Nike/LM HS Northeast Report: Longmeadow Rebounds for Crown
Longmeadow (Mass.) girls' lacrosse coach Steve Dudeck said his team learns more from losses than from wins.
If that's the case, the Lancers must have learned some big lessons from their April 20 loss to Westwood (Mass.), because they turned the tide on the Wolverines in the biggest game of the year.
After losing 13-5 to the Wolverines in their lone regular-season tilt, Longmeadow secured a thrilling 10-9 triple-overtime win on Thursday in the Massachusetts Division 1 state championship game at Harvard.
Junior Olivia Shapiro (UConn) assisted on the tying goals in both regulation and the second overtime, then netted the winner in the third overtime to propel the Lancers (22-3).
"Leslie's (Westwood coach Leslie Frank) teams are always in incredibly good shape and she also does a great job of developing her players' stick skills," Dudeck said. "Those two fundamental starting blocks are where her team improves from the start of the season until the end of the season. ... We knew they were going to be in great shape and we knew they were going to pressure us, because they do that to everyone. We worked on that and we knew we couldn't turn the ball over in a big game. We worked on things we could do to limit our turnovers and put ourselves in position to maintain possession when we wanted to."
Nike/LM Northeast Girls' Top 10
1. Mount Sinai (N.Y.), 20-1
Longmeadow (Mass.) claimed its first state title since 2004 with a 10-9 triple-overtime win over defending state champ Westwood (Mass.) in the Massachusetts Division 1 state final. The Lancers take the final spot in the regional rankings away from the Wolverines.
Westwood's only loss of the season cost the Wolverines a spot in the Top 10.
The Lancers held the Wolverines to nine goals, the first time they had scored less than 11 all season. Longmeadow, which claimed its first state title since 2004, also halted Westwood's 48-game winning streak.
Senior defender and captain Rachel Woods (George Mason), a fourth-year varsity player, is one of five seniors on this team. Her efforts were crucial in slowing down the Wolverines, Dudeck said. Woods also helped the team on draws as Shapiro was winning them, but Woods was coming up with the ball outside of the circle.
"Rachel was a huge part of this win," Dudeck said. "Defensive players don't usually get as much credit as offensive players, but Rachel played a great game."
Offensively, Shapiro was clutch, as she finished with two goals and four assists. Michaela Smith added three goals, and Alison Tetrault chipped in two goals and one assist for the Lancers. Goalie Hannah Valencia stopped eight shots in the win.
"We told Olivia that she would be able to go to the goal and score, but more importantly, we knew they were going to double her and double her hard," Dudeck said. "She's a basketball player and a soccer player, so she's able to see the field and understand what needs to happen with that pass after the double team comes.
"She was a big part of this win, and you could see her confidence getting bigger and bigger as the season progressed. That just helped her to develop."
Along with Shapiro, Dudeck said sophomores like Valencia, Tetrault, Courtney Barrett (one goal, one assist) and Claire Fitzpatrick (one goal) form a returning nucleus for the future.
However, he looks to the past as to why his team ended up so successful this postseason.
Dudeck points to a midseason win over Darien (Conn.), the Connecticut Class L state champ, as being the turning point in his team's season. The Lancers were 10-3 going into that game, and it marked the beginning of a 12-game win streak to close the season.
"I'm fortunate enough to have really smart kids," Dudeck said. "They see what you have to do to play at this level."
Northeast Girls' Player of the Week
Stephanie Croke, Norwell (Mass.)
Croke, a junior, scored six of her eight goals in the second half as Norwell (Mass.) claimed the Massachusetts Division 2 state title with a 16-7 win over Groton-Dunstable (Mass.). Norwell outscored the Crusaders 11-4 in the second half to claim its sixth state title in 10 years.
Also notable: Caroline Walsh (Norwell, Mass.), Alexis Stathis (Groton-Dunstable, Mass.), Brooke Troy (Westwood, Mass.), Hannah Valencia (Longmeadow, Mass.)
Nike/LM Northeast Boys' Top 10
Northeast Boys' Player of the Week
Matt Treiber, Medfield (Mass.)
Treiber scored three of his game-high five goals as Medfield jumped out to an early 7-1 lead en route to a 16-12 win over Longmeadow (Mass.) in the Massachusetts Division 2 state final. Medfield (21-2) claimed its second straight state crown.
Also notable: Nick Brindisi (Lincoln-Sudbury, Mass.), Jack Cahill (Medfield, Mass.), Will Lukas (Longmeadow, Mass.), William Spangenberg (Dover-Sherborn, Mass.), John Fontaine (Dover-Sherborn, Mass.).
1. Niskayuna (N.Y.), 21-2
2. Syosset (N.Y.), 18-2
3. Massapequa (N.Y.), 18-1
4. Victor (N.Y.), 22-0
5. Chaminade (N.Y.), 13-4
6. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), 12-4
7. Darien (Conn.), 20-3
8. Smithtown East (N.Y.), 18-2
9. Ward Melville (N.Y.), 17-3
10. West Genesee (N.Y.), 18-3
Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.) claimed its first state title in 21 years with a 12-4 win over Duxbury (Mass.) in the Massachusetts Division 1 state final. The Warriors, who closed the year on a 16-game winning streak, nearly crashed into the rankings with a 20-1 finish.
In the last week of the season, none of the Top 10 teams dropped out.
Girls' Northeast Notebook
Brooke Troy led Westwood (24-1) with four goals in the Wolverines' state championship loss to Longmeadow (Mass.). The Wolverines hadn't lost since the 2013 postseason, as they finished that year 22-1.
Marshwood (Maine) won the program's first title in its state championship game debut. The Hawks (13-3) beat Messalonskee (Maine) 13-5 in the Class A state championship game Saturday behind Lindsey Poirier's seven goals and one assist.
Boys' Northeast Notebook
After just falling short of a 2014 sectional title, the Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.) boys' lacrosse team finished the job this season.
The Warriors (20-1) claimed their first state title in 21 years last week, beating Duxbury (Mass.) in the Division 1 state final. They had lost to 8-7 to Acton-Boxboro in last year's North sectional championship.
"I think it's great for the program," L-S coach Brian Vona told the Boston Globe. "We've been doing things well a long time; we just never got to the final end of it."
Nick Brindisi led the Warriors with five goals and two assists, and sophomore goalie Trevor Van Leer finished with 12 saves.
Dover-Sherborn rolled to its third state title in four years with a 14-2 win over Grafton in the Massachusetts Division 3 state final. Will Spangenberg netted three first-quarter goals to set the tone for the Raiders (20-3), who bounced back from a state-championship setback to Cohasset last season.
Nike/LM HS Northeast Report Archive
- June 17: Darien's Winning Culture
- June 10: To Victor Go the Spoils
- June 3: Syosset's Triumph
- May 26: Wantagh Rising
- May 18: Longmeadow Growing Pains
- May 12: Western N.Y. Thrillers
- May 5: Manhasset Vaults Ahead
- April 28: Long Island Reunion
- April 21: Showdown Looms
- April 14: Garden City's Hot Hand
- April 7: Manhasset Flexes Muscles
- March 31: 'Pequa Takes Early Showdown
- Preseason Top 10 and Players to Watch
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