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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hollis Brookline, Derryfield vie for Division III boys lacrosse title

By JOE MARCHILENA

When the Derryfield School boys lacrosse team defeated Hollis Brookline in the regular season, Cougars coach Chris Hettler said he wouldn’t be surprised if his team ended up seeing the Cavaliers again.

They will in the biggest game of the year as the last two champions will meet in the Division III title game Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Stellos Stadium in Nashua. ...

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When the Derryfield School boys lacrosse team defeated Hollis Brookline in the regular season, Cougars coach Chris Hettler said he wouldn’t be surprised if his team ended up seeing the Cavaliers again.

They will in the biggest game of the year as the last two champions will meet in the Division III title game Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Stellos Stadium in Nashua.

The No. 1 Cougars (19-0) will be looking for their 39th win in a row and their second straight title, while the No. 3 Cavs (15-2) are trying to win their second title in three years.

HB advanced to the final by taking out the division’s other undefeated team, No. 2 Plymouth. The Cavs outscored the Bobcats 9-0 over the game’s final 15 minutes, taking advantage of their opportunities with a man-advantage.

“I’m really proud of these boys and I’m really happy we’re moving on,” HB coach Mike Soucy said after the win over Plymouth. “Our special teams really held it down for us in the first half when we were pickup penalties. It got flipped in the second half. (Plymouth) started pickup penalties and we were taking advantage of it.”

Special teams were key against Derryfield in the regular season, as Soucy thought his team played well in the 14-5 loss when it was six-on-six. When the Cougars had the advantage, or were in transition, the Cavs came up short.

HB has installed a new defense for that game, as well, and after Soucy felt good about the way the Cavs played it against Derryfield. He also felt good Saturday about the play of goalie Logan Blake, who came up with a couple of big saves in the first half against Plymouth to keep the game close.

“I thought our defense, at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter, the defense was gassed,” Soucy said. “I didn’t think they had much left in the tank because we had played so much defense. They just held solid. Logan Blake was unbelievable. He kept us in there in the first half and made some unbelievable saves.”

The Cavs will need to do everything they can to keep the Cougars’ offense in check, whether that means possessing the ball or playing well on defense.

The 14 goals Derryfield scored against HB was its third lowest output of the season, and the lowest since the end of April. Including the playoffs, the Cougars have averaged better than 18 goals a game, while allowing under three.

The game will also likely be the last time in the immediate future the teams meet as D-III opponents, as both are expected to move up to Division II next season.