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NHIAA Div. III Boys' Lacrosse Championship: Hawks make theirs a double

By MICHAEL ABELSON
Special to the Union Leader

June 10. 2018 3:15AM
Hopkinton players, from left, Carter Haley, Ryan Hughes and goalie Alex Rousseau celebrate their 13-6 win over Laconia in the Division III boys' lacrosse championship game at Exeter High School on Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)



EXETER - It's lonely at the top, but standing alone suits the Hopkinton boys' lacrosse team well.

After going undefeated en route to the Division III title last year, the Hawks did it again and capped a perfect season with a convincing 13-6 win over Laconia at Bill Ball Stadium. The win was Hopkinton's third state championship (2011).

The win was Hopkinton's 35th in a row.

"We were thinking shut down the best players," Hopkinton senior longpole Gerry Donahue said. "It's tough because we got the longpoles on the better players and the short sticks on the quicker players. We were trying to find the balance on defense, but on offense we were pressure, pressure, pressure. We weren't trying to stall at the end. We wanted to keep pressuring them."

Pressure the Hawks did. After giving up goal 83 seconds into the game, the defense locked it down and the offense locked in. The Hawks turned the early deficit into a 5-1 lead after the quarter by scoring on five consecutive shots.

Sophomore middie Corey Breault had both of his goals in the opening frame to help set the tone. Laconia wouldn't get closer than three the rest of the game. Breault also added three assists in the victory.

Breault was one of six Hawks to put the ball in the net, and no one looked better than sophomore Colby Quiet. Quiet had four goals and three assists to pace a Hopkinton team that shot 43 percent from the field compared with 23 percent by Laconia.

Senior attackman Jake Tomlinson had three goals and an assist, and junior middie Paul Molnar had a pair of goals. Junior midfielder Joe Sawitsky had a goal and an assist.

"At the beginning of the game I got detwigged, got mad," Quiet said. "I was out of control. Then I settled in. I worked the crease cutting and started scoring. Our offense was working. Everyone was scoring. It was a hell of a game."

The Hawks scored goals in bunches while the defensive unit kept the Sachems mostly silent. Led by senior goalie Alex Rousseau, the Hawks held a Sachems offense that entered the game averaging 11.9 goals a contest to its second-lowest total of the season.

The lowest, four goals, came in the regular season matchup between these teams.

"It's his first year starting," Hopkinton coach Deacon Blue said of Rousseau. "He had a tough role of backing up Derek (Amoth) for a few years there, but he stepped up to the plate. He's a really passionate guy. Guys have a lot of respect for him and listen to him. He's a natural leader, and guys really respond to him."

Laconia got three goals from junior attack Jacob Steele and a pair from senior Riley Roy, but it wasn't enough. This despite the fact that Laconia won faceoffs 14-8 and was only outshot 30-26.

Both teams scooped 27 ground balls.

The win caps a season in which Hopkinton took apart Division III for the second straight year. Last year the Hawks outscored their opponents 261-67 and followed it this year by outscoring them 222-68.

Even with that dominance, the cupboard will return full next year. Of the 20 points registered in the victory, all but four of those points return next year.

"The future looks bright," Blue said. "Got a strong junior class. Got a lot of freshman coming up from JV next year, a few really good sophomores and our youth program strong is as well. I think things look bright for Hopkinton."


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