50th Edition, Sports

Laxters go for two in a row

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Phil Leibovich, Volume 24
June 5, 1985

In any sport, winning a championship is not an easy task, but repeating as champions is even more difficult. The 1985 edition of the Newton South boys’ lacrosse team is faced with the challenge of duplicating their championship season of a year ago. So far everything has gone as the 1984 Division II Coach of the Year Paul Murphy has planned.
Despite the squad’s rocky pre-season, (an embarrassing 0-3 record in the annual Lions Tournament), the veteran team showed their “never say die” attitude by rebounding to win an unprecedented 11 games in a row. Many teams would have given up after such a disappointing start, but the team showed with its comeback that if nothing else, it had heart.
During the lengthy winning streak, there were many key wins by the Lions. Their first Division II win of the season came in their first league game against arch-rival Acton-Boxboro. The two teams had met in the state semi-finals last year when the Lions eeked out a one-goal victory to propel them into the finals.
This year, the Lions asserted themselves early and went on to blow out Acton-Boxboro 12-4. Standouts included senior tri-captain midfielder David Kowal and attack-man Matt Ranen. The two incidentally lead the Division II in scoring.
The Lions gained another important victory when at mid-season they travelled north to meet lacrosse power St. Johns Prep. A strong defensive effort gave the Lions a 7-5 victory. The close checking of defensemen Mike Neiberg and Scott Katz secured the win.
Other Lion victories included a 9-5 drubbing of Division I power Needham, and a late-season whitewashing of Waltham. Ipswich, Hingham, and Burlington also succumbed to the Lions. The abundance of victories can be attributed to the outstanding depth on the team. Also, the team’s ability to not suffer a let-down after a big win shows their experience. With an 11 game winning streak, and a 13-3 overall record (5-0 in their league) the first seeded Lions enter the state tournament in fine shape.
If the playoff system remains the same as last year, the Lions will receive a first round bye and will then have to win to straight games to be crowned championship once again.
With all the essential pieces of a championship team present: momentum, confidence, experience, and talent, the Lions are favorites to win the Division II State Lacrosse Championship for the second year straight.

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