READING — The St. Mary’s and Bishop Fenwick boys lacrosse teams saw their successful seasons end in the semifinals of the Division 3 North state tournament Monday in a doubleheader at Father Seymour Field.
The No. 8 Spartans fell 12-10 to No. 4 Dracut, while the No. 3 Crusaders lost to No. 2 Austin Prep 16-7.
St. Mary’s and Dracut got the day started with a back-and-forth battle that the Spartans saw slip away late in the fourth quarter.
“I give a lot of credit to Dracut and their players,” Spartans coach Josh Field said. “It was a lot of back-and-forth. Neither team gave up. You have to love that. That’s what lacrosse is all about. I told my guys I’m so proud of them for having the character to face adversity all season long. I thought we matured a lot this year.”
Davis Kinne and Brendan Laundry led St. Mary’s with three goals each while Zach Barden and Nick Napolitano each scored two.
The Spartans got off to a fast start with a pair of goals from Barden and Napolitano to go ahead 2-0 late in the first quarter.
But the lead didn’t last long. Dracut controlled possession thanks to Allyn French (five goals) dominating the faceoff circle and took a 6-4 lead into the half.
“I thought we adjusted pretty well to (French),” Fields said. “I thought we had our chances on some of the faceoffs and slowed him down. He had one fast break goal. It was a big one that he got at a good time for them. But I think we did a good job. French is a great player I haven’t seen a faceoff player that strong in a while.”
Later in the third quarter the Spartans trailed by three goals but weren’t going to go home without a fight. Laundry and Napolitano scored back-to-back goals and Kinne added another tally in the fourth to tie things at 8-8.
Dracut responded with three straight goals and the Spartans didn’t have another comeback in them, falling 12-10.
St. Mary’s graduates six seniors.
“This was a special group,” Fields said. “It’s my fourth season and I came in here and some of those guys were freshmen here. I had them throughout their career here so to see that end with some of these guys who were here since day one is a special thing. Every year we’ve taken one step further as a program and these seniors helped us do that. We’re going to miss them.”
In the nightcap, a slow start doomed the Crusaders. Fenwick barely possessed the ball in the first half and Austin Prep’s offense fired on all cylinders.
The Cougars jumped out to a 7-1 lead by halftime.
“They wore us down for sure,” Crusaders coach Steve Driscoll said. “Joe Rivers, John Bernbaum and Brett Ross — I can’t say enough about them. They led us the entire year on defense. They were just gassed and they rightly should’ve been. We didn’t have the ball on our offensive end and they had it pretty much the entire first half.”
Nico Pasciuto scored three goals while Nick Muzi added two. Ian Worthley and Diego Alvarez-Segee each had one goal.
The Crusaders bounced back in the second half, scoring five straight goals to close the gap to 8-6. But that was as close a Fenwick got and Austin Prep walked away with a convincing win.
Fenwick also graduates six seniors.
“I can’t thank those guys enough for building this program,” Driscoll said. “They jumped in when I was a first year coach and they’re the reason why we are here (Monday). They’re the reason why we had 17 wins and this program has been elevated to this point. I love every single one of them and I’m going to miss them.”