LONGMEADOW, Mass. -- After an hour and 10-minute lightning delay, Longmeadow showed zero signs of rust, dominating Westborough 15-4 in the Division 2 Central/West semifinals, returning to the district finals for a second consecutive year.
"(Westborough’s) zone defense was excellent, but we executed tremendously against it," Longmeadow coach Keith Campbell said. “I can see why they beat a lot of teams… They’re a very well coaches team, that’s why they’ve had the results they’ve had.”
Senior attackman Kevin Hussey made it his night, scoring two of the Lancers' first three goals, and finishing the game with six scores. Alongside All-American middie Max Stukalin, the Lancers simply overwhelmed Westborough's defense, and dominated possession, winning 13 of 19 face-offs, and rarely wasting an offensive chance.
"We threw an offense in to counteract their zone," Hussey said. “I guess I was in the right place at the right time. Teammates found me, and I put the ball in the net.”
"It’s so exciting (to see Hussey have a big game) because he’s a hard-working kid, and he’s a wonderful kid,” Campbell said. “He’s just getting his this year. He’s worked really hard. As a freshman and sophomore there were some great players here, and it’s great to see, as a senior, he’s able to enjoy it.”
It was a dominant day all around, as Longmeadow's poles, led by junior Patrick Abad and senior Rocco Casaceli, rarely allowed Westborough any space to work, and even when the Rangers found some room, goalie Matt Pierson cleaned things up.
"We knew Trevor McNamara was going to try and body you down, body you down," Hussey said. “So we put our big body (Rocco Casaceli) on him, and he shined today, and I think that speaks to what our defense can do.”
“We slid early, a lot of times we had three guys on (McNamara),” Campbell said. “We still couldn’t really stop him, but we just neutralized him, and everything behind there is Pierson. He was insane.”
The Lancers will now move on to face St. John's of Shrewsbury in the D2 Central/West final at West Springfield Friday. Longmeadow already has a win over St. John's under its belt, though the Lancers had to battle through two lightning delays, and rally from a 10-4 deficit to defeat the Pioneers 12-11.
Both the Lancers and Pioneers are looking forward to the rematch.
"I told coach (Keith) Campbell 'I'll see ya in a few weeks' after our first game," St. John's coach Justin O'Leary said. "We'll play either (Longmeadow or Westboro), but we want Longmeadow."
"(St. John’s) is a great team," Campbell said. “We’ve gotta be prepared. That’s what this is. Everybody is great that’s left.”