A very pregnant Monica Beaudoin greeted her husband, James, the boys’ varsity lacrosse coach at Cohasset High, with a few congratulatory words when he arrived home Saturday night.
He was still drying off from a postgame water cooler shower, courtesy of his players, after Cohasset held off Dover-Sherborn, 10-9, for the Division 3 state title at Boston University.
Then, she said it was time to go to the hospital. The couple’s second child, Wells, would arrive fewer than 36 hours later.
What a Father’s Day weekend.
The drama started Friday night.
Beaudoin tried to keep things simple for his team before ending drills early to hold a “senior walk,” spacing the team’s underclassmen 5 yards apart on the school’s football field and letting each of the 10 seniors walk down the line, having a final personal moment with each player along the way.
“A lot of these kids on the team are the closest friends I have,” said Jack McElgunn, one of three captains. “It was surreal, it was all hitting me.”
Beaudoin did not need to remind the team of the stakes at BU.
Cohasset had lost to D-S, 12-10, in last year’s state final. The school’s football and soccer teams also advanced to state championship games last fall, but both came home empty-handed.
Captain Colin Whelan said he woke up at 8 a.m. Saturday energized. He would graduate in just a couple of hours and a lot of his family had gathered for a celebratory breakfast.
Conversation that morning was dominated by talk of the game, though, Whelan said. It was all he was thinking about.
With 10 of 101 graduating seniors suiting up for Cohasset, lacrosse was a common topic throughout the ceremony, too, even making its way into the words of valedictorian Alexandros Deligiannidis.
After graduating, the Cohasset players were careful not to partake in any celebratory cigar-smoking (two Beverly High School players were suspended earlier in the tournament for doing similarly).
“It was kind of aggravating, but it was bittersweet because it meant we still had an MIAA-sanctioned game left,” Whelan said.
Beaudoin said the seniors were the first to the team’s locker room despite their commitments earlier in the day, and that the bus ride was quiet, with each player focusing on the task at hand.
“Not energetic, but ready,” Whelan said, describing the mood on the bus. “Ready for the game, ready for the rematch of last year’s state final. We had not lost to a D3 team all year and we weren’t about to start.”
Cohasset happened to arrive at Boston University alongside Dover-Sherborn’s charter bus. Whelan said watching the Raiders — all in matching jackets — get off their bus and retrieve their neatly organized pads from underneath only amped his team up more.
Then they had to wait.
The previous game on Championship Saturday, a low-scoring Division 1 matchup between Acton-Boxborough and Duxbury, was finally decided in the second overtime.
Beaudoin said he was worried the wait would hurt his team.
His fears played out in the first quarter as Cohasset scored just twice and entered the first break trailing 3-2. The second quarter brought a different story, though, as the Skippers scored five straight.
With Cohasset up 8-3 at halftime, senior John O’Brien implored his team to keep up its intensity. We are not going to let this go, he said, this is our time.
O’Brien does not play a large role for the Skippers on the field, but he has emerged as a vocal leader.
The Skippers had a full meeting after a regular-season-ending loss to Boston College High. Beaudoin asked each player to say something.
“That’s when Jack first started speaking his mind about the team, and because he was one of kids with a lesser role on the team, it was so much more powerful,” McElgunn said.
“The things he was saying and how true everything he was saying was — it was a different perspective to what we were used to hearing.”
D-S rallied, though, cutting the gap to one, 10-9, in the final minutes. This time it was McElgunn and Thomas Powers, another senior, rallying the team. After listening to speeches all morning at graduation, it was their turn to talk.
Beaudoin said he was nervous during the final minute as the Raiders fired shot after shot. The coach tried to think about what his plan would be for an overtime period. But it never came, as Cohasset held on for the title, 10-9.
“The stress is over for lacrosse,” Beaudoin said. “Now it’s just two kids.”
Perfect finish for Westwood girls
Signature moment of state final: Trailing 6-5, the Wolverines reeled off four straight goals to grab a 9-6 lead over Longmeadow in Saturday’s Division 1 state final. Westwood then held on for a 9-7 win.
Unsung hero: While seniors Kim Egizi and Ela Hazar and junior Brooke Troy anchored the offense for most of the season, Kasey Keane played a valuable role as well, and she came up big again Saturday. The senior midfielder scored twice, including a bouncing shot that tied the game at six. Keane also stole the ball from Longmeadow with 35 seconds left, allowing the Wolverines to run out the rest of the clock.
“Every timeout and every time we take a break, she’s addressing them, saying ‘We can do this, we can do this,’ ” said Westwood coach Leslie Frank , applauding her leadership.
Stat check: Westwood, 97-3 in its last 100 games, did not give up 10 goals in a game all year. Saturday’s game was tied at one, two, three, four, five, and six before the Wolverines pulled away.
Coach Leslie Frank: There were a lot of kids who gave a lot of hours to this team,” Frank said.
The future: The Wolverines lose Egizi and Hazar, crucial components of the team’s offensive attack, but as long as Frank is in charge, Westwood will likely remain a favorite for the state championship.
Hingham boys stopped in Div. 2
Signature moment of state final: Coming out of halftime of Saturday’s Division 2 state final with energy, the Harbormen scored twice to cut a 7-3 deficit to 7-5. But Medfield responded, scoring four unanswered goals to seal a 13-6 victory.
Unsung hero: Though he did not score as much as the Brodie brothers, longstick midfielder Jack Ullrich was pivotal in the Harbormen’s defense and clearing game, while Jack Santilli stepped up in goal throughout the year.
Stat check: Hingham lost all but one face-off to Medfield’s face-off specialist Brian Bissell . The Big Blue also dominated ground balls, securing 28 of 39.
Coach John Todd: “I can’t ask any more of my seniors and my captains. They have 79 high school victories for their four years so you can’t shake a stick at that, and we’ve been banging on the door every year.”
The future: Losing Ullrich and midfielder Caleb Brodie will force Todd to retool in the midfield, but Santilli returns in net and Caleb’s brother, Jacob Brodie , should help anchor the offense for two more years.
A-B denies Duxbury in double OT
Signature moment of state final: Duxbury appeared to be working toward another shot at a game-winning goal halfway through the second overtime of Saturday’s Division 1 state final against Acton-Boxborough. But an illegal screen call gave the ball back to the Colonials, who took advantage by netting the sudden-death winner in a 5-4 game.
Unsung hero: The Dragons were loaded on defense this year, but captain Nick Marrocco said the team’s bench kept them energized and focused throughout a grueling schedule with elaborate post-goal celebrations ranging from human bowling to human bench-pressing.
Stat check: Four goals ties a single-game low for the Dragons against Massachusetts competition dating back to 2005.
Coach Chris Sweet: “Bench players play a huge role in practice. They play hard and get the starters ready and that seems to carry over on the bench, where they take cheering on teammates and supporting the guys on the field seriously.”
The future: Duxbury might not be as dominant year-to-year as it was last decade, but the Dragons can still be counted on to contend for another title in 2015.