Billerica Keeps Rolling
Billerica defeated BC High 6-5 on Monday night to win their fifth in a row.
BILLERICA, Mass. — Something had to give on Monday night as both Billerica and BC High entered the evening riding four game winning streaks. Both teams have been playing their best lacrosse of the season as they prepare to enter post-season play next week.
It was only fitting that Monday’s game would come down to the final seconds of play as Billerica led 6-5 with 52 seconds remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter.
After a BIG save from Billerica goalie DJ Smith BC High retained possession and would call a timeout with 13 seconds showing on the clock.
On the ensuing play BC High would get a great look at a shot that rang off the crossbar to solidify Billerica’s 6-5 victory.
“They actually got a nice inside shot and we got lucky with the angle,” Smith said after the game. “Our defense has just really stepped up and they played very well tonight.”
The win was Billerica’s fifth in a row, eighth in their last nine games, and their fourth one-goal win of the season.
Billerica received strong offensive games from middie and faceoff specialist Kevin Farrell, attack Drew Laundry (2 Goals), Jeff Trainor (2G, 1 Assist), attack Drew Trainor (1G, 1A).
Billerica’s (14-5) team defense was excellent all evening. Billerica would lead 2-1 after one quarter and 4-1 at the half. The close-d and d-middies all stood their ground in the 6 v 6 as they rotated well, stayed disciplined with their checks and made timely slides when they needed too.
“Our defense is playing great right now,” Billerica head coach Craig Flynn said after the game. “We have all the faith in the world in them. We are staying tight and trying to force those outside, weaker angled shots. We also have a great goalie with all the faith in the world in DJ Smith.”
Smith also stood strong in net as the UMass-bound senior made 14 saves with BC High (9-7) strugglong to find room to beat him all night.
“Brian (Leclair), Jimmy (McLaughlin) and Sean (Fitzgerald) have been my rocks all year,” Smith added of his close defensive unit. “They have been really stepping their games up as the season.”
Despite being stymied for much of the game BC High showed why they will be a feared match-up come post-season time.
The Eagles battled all night and had a strong second half defensive effort of their own as senior goalie D.J. Barrile was solid all night, making 10 saves.
Trailing 6-3 with four minutes remaining in the game BC High did not give in as they received late goals from Mark McGoldrick (2G) and A.J. Kucinski (2 G) to cut the Bllerica lead to 6-5 with 3:14 remaining n the game.
With a healthy All-American defenseman in Ian Yanuils, a healthy veteran middie in Billy Breen and a budding star in middie Patrick Cronin the Eagles have a great chance to make another deep run in this year’s tournament.
With tournament time knocking on the door next week Flynn knows the importance of improving over the course of the season.
“We have had some young guys playing for us all year,” Flynn said. “Some first-year players and some inexperienced guys have all gained experience. At the end of the season we are much more of a veteran team.”
Scheduling tough opponents year in and year out also gives Billerica an edge.
“We play a 20-game schedule,” Flynn said. “We play the toughest teams we can and that is all to get us ready for the state tournament.”
While not long on experience Smith likes teh progression of his team this season and the prospects of another deep tourney run.
“We are trying to play a lot more intense right now,” Smith said of his team’s recent play. “We are really looking forward to making a run at this, no matter how many people may look at us as underdogs.”