The eighth-seeded Warriors had a handful of chances to either take the lead, tie the game, or move within striking distance throughout Monday afternoon’s D1 South First Round contest with ninth-seeded Marshfield.
But some self-inflicted mistakes along with timely saves from Rams goalie Gus Kastrud resulted in an 8-6 loss to put a close to King Philip’s season.
“Every time it seemed like we would get some traction like we did to start the second half, then boom they would come right back on us, and pretty quickly too,” said King Philip head coach Hal Bean. “We were just fighting the whole game trying to come from behind.”
Marshfield scored first before senior Colin DeVellis beat his man and finished off the iron while being checked to knot the game at 1-1. The Rams added two more goals before the end of the first, the second coming on a two-man up opportunity.
KP scored on the opening possession of the second when Chris Longobardi won the draw and went down and scored on his own, just 16 seconds into the second quarter to make it 3-2. But the Warriors didn’t register a shot on target for the rest of the frame.
The Warriors’ defense, spearheaded by senior Wes Bishop, held its own and kept the Rams without a shot on goal for the first 10 minutes of the frame. A King Philip turnover with just over three minutes left led to a lengthy offensive possession for the visitors, and finally their first shot which was turned away by KP goalie Andrew McKinney (five saves).
But the Rams kept possession and continued to work the ball around before Gino Luciani was able to sneak a bounce shot across the line to give Marshfield a 4-2 lead at the half.
After only scoring two goals in the opening 24 minutes, the Warriors had a terrific start to the second half. Longobardi battled to win the opening draw and bullied his way past a defender before firing a rocket into the back of the net 22 seconds in while earning a penalty.
On the ensuing man-up chance, Andrew Sajdak ripped a low shot from straight away that tied the game at 4-4 just 1:18 into the period.
Marshfield had a response though when Michael Iafrato found some space and tucked a close shot in to regain the lead for the visitors.
King Philip looked poised to go on a man-up opportunity with 3:38 left in the period and a chance to knot the score, but the Warriors took a penalty after the whistle and had to play 5-on-5 instead of with an advantage. And since KP’s penalty was called second, the Rams got possession of the ball and took advantage, scoring less than a minute later to make it 6-4, which lasted until the end of the period.
A late penalty on Marshfield in the third allowed KP to start the fourth with possession and the Warriors elected to get the ball in the stick of sophomore Sam Mattson. Mattson unleashed his trademark rocket shot that bounced over the goal line to bring KP within one, down 6-5.
The Warriors won the ensuing faceoff and had another chance on goal but Robbie Tartaglia’s shot was somehow kept out by a huge save from Kastrud to preserve the lead.
“Their goalie had some really timely saves,” Bean said. “He was really spot on, which is what we saw of him coming in, but that he had that save on Robbie Tartaglia bounce shot where he stuck out his toe and then caught it with the top of his foot. He stood on his head and that’s what you have to do in the playoffs.
Marshfield pushed the lead to 8-5 with a man-up goal with 8:38 to go but KP had the chance to respond right away from Longobardi come away with the win on the faceoff. However, an errant pass cut the possession short before KP could get a shot off.
After trading possessions, KP junior Kevin Riggs worked his way between a pair of Marshfield defenders and used a nice finish to make it 8-6. KP won the ensuing faceoff with a chance to make it a one-goal game, but once again a self-inflicted turnover cost the Warriors a chance at a comeback.
The Rams went on to kill the final three minutes on the offensive end.
“They knew that we drive through the X a lot with Colin DeVellis, I mean 112 points who wouldn’t utilize someone as talented as him…and Andrew Sajdak is phenomenal too,” Bean said. “Their D poles really neutralized them for the most part. I look at the opportunities we had and some of them we were more compressed and normally we are more open, which helped them with their slides. I don’t want to take anything away from [Marshfield] but I think if we performed a little bit better, we would have had some better opportunities.”
King Philip boys lacrosse finishes the season at 14-5.