON, Mass. -- With all the black, white and green equipment and paraphernalia littered on the turf at Harvard Stadium it was easy to see that Duxbury was back where it probably thought it belonged all along.

The No. 3 Green Dragons (19-2) supplanted themselves back on top of the Eastern Mass. Division 1 boys' lacrosse world with a dominating 16-9 victory over No. 9 St. John’s Prep — the team that ended Duxbury’s six-year title run last season — on a crisp Tuesday night.

“Our boys remembered 365 days ago when it was St. John’s celebrating,” said Dragons head coach Chris Sweet, whose team has won eight state titles in the past decade. “In that regard, it feels great.”

The Dragons got a big lift from birthday boy Kane Haffey, who on his 18th birthday recorded six goals to lead the offense. Bryan Barry added four goals and an assist, while Sam Sweet popped in two goals and dished out six assists.

It was a year ago that the Dragons reign in Div. 1 was ended by the Prep (14-8), and Haffey remembered exactly what the feeling was like when he saw his senior teammates walk away crownless last season.

“Ever since last year we have been working for this moment,” said Haffey. “That was certainly the drive in the offseason, the drive throughout the whole season. That memory in the back of our minds about how it ended last year and how we sent off the seniors last year. It was definitely sweet to get a little revenge.”

It was clear that a good start was on the minds of the Dragons players, as the team popped in seven goals in the first quarter. Jimmy O’Connell (five goals) tied things up at 1 for the Prep with 9:23 left to go in the first, but the Dragons quickly exploded for three straight goals.

Haffey, Will Siefert and Bryan Barry put home that three-goal spurt in a mere 1:12 seconds.

O’Connell popped in another to quit the bleeding, however, another three-goal unanswered streak was on the horizon again for the Dragons.

“It’s tough to defend. I really think this team is capable of playing it fast. They can play it slow. … We can get a lot of goals from a lot of different guys, so it makes it really tough to defend.”

The defending champs didn’t go down without a run of their own as the Eagles tacked on three of the final four goals of the half to cut the deficit to 8-5. Haffey quickly ended the run once the whistle blew for the second half as he potted three straight goals after Barry potted the first of the period to extend the lead to 12 -5.

“It could have been any of the guys on this team,” said Haffey. “Everybody on this team has skill and today it just happened to be me."

Seamus Connolly notched the fifth unanswered goal on a pretty turnaround to cap off the five unanswered goal streak before O’Connell stopped the bleeding.

“If we started the second half the same way we played at the end of the second quarter it would have been ideal,” Prep head coach John Roy said.