On four occasions Saturday night, the Xaverian boys’ lacrosse team took a lead, and all four times, BC High came right back to tie it up.
But on the fifth and final time the Eagles didn’t get that chance. It was overtime.
Sophomore attackman Lukas Buckley, seconds after jumping up and down with two arms in the air knowing fully well he had a wide-open shot, took a pass from senior Ryan McClellan and whipped in a rocket from about 10 yards 1:09 into overtime to give the seventh-seeded Hawks an 8-7 win in a Division 1 state semifinal in Westwood.
“It was a ground ball in the corner, and I knew they’d all collapse on the ball,” Buckley said. “I saw that I had an open shot and knew I could put it in, so I jumped up to get [McClellan’s] attention and he threw me the ball.
“I’ve had a little bit of trouble finishing those shots in the regular season, so I always stayed with Coach after practice and worked on that shot. So it felt good to get that one in at the end.”
Buckley’s snipe ended a true back-and-forth affair that featured six ties and a bevy of scorers.
The teams were tied, 4-4, at the end of a scoreless third quarter. The 14th-seeded Eagles took their first lead when freshman AJ Kucinski and senior Alex O’Brien put the Eagles up, 6-4, four minutes into the fourth.
After Hawks junior Jake Cox halved the deficit a minute later, junior Jack Wheeler got his second of the game to make it 6-6. Senior Harry Walsh gave the Hawks a 7-6 lead before Kucinski (three goals) knotted things again with 1:35 left.
That set the stage for Buckley’s overtime heroics and Xaverian’s date with Lincoln-Sudbury in Wednesday’s Division 1 state championship at Harvard Stadium.
“We lost a lead late and you could go one way or another with that,” said Xaverian coach Tim Gardner.
Lincoln-Sudbury 13, Acton-Boxboro 4 — The Warriors advanced to their first Division 1 state final since 2001, defeating the Dual County rival Colonials at Myers Field.
Lincoln-Sudbury (18-2) held Acton-Boxboro (18-5) scoreless in the second half and was led by senior attackmen Matt Hall (four goals, one assist) and Jordan Dow (one goal, three assists), who for 9 points.
Lincoln-Sudbury went 2-0 in the regular season against the Colonials.
“I told the guys that we need to erase both of those games because they’re not indicative of where A-B is as a team right now,” said Lincoln-Sudbury coach Brian Vona. “I knew they were going to put in a new offense and they did.
“They played us tight and Pat [Ammendolia] is an excellent coach and he did a great job with his kids. A-B has got five or six different kids that can go and we did a pretty good job against them.”
Lincoln-Sudbury jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, but allowed the Colonials to get on the board with 3:42 to play after a giveaway led to a Thomas Cotter transition goal.
Each team found the back of the net three times in the second period, with Cotter recording his second goal with 47 seconds to play before the half.
However, the Warriors rallied to take a three-goal edge into the half when John Merwin converted his second of three goals with 21 seconds to play in the half.
Medfield 14, Reading 6 — After Reading senior attacker Eric O’Brien scored 72 seconds into the first quarter, Medfield coach John Isaf’s message was clear.
“We’ve played a pretty tough schedule and had a lot of teams score on us first,” Isaf said. “We focus on poise. We know we can go on runs, so it was important for us to go out and play the game plan we put in front of them.”
After the Rockets’ early strike, Medfield’s potent offense ripped off seven straight goals en route to a victory in the Division 2 East semifinal at Medfield High.
The Warriors will play for the Division 2 East championship Wednesday at Harvard Stadium.
Juniors Thomas Sears and Matthew Crowell and senior Andrew Melvin, who all tallied hat tricks in the victory, each scored two goals as the Warriors (21-3) charged to a 7-1 lead.