Xaverian got a complete team effort to defeat Lincoln-Sudbury, 9-5, in the Division 1 lacrosse championship game at Harvard Stadium Wednesday night.
The Hawks received their trophy on Harvard’s historic field after the dominant win.
“Every preseason the light at the end of the tunnel is being here,” said coach Tim Gardner. “You work for this day and you hope it could happen and we’ve gotten close before.
“To win this game against Lincoln-Sudbury, which is a special team, in this fashion, is pretty remarkable.”
The game started with both sides trading chances but both goalies stood tall, exchanging great saves. There was no clear advantage in possession for either squad, but the Hawks had the more dangerous opportunities. And they would strike first.
Eric Backus scored at 3:31 to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Hawks continued to play strong defensively and scored three more goals, taking a 4-0 lead into the second quarter.
Jack Wheeler scored two of his four goals and Lukas Buckley added the third for Xaverian (16-6).
Lincoln-Sudbury (18-3) was forced to call a time out and regroup.
The Warriors came back firing on all cylinders and finally got on the board on a goal by Dan Delaney to cut the lead to 4-1 at 6:44 of the second.
The Warriors fought back to make it 5-3 at the half.
Lincoln-Sudbury did make it interesting at times, controlling the play early in the third and scoring to cut the deficit to 5-4, but the Hawks’ defense was too strong.
The Warriors pressed late, but Xaverian was able to hang on for the win.
Seeded seventh in the Division 1 field, Xaverian came together and played its best when it mattered most.
“At points during the season where it looked like we could have gone downhill we made a decision to step up and improve every single day,” Gardner said.
Wheeler noted the team’s strong preparation in its championship victory.
“We looked over a lot of film, saw what their tendencies were, saw how they hurt us in the previous game, and we worked on it,” Wheeler said.
And all their hard work paid off in the end, capping off a terrific playoff run that saw the Hawks defeat Westford, Needham, and BC High before finishing off Lincoln-Sudbury.
“It feels great, nothing like it,” said Wheeler.