Despite a dominating performance on faceoffs by Billerica’s Kevin Farrell, L-S was able to dig in and win the ground ball battles, which in turn allowed the offense to do its thing. Jordan Dow scored five while Colby Hall and Henry Guild each had hat tricks and Dan Delaney added two more to lead the Warriors in a 17-9 rout of the Indians Monday night at Calabrese Stadium.
L-S started quickly, building a 5-2 lead after one on goals by Delaney, Austin Barta and a pair from Dow. Dow actually scored four in a row for the Warriors (13-5) across the first and second quarters, the last of which came on a terrific hustle play to scoop a loose ball after a missed shot with the junior pulling out to reset and firing. Goalie Dan Shaughnessy helped the cause with 10 of his 16 saves in the first half.
Before the Warriors could get too comfortable, Billerica (14-5) put together a run of its own, closing out the first half with two goals from Cam Slatton (hat trick, two assists) and opening the third third quarter with tallies by Peter Walters (two goals, assist) and Dan Trainor (two goals). That spurt helped Billerica to within two goals (9-7) midway through the frame.
“Our guys just kept fighting, they kept playing hard,” praised Indians coach Craig Flynn. “Kevin Farrell was doing a great job on faceoffs. We just have to get the ball in our offensive end and have an opportunity to get the ball so we can put the ball in the cage.”
The response came quickly, however, as L-S thwarted any potential for a momentum shift as Guild scored on the next possession, racing out from behind the Indians cage and sticking his shot high to the far corner just 36 seconds after Trainor’s goal. Delaney added another with one of his patented rifle shots.
Walters potted his second with 1:15 to go, but it was a strong third quarter effort by the L-S defense that had coach Brian Vona feeling confident.
“It was 9-7 where we were worried,” Vona admitted. “They fought back hard and we knew they were going to make a run. They are very well-coached and very skilled. Slatton, (Ben Melaugh), (Russ Tedford) and (Walters) – those are there four players who can bring it. We knew they were going to come back and they did. Our defense had to make a couple stops. We’ve been looking for that for a while from our defense.”
He added, “Our defense really played well in the third quarter. That’s when I feel like that we set the tone was set for the entire game.
The offense certainly seemed to think so, as Colby Hall popped in a transition goal to open the fourth and start a 5-0 run that helped the Warriors extend their lead to 16-8 with 6:09 left to play. Melaugh got one late for Billerica, as did Guild for L-S, putting the final touches on a game that program founder Andy Oleski, who the players dedicated the game to, would have been proud of.
“I’m proud of the kids,” Vona said. “Before the game they dedicated the game to Andy O’Leski, who is the guy who originated the program, so this one’s for you Coach. We played well for you.”
Also had a chance to catch up with longtime Billerica P.A. announcer Tom Abrahamson, who said prior to the game that it would be the last time his booming voice would carry across the Calabrese Stadium field. His son, Ian Abrahamson, was an All-American defender for the Indians and was recently named Most Valuable Player of the Salem State mens lacrosse team as a freshman.
We hope the Indians faithful will convince our old friend to come back for as many home playoff games as Billerica plays. If not, as Arlington Catholic coach Dan Brothers is fond of saying about Tom, your dulcet tones will be greatly missed.