The Sandwich Blue Knights are off to the sectional semifinals.
Sandwich, the #2 seed in Division 2 South,pulled out a 10-8 win over 11-seed Plymouth South in quartefinal action Monday afternoon. They'll next play the winner between Hanover and Scituate, who played Tuesday after this story went to press.
The score was knotted up at four apiece at halftime before Plymouth South pulled ahead 7-5 after three quarters of play. But Sandwich went on a 5-1 run in the fourth to pull out the win, capped off with a Tim Ladner goal with 2:12 left in regulation.
CJ Wiper led the Blue Knights with four goals on the day, while Aidan Rodgers has two goals and two assists. Carson Schemenaur had nine saves between the pipes for Sandwich.
“The team works hard and deserves everything they have gotten," Sandwich Head Coach Mike McNeil said prior to the quarterfinal matchup against Plymouth South. "We are a very different team than last year with as many as five freshmen in the starting lineup. We are putting our best foot forward and the key to this year’s group is that they have not been afraid of hard work.”
The Blue Knights took care of #15 Norwood in the first round before besting #10 Bishop Feehan in the quarterfinals. The wins pit the Blue Knights against upstart #11 Plymouth South for the right to advance to Thursday’s sectional finals.
The Blue Knights started slow in their first two tournament games, but late first half runs helped them put both games out of reach.
Sandwich eventually beat Norwood 11-5 but found themselves down 2-1 late in the first half before ripping off six straight goals. The Blue Knights scored four goals in just over three minutes during that span.
“I think the way these boys treat each other has been the highlight,” McNeil said. “They are an unbelievable group of teammates and the upper classmen have really made the freshmen a part of the team. We talk a lot about family and now we are getting a few extra weeks of it. They want to keep winning so they can keep coming to practice.”
It was much the same story vs. Bishop Feehan, a team Sandwich beat 11-9 late in the regular season. Sandwich was down 1-0 after the first quarter but a monster second found the Blue Knights up 7-3 at halftime.
Tim Ladner won all but two faceoffs in each of the first two games. He delivered an impressive 18-for-20 performance in the quarterfinals.
“We could talk a lot about Tim, but it’s more than that,” McNeil said. “This is an unbelievable group. We talk a lot about tradition and you would never hear me talk about rebuilding. We really hope to get a chance to play either Scituate or Hanover in the finals.
Elsewhere, Falmouth picked up a huge 10-4 win over Dartmouth in the first round of the Division 2 tournament, but ran into a tough top-seeded Hanover squad in the quarterfinals, falling 14-6
In the Dartmouth win, Aaron Schlezinger and Nick Champani led the way with three goals each. Collin Almeida, Connor Shea, Liam Enneguess, and Kevin Coyne each added a goal of their own in the winning effort.
Falmouth was up 8-0 at halftime. Like Sandwich, The Clippers also dominated the faceoff game, as Nate Car won 12 out of 15 draws.
In Division 3, Bourne, a tenth-seed, were the underdogs in the first round as they travelled to #7 Tri-County. Bourne came home with a thrilling 15-14 upset victory, but ultimately fell 16-6 vs. undefeated Nantucket in the quarterfinals.
“I’m really happy with how the guys came together,” Bourne Head Coach Tim Crowley said. “The kids had a lot of lacrosse to deal with in a really short period of time and handled it very well. They really did come together and we achieved some of our goals.”
Christian Mulkern and Max Hess each had five goals in the tournament victory. The Canalmen trailed going into the fourth quarter after allowing eight goals on eight penalties. But Mulkern scored the eventual game winner with just over four minutes to play, and Bourne held onto the ball for the rest of the game.
“Some teams get down and out, but my guys dug deep,” Crowley said. “We were down five against Apponequet this season and came back to win that game. Sometimes we found ourselves down a lot and clawed back into it.
Bourne wouldn’t have had the success they did without senior Chris Evangelista volunteering to fill the team’s need in goal. Senior captains Hess and Joe Dimonda have been with the program since they were eighth graders (the third captain Mulkern came a little later) and overall, the Bourne program is in a very strong position today.