HARVARD — There might not be a more recognizable name in Central Massachusetts Division III sports than Bromfield. When the name comes up, championships at League, District and State levels come to mind. The Trojans have landed themselves on the throne and are always aware of those who want to knock them off. On Wednesday afternoon, the Blackstone Valley Tech boys’ lacrosse team took their turn at trying to play David.
With Bromfield entering the game shorthanded, they were ripe for the picking of a possible upset. The Beavers gave everything they had, keeping the game within striking distance throughout, but their gallant effort came up just short. On this day, the Trojans talent won out as the third seed ended 14th-seeded Blackstone Valley Tech’s season with a 9-8 win.
“You have to give a lot of credit to our opponent, they gave us a run for our money today,” said Bromfield coach Joe Gatto. “Our lack of numbers really hurt us today, being down six bodies we couldn’t really keep our legs fresh and we wore down a little bit. But the kids dug deep and gutted this one out.”
In the first quarter, the Trojans controlled the flow of play, taking seven of the nine shots in the quarter and connecting on three of them to take an early lead. Dek Tuttle got the scoring started with an unassisted tally a minute and a half in. Dylan Gatto picked up the other two goals with assists to Tuttle and Luke Turchetta as Bromfield held a 3-1 advantage.
Over the next 12 minutes, the Beavers settled down and went to work on their ball control offense. It paid off as Blackstone Valley Tech accounted for the only two goals of the period on the only two shots they took. Justin Stacy had both tallies, both unassisted off restarts to make it 3-3 heading into the intermission.
Studying the numbers of the first half showed that the game should not have been knotted at 3-3. The Trojans held a 10-4 advantage in shots on goals while holding a slight edge in time of possession. What proved to be the difference early on was the play of Beavers’ goalkeeper Pete Foley, who had seven saves in the first 24 minutes.
“For the last two and a half years, I have never had to worry about Pete and how he would play in net,” said Blackstone Valley Tech coach Jeff Hallenbeck. “Once again, he came up big for us today and really did a great job of keeping us in the game throughout.”
After trading goals over the first six minutes of the third quarter, Bromfield regained a two-goal lead with a pair of goals in a 30-second span. Tuttle converted a Turchetta pass into a goal and Gatto found the back of the net to make it a 7-5 contest.
With the score 8-6, the Beavers drew within one on Dan Kenney goal with just under 10 minutes left to play. Gatto had the answer four and a half minutes later with a goal off a great feed from Tuttle that restored the two-goal advantage.
Off a restart with a minute and a half to left, Blackstone Valley Tech looked to Stacy once again and the senior delivered. After going behind the net, Stacy spun toward the goal and bounced home a shot into the left corner to draw his team within a goal at 9-8. There would be no miracle finish though as the Beavers last-ditch effort was a shot from 15 yards that went wide left as the Trojans had survived and advanced onto the quarterfinals.
“I thought we outplayed our opponent today, but we did a poor job of executing,” said Gatto. “We need to clean things up if we are to have a chance of advancing. Our efficiency is going to have to improve and we need to make better passes.”