CENTRAL/WESTERN DIVISION 2 BOYS’ LACROSSE FINAL: SHREWSBURY 9, WESTFIELD 8 (2 OT)
By Carl Setterlund CORRESPONDENT
WORCESTER — Shrewsbury High boys’ lacrosse has traveled into uncharted territory all season, and after the best regular season in program history, the Colonials followed up on Saturday with the school’s first boys’ lacrosse title.
Third-seeded Shrewsbury took a dramatic 9-8 win in double overtime over Westfield High. Joey Buduo beat his defender 12 seconds out of a timeout for the winner to make the Colonials the Central/Western Division 2 champions.
“I just started going to the net and beat my guy, so I was like, I might as well just shoot it,” said Buduo, who notched his second straight hat trick, also coming up big for the Colonials (20-4) in their 7-6 semifinal win over town rival St. John’s.
Shrewsbury plays Central/Eastern champion Medfield in a Division 2 state semifinal at Foley Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We just believed, the whole time we believed,” said longtime Shrewsbury coach Nate Skermont, who got his 100th win earlier in the season. “Before the game today, we went where we practiced the first day, and we talked about this is where it all starts. We looked at our finalist trophies from the two finals we made (in 2007 and 2008). We looked at the banners hanging in the gym and said this is a season of firsts … let’s make this the first time we win a district championship.”
All-America goalie Chris Gorman said the team isn’t ready to stop there. He and Buduo were members of Shrewsbury’s Division 3 state title hockey team.
“We’re on our way to get another state (title),” Gorman said. “That’s our goal.”
Gorman, the motor of the Colonials’ defense, played stellar in the net and also even ventured forward frequently to assist on three goals.
Shrewsbury trailed, 4-2, to the No. 4 seed Bombers (17-4) at halftime, with Alex Chin providing both goals in the final six minutes of the second quarter.
“We said, ‘Hey, we were down two with 12 minutes left at St. John’s, so we’ve got twice as much time to come back,'” Skermont said. “They drove all this way, they deserved to see our best, and we showed them that in the second half.”
Buduo and Jack Campanale scored in the first 2:30 of the second half, then Gorman got the ball up to Tom Aulenback in transition for a rare goal for him five minutes into the third quarter to tie the game at 5-5.
Midfielder Derric Dell’Olio gave Shrewsbury its first lead, 6-5, a minute after Aulenback’s tally, and the game ended up tied at 8-8 going into the fourth quarter, after the Colonials’ six-goal third period.
“Coach Skermont said we’re not going down without a fight,” Buduo said. “We’re a second-half team so we just came out there, and the ball was going our way.”
Skermont called timeout on Shrewsbury’s first possession of the second OT.
“Going into double OT, putting that goal in the net, and getting our school’s first district championship, it was just great,” Buduo said.
Gorman said the team was happy that Kim Hally, the mother of junior defenseman Tim Hally who suffered a massive brain stem stroke last year, was able to attend the game, only her second of the season.
“She’s the person behind this team that keeps us fighting,” Gorman said.
Hally and the team were quick to run over to share their new trophy with his mother.
“Oh my God, best moment of my life,” Hally said. “Running over with that trophy and seeing her smile and giving her a nice big hug, there’s nothing else like it. Sports, you know, it’s just a game, but it’s so much more sometimes.”
Contact Carl Setterlund at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tgsports