SUDBURY – The top-ranked Lincoln-Sudbury boys’ lacrosse team lost three straight games this past week to three of the top 15 programs in the country (per Inside Lacrosse), but the Warriors gleaned plenty of lessons from those defeats.
On Friday evening, L-S resumed MIAA competition and used those lessons to double up third-ranked Duxbury, 14-7, for an impressive nonleague win at home.
Here are three things we learned:
■ Lincoln-Sudbury’s execution is unparalleled
Neither team blinked in the opening minutes with the Dragons (8-4) matching the Warriors (8-3) goal-for-goal in a 3-3 game. But the Warriors’ execution – from faceoffs, to clears, to passing the ball for quality shots – was a cut above. L-S went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-3 lead and expanded the lead to 13-5 by the end of the third quarter. Matt Ward (three goals, two assists) led the offense along with John Herlihy (two goals, two assists) and Nick Mitchell (three goals), but the Warriors received contributions from the entire roster.
“It was everybody. We got a lot of help from a lot of people,” said L-S coach Brian Vona. “[Duxbury] is tough, they’re well-coached and they’ve been champions forever. We do not take them lightly.”
■ The Warriors have found a goalie
When Andrew Vona, the coach’s son and prospective starter in net to open the season, tore his ACL in a preseason scrimmage, the Warriors began to search for a replacement. They appear to have found one in Nolan O’Brien. The freshman stood tall in net with nine key saves, many of which sparked the L-S offense by initiating transition opportunities.
■ The Warriors improved during their road trip
L-S fell, 18-8, to No. 13 Manhasset (N.Y.) at home last Thursday, then lost to No. 5 St. Anthony’s, N.Y., 20-10, and No. 13 Haverford, Pa., 11-8, during the Geico High School Lacrosse Showcase over the weekend. But the Warriors seem to have grown stronger from those defeats.
“[The nationally-ranked teams] played at such an insane speed and level that it forced us to match it and clean up the little things,” said Ward. “That showed in our energy coming out [today]. We had a whole new vibe, a whole new energy, and we’re firing on all cylinders. It’s great to see.”