HINGHAM — It’s been a season of firsts for the Silver Lake High boys lacrosse team.
In May, the Lakers defeated Duxbury for the first time in program history. On Friday, the No. 12 Lakers upset No. 5 Barnstable in the first round of the Division 1 South Sectionals to secure the program’s first tournament win.
But some firsts will have to wait at least another year.
To secure their first spot in a sectional semifinal, Silver Lake had to get past a Hingham team it had never defeated before. Despite a three-goal run that trimmed an 8-1 deficit down to 8-4 and briefly had the Harbormen on the ropes in the second quarter, the Lakers fell short of adding to an already historic season and lost to Hingham, 17-6, on Tuesday in the Div. 1 South quarterfinals.
“It’s great to see because we know that the Hinghams, the Duxburys, the Scituates, those are some of the best teams in the state,” Silver Lake coach Derek Weckbacher, who also mentioned Hanover in that group, said of this season’s success. “We know if we can play with those guys we can hang with anyone. It’s a great boost of confidence there for our guys to see that, hey, we can run with these guys.”
The No. 4 Harbormen (14-2), who advance to play in the sectional semifinal against the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 1 Franklin (16-0) and No. 9 Wellesley (10-4), knew what they were up against in the Lakers. In their first meeting a little over a month ago, Silver Lake led 4-2 at half before Hingham pulled away for a 9-5 win.
“They play the game the right way,” Hingham coach John Todd said of Silver Lake. “They work hard. They see the field well and we knew that this run for them was going to be building for something like this — them knocking off Duxbury, they took us to (four) goals in the first game and that they’re here (in the quarterfinals).”
Acutely aware of Silver Lake’s talent, the Harbormen wasted no time in trying to lay claim to victory.
Six different scorers (Charlie Crean, John Sula, Alex Rabschnuk, Matt Falvey, Lars Osterberg, Owen Hoffman) staked Hingham to a 6-0 first-quarter lead. Hingham capped the run when Osterberg ripped a shot off the post, but the ball caromed off Hoffman’s leg back into the net.
Silver Lake sophomore Brandon Cavicchi (two goals) broke the run when he intercepted a pass near midfield and raced in for a breakaway and finished.
Goals from Connor Hartman (two goals) and Osterberg (two goals, two assists) stretched Hingham’s lead to 8-1 in the second quarter before Silver Lake scored three goals within a 57-second span.
Christopher Broderick (goal, assist) started the rally when his tally cut the deficit to 8-2 with 4:57 left in the first half. Following a faceoff win from Andrew Tilton, Jackson Nugent scored 35 seconds later. Following another Tilton win, Tommy Condon made it 8-4 with four minutes left in the first half.
With Tilton giving the Harbormen problems on the faceoff, Hingham threw a bevy of different players at him. Typical FOGOs Rocco Egan, a freshman, and Gus Belcher, a sophomore, both had their shots at Tilton early. Long pole John Sula even had some success in the third quarter. Tilton won 13 of the 21 face-offs in the first three quarters.
“We were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him because the kid, he can play,” said Todd of Tilton. “That’s a great asset for any team, as we know. We’ve had that luxury for years and we’re developing two young kids right now.”
After the Lakers’ run came to an end, Hingham responded. Paul Forbes buried a shot top shelf to spark a 7-0 Hingham run that put the game away. Crean finished with a game-high three goals and two assists.
Cian Nicholas, Charlie Packard, Leo Anderson, Joe Hennessey and Ronan Mulkerrin also scored goals for Hingham.
Hingham goalkeeper Sam Bellomy stopped eight of the 12 shots he saw, including some stellar saves, in three quarters of work. The Harbormen have only allowed an opponent to reach double-digit goals once this season (St. John’s Prep in a 10-5 loss).
“Sam Bellomy is an unbelievable, top-notch goalie in the state,” said Todd. “To build around that is easier than the alternative. I give him a ton of the credit and the kids know that we can play aggressively, we can try things because he’s back there and he’s going to save our butt a ton.”
Senior William Cronin had a goal and an assist in the loss for the Lakers. He’s one of six graduated seniors for the Lakers, along with Stephen Gallagher, Kyle Neal, Cameron Cavicchi, Matthew Schmitz and Jake Generazo.
“I’m so fortunate where I have a great community where they really work on the youth program and focus on these guys,” said Weckbacher. “I’ve had great players come up every year.
“I’ve had a lot of big-name players move on from the program and we do a really good job of refilling and the kids work hard to get better. They do what the coaches ask and they do the little things to really improve as a group.”
Don’t look for the Lakers to disappear any time soon, as they’ll return the vast majority of their roster next season, which included plenty of underclassmen contributors this season.
“The future is hugely bright for them because this junior class, not that they don’t have a great senior class because they do have some really good senior players,” said Todd of the Lakers, ”but I think they’re rallying around them, which is really the foundation for the program to keep moving forward even after these juniors leave.”
“I don’t want to say it’s a surprise, but it’s nice to see that we can start running with these teams in this league, and playing against these guys for so long has really made us stronger and we can take away from these programs and the good things they do,” said Weckbacher. “Our guys do a great job applying it to our program.”