CONCORD — In a Division 2 state final between two of the most storied programs in Massachusetts boys’ lacrosse, Concord-Carlisle captain Conor Trant wasn’t afraid to take his chances.
With host C-C at the tail end of a man-up and 2:35 left in a two-goal game, Trant fired away from 15 yards out and scored his fourth goal of the afternoon, which gave C-C enough breathing room to hold on for an 11-10 victory over Longmeadow and earn the school’s fifth championship.
“I saw a little gap and I just took it,” said Trant, who also won 14 faceoffs. “I knew the next goal was the biggest to get a little bit more of a lead. It was just about pulling the trigger.”
Facing Longmeadow in a state final for the eighth time since 1970, Concord-Carlisle (16-3) took control of the contest with a 5-0 run in the second quarter.
Trant and the Patriots faceoff unit won every draw in the second frame, Trant scored twice, and Peter Cook found junior Matt Dalicandro for his third goal just 18 minutes into the contest. The first three-goal game for coach Tom Dalicandro’s son came at an opportune time.
“Matt’s really smart and he knows how to play within himself and if he’s open inside, he can finish,” said Dalicandro, who just wrapped up his 21st season as coach. “The other guys got him the ball. I’m so happy for everybody, but I’m happy for him, for sure.”
Longmeadow (15-4) crept back into the game thanks to four goals from sophomore Coleson Hanrahan and a pair of goals from junior Sam Weaver. The Lancers were knocking on the door throughout the fourth quarter, but C-C senior goalie Steven Cohen (14 saves) made several vital saves.
After Longmeadow won the final faceoff of the game and trailed, 11-10, with :59 to play, junior pole Porter Coutre came up with a game-sealing turnover and the Patriots were able to run out the clock.
“Longmeadow played so hard the whole game and we held on,” Dalicandro said. “That team was unbelievable. They wouldn’t quit and they ran out of time I guess. And Steven [Cohen] played unbelievable for us in goal.”
For Trant and the other seniors on the roster, there was nothing sweeter than going out on top.
“We’ve been training for this since freshman year,” he said. “For the seniors, we wanted this really bad, and we deserve this more than anyone. We worked so hard as a team, we have the best coaches in the state, it’s just surreal.”