9-0 closing run boosts Hollis Brookline boys lacrosse team into finals

NASHUA – The Hollis Brookline and Plymouth high school boys lacrosse teams each had opportunities to win their Division III semifinal at Stellos Stadium on Saturday.

The No. 2 Bobcats got most of theirs in the first half, but couldn’t capitalize and went into halftime tied 4-4 with No. 3 Hollis Brookline.

In the second half, the Cavaliers took advantage of their opportunities, including a three-minute, locked-in penalty to start the fourth quarter, and rolled to a 16-6 win over the previously unbeaten Bobcats.

The win sends HB to the championship game for the second time in three years, where the Cavs will play No. 1 Derryfield, a 16-3 winner over No. 5 ConVal.

“I’m really proud of these boys and I’m really happy we’re moving on,” HB coach Mike Soucy said. Plymouth “has got some really good players. Their goalie (Dylan McIntosh) was terrific.

“We had some good quality shots on him in the first half and couldn’t get anything through him.”

HB played a lot of the first half a man down, but goalie Logan Blake made some key saves and the Cavaliers’ defense stepped up to play solidly throughout.

“I thought our defense, at about 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.”

Ryan Papineau led the Cavs with six goals and three assists, while Sam Whitaker added five goals. Peter Bertone and Patrick Dunn each had two goals and Zach Nardone had a goal and two assists.

Blake finished with 10 saves.

The 15-2 Cavs trailed for most of the first half, but Whitaker and Nardone scored 41 seconds apart, the second of which came with 1:04 left in the half, to tie the game.

HB scored again to open the third and was able to push the lead to 7-5 with 4:49 left in the quarter. Plymouth (16-1) got back within one on a goal by Amani Mwingria with 3:20 to go in the frame, but Dunn scored 1:09 later to put the Cavs back up by two.

The Bobcats suffered a bad break when Evan Bolognani was assessed a penalty for having an illegal stick and was locked in for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Papineau scored twice and Plymouth’s Jared Kuehl took another penalty to put the Bobcats down two.

“Penalties were definitely the name of the game,” Plymouth coach Glenn Mausolf said. “It really was the difference. We felt like we had some opportunities that we didn’t finish on.

“The difference was that they capitalized on their man-up situations, to their credit. They’re able to move the ball quickly and find the two-on-one situation and put it in the back of the net.”

HB scored again on the two-man advantage and added one more with Bolognani still off to go ahead 12-6. The Cavs ended up closing the game with a 9-0 run.

“We made a couple of adjustments at halftime as to what we wanted to do offensively to open things up for both of those guys,” Soucy said of Papineau and Whitaker, “as well as Zach Nardone and Patrick Dunn. Those are our main guys from an offensive standpoint.

“We opened things up and we got them to come out and play us, and when teams do that, we have an opportunity to go by them, and certainly that happened.”