NORTH ATTLEBORO — The North Attleboro High boys lacrosse team capped its Hockomock League slate and home schedule with a 12-7 win over rival Attleboro High Thursday night at Beaupre Field.
Needing to make a statement, the Rocketeers jumped out early and never trailed. Goals from Andrew Schmidt, Luke Ward (two), Jack Regan, Greg Berthiaume and Luke Antonetti set the tone for the Rocketeers in the first 12 minutes of the contest, giving North a commanding 6-0 lead.
Regan finished the game with a team-high four goals for North and Schmidt led in assists with five while Antonetti, Berthiuame and Ward each scored twice.
“Obviously, every game you want to start fast and play fast,” North head coach Ryan Izzo said. “But you want to do the fundamentals correctly and don’t to push it too fast and be overplaying. I thought we did a very good job of moving the ball offensively, and defensively, we were sound. We were playing on-ball, hard defense and were sliding with bodies.
“Then it kind of got away from us in the second quarter, and for the rest of the game, we were playing not to lose,” Izzo said.
Attleboro didn’t respond until the 9:33 mark in the second quarter off the stick of Landon Vieira, but by then, Attleboro was playing catch-up against the Rocketeers.
The Rocketeers returned to form to open the second half, getting two goals nearly seven minutes apart before Attleboro capitalized on two quick goals in under 14 seconds to close the third quarter.
“We’re still waiting to play our full game, our best lacrosse, which is scary because I know we can put a full game together,” Izzo said. “It just come down to game IQ (to prevent turnovers.) ... I thought we did a poor job of forcing the ball and throwing off our hip and not getting the hands away from the body. Not things we do in practice. Attleboro did a great job of making those turnovers and forcing those plays against us. They fought hard.”
The Bombardiers again ran off goals in succession near the midway point of the fourth quarter, again scoring off turnovers, to cut the deficit to 10-7. North’s Jack Regan closed out the game and drained any momentum the Bombardiers had with under four minutes to go, poking in a loose ball through traffic past Attleboro keeper Harry Wheaton to make it 11-7. He scored again near the three minute mark for the Rocketeers, scoring to make it 12-7.
Attleboro had four goals from Carter Shelton and two from Landon Vieiro. Jack DiLiddo also scored once. Leading the team with three assists was Spencer Sherck.
The Rocketeers celebrated their seniors on ‘Senior Night’ before and after the game, with 14 seniors bidding farewell to possibly one of the final games they’ll play at Beaupre Field.
“This senior group is very special,” Izzo said. “This group is so special because they have grit and more than half of them haven’t even played (the game before.) They’re really taking what (my assistants) and I are saying day in and day out, and translating it on the field.
“It’s really special to see and as a coach it makes you feel really good because they’re listening and trying to get better each day. This senior class, it’s phenomenal. They’ve done everything and more.”
The loss marks the end of the road for the Bombardiers, who finished at 5-13. Aftewards, Attleboro head coach Kevin Patton had a lot of love for his six-man senior group, saying it’s hard not to get emotional when talking about how much they’ve meant to the program.
“I can’t say enough about the seniors,” Patton said. “I get choked up thinking about them. All they’ve done on the field, off the field, I see them in the classroom in school, leading these guys. They’ve taken a lot of the responsibility off of me because they’re men. I’m proud of them.”
North Attleboro’s (10-7) next plays its regular-season finale at Catholic Memorial on Saturday morning.