SCITUATE — Typically, teams with only one senior on the roster don’t win titles.
Scituate didn’t follow the script Sunday. The Sailors, highlighted by a five-goal outburst by freshman Jim Sullivan, clinched the Div. 2 South boys lacrosse sectional crown for the first time since 2018 with an epic 20-16 victory over longtime rival Hanover.
“I think somebody said we have the youngest roster on the South Shore,” said Scituate coach Mark Puzzangara. “But we never used our age or inexperience as an excuse this year. To be able to play at home, especially next year when you’re going to a statewide tournament, the fact that you can actually win a championship at home, it’s extra special to these guys.”
After a difficult regular season schedule, both No. 7 Scituate and 13th-seeded Hanover caught fire in the Div. 2 South tournament, winning one heart-stopper after the next, setting the stage for a perfect matchup between the Patriot League foes.
There was no shortage of offense. Freshman Gus Beaudry and junior captain Joe Cahill combined to score two goals each, providing Scituate (11-4) a 5-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
However, every time the Sailors appeared poised to pull away, Hanover (8-8) had an answer. After Scituate built a three-goal lead off a last-minute tally by senior captain Pat DeMatteo, Max Dasilva beat the halftime buzzer for the Hawks, as he fired a rocket past Reid Fulton to cut the deficit to 9-7 at intermission.
Hanover tied the game in short order once the second half got underway, as DJ Stronjy and Shamus Ball scored back-to-back goals to even the score at 9-all.
After being shut out through the first two quarters, Sullivan came to life for Scituate, as scoring two straight goals to put the Sailors back in front, 11-9.
After DeMatteo registered his third tally to complete the hat trick while giving Scituate a 14-10 edge with 11:43 remaining in regulation, Hanover punched back. Ball sniped a pair of goals, then Dylan Rice added another to make it a 14-13 contest with 9:30 left.
But that was as close as the Hawks would get. Sullivan would go on to score three more goals in the final minutes, as Scituate staved off any hopes of a comeback.
“Sullivan’s been that dark horse all year for us,” DeMatteo said. “He’s always been that lefty guy right there, just taking it himself. He’s always been stepping up big in the moments we need him, so I was not surprised whatsoever when he stepped up like that in the fourth.”
In addition to the great performances that Sullivan and DeMatteo had, Cahill notched a hat trick for Scituate.
Ball and Rice finished with four goals apiece for Hanover.
Scituate will now take on Western Mass. powerhouse Longmeadow in the Div. 2 semifinals on Tuesday for a berth in the state championship.
“We’re going to do what we’ve done every single game,” Puzzangara said. “We’ll get our scouts tonight, put together a game plan tomorrow, and it’s not like we’re going to be teaching anything new in one day. I think it’s more about recovering, and getting refocused. Let (our players) enjoy this one here, then let them know that we’re going to be playing one of the best teams in the state.”
High School Sports, Sports, Boys Lacrosse, High School