H.S. Lacrosse: Dover happy in new home
After what coach John Silverio described as a special season last year in Division I, the Dover High School boys’ lacrosse team has high hopes for what it can accomplish in Division II this year.
“We hope to be in the finals but a lot of things have to happen,” Silverio said.
Dover, which won the D-II title in 2005 and 2011, returned to the division this season after a two-year stint in Division I. Silverio said both the Green Wave’s move to D-I two years ago and move back to D-II this year were due to the school’s enrollment numbers.
Dover went 7-8 last year and fell to Concord in the first round of the Division I playoffs last season. Behind a promising group of underclassmen and strong senior leadership, the Green Wave are looking to take another step forward in their first season back in Division II.
“We’ve got a few good seniors playing good minutes and supplement with juniors and sophomores,” Silverio said. “It’s been a nice sign because they have good leadership and those guys filling in those roles who are younger are still learning the game and have good potential to grow.”
The Green Wave (3-0) scored 50 goals over their first three games. Forty-two of those goals were scored by an underclassman, Silverio said.
Silverio said Dover’s experience on attack and defense are two of its biggest strengths.
Dover’s attack features Silverio’s son, Dominic, Justin Colizzi, who are both juniors, and Sean Gallipo, a sophomore transfer from St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover.
Senior Christian Towle and junior goalie Noah Schwartz, who did not play for the varsity team last year, lead a Green Wave defense that has not surrendered more than nine goals in a game so far.
Silverio doesn’t think his team has the most star-studded roster in the division. He does know he has a group of hard-working players and a dedicated coaching staff, however.
Dover’s unbeaten start to the season likely has not raised many eyebrows around the division. Some fellow D-II coaches came into this year expecting Dover to be among the top contenders for the title.
Silverio has advised his players to tune out noise coming from outside the Green Wave locker room.
“If you start thinking you’re great because somebody told you you’re great, you won’t be ready,” Silverio said.
Before Dover can start thinking about winning it all, Silverio said it needs to prove it is the best team in its part of the state. In addition to the Green Wave, Division II boasts five other teams from the Seacoast: Oyster River of Durham, Portsmouth, Spaulding of Rochester, St. Thomas and Winnacunnet of Hampton.
Silverio said one of the reasons both he and his players were excited about Dover’s return to Division II was the chance to renew rivalries with their fellow Seacoast programs.
The Green Wave opened their season with an 18-9 triumph at Oyster River April 11 and beat rival St. Thomas, 14-8, Monday.
“We’ve got to first come out of the Seacoast as the best team,” Silverio said. “We’ve got to come out of the Seacoast as the top team and hopefully get to the playoffs and get a matchup with a team we match up well against.”
- - - - - - -
Fresh off defeating one of the top programs in Massachusetts, the Bishop Guertin of Nashua boys’ lacrosse team will face another Bay State power today. The Cardinals, who beat Needham (Mass.) 8-7 on Tuesday, host Reading (Mass.) tonight at 7.
Needham (3-2) entered this week ranked No. 10 in the Boston Globe’s top 20 poll. Reading (4-1) entered the week ranked No. 7 in the Globe’s poll.
After tonight’s contest, Bishop Guertin (2-0) has four remaining games against out-of-state opponents scheduled.
The Cardinals play three more Bay State teams: Boston College High, Xaverian Brothers and Duxbury, before their regular-season campaign concludes. Bishop Guertin was scheduled to host defending Rhode Island Division I champion La Salle Academy on Saturday but the game is in the process of being rescheduled to a later date.
“We want to face the toughest competition possible to prepare us for June come tournament time,” Cardinals coach Chris Cameron said.
Cameron said the Cardinals did not play their best against Needham but he was proud of how his team stayed composed en route to the comeback win. Cameron’s son Brian scored the game-winning goal with 1:02 remaining.
Cameron has not seen Reading play this season but he expects a challenging contest.
“They’re a tough, hard-nosed team,” Cameron said of the Rockets. “They play a lot like Pinkerton.”
Bishop Guertin will look to dictate the pace tonight, something it was not always able to do against Needham.
“Needham won faceoffs against us and had a lead. They were able to really play slow,” Cameron said. “The key for us is play to our pace. It’s similar to basketball where you want to control the tempo....Teams can’t play slow when they’re behind.”
- - - - - - -
The Bishop Guertin girls’ lacrosse team had a tough test of its own Tuesday. The Cardinals moved to 3-0 after earning an 11-8 road victory over defending Division I champion Pinkerton.
Bishop Guertin coach Kerry D’Ambroise said her players were looking forward to their first crack at Pinkerton since falling to the Astros in the state final last year, 9-5.
While it may have only been the Cardinals’ third game of the season, D’Ambroise described Tuesday’s victory as a huge one.
“It just shows us exactly where we are and where we want to be,” D’Ambroise said after the win. “They’re an awesome team so for us to stay right there with them and have a great game is exactly what I want.”
Pinkerton coach Rob Daziel said his young team can learn a lot from Tuesday’s setback.
The Astros (2-1) feature 11 underclassmen on their 19-player roster.
“It certainly tells our team that we’ve got to execute better,” Daziel said after Tuesday’s game. “We’re a young team and the kids are learning (when) you make a mistake on the varsity level, you give up possession, there’s a good chance the other team is going to score on you.”
The High School Lacrosse column runs Thursdays during the season. Alex Hall can be reached at email@example.com.