For the sixth time this season, and fourth time in their final seven games, eighth-seeded Foxboro lost by a single goal, falling 10-9 to ninth-seeded Medway behind a fourth quarter comeback in the MIAA D2 Central-East First Round.
The Warriors took their largest lead behind back-to-back goals, the latter coming with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter to go up 8-4.
However, Medway netted one with just 12 seconds to play in the third quarter to cut it to three and then outscored Foxboro 5-1 in the final quarter. The Mustangs took advantage of four straight Foxboro turnovers and scored the game-winner with 18 seconds remaining.
Foxboro won the final draw but a desperation shot just before the buzzer went just over the bar.
“It was the bug that bit us all year, our youth took over,” Noone said. “The turnovers at the end…we just get tight, that’s youth. We have a freshman, a sophomore and a junior on defense, we have almost all juniors on attack. We’re a young team and at times it showed today.
“We get in these situations and I’m not sure they always fully trust what they’re supposed to do. Sometimes you revert back to old habits and today we got out of our system in the fourth quarter and it hurt us.”
Two early goals from the visitors cut the deficit to one, 8-7, with just over eight minutes to play in the game.
The Warriors were able to survive their third turnover of the frame as junior goalie Jake Addeche (nine saves) denied a close range bid from Medway’s Jake Tomsik.
“We were in this game because of Jake,” Noone said. “He made some great saves. I thought our defense got tired, we played a lot of defense in the fourth quarter. I’m not sure how much offense we even played. The turnovers, you can’t have that many in the playoffs. I said all season long that the turnovers will be the disease that kills us. And it was evident today.”
Foxboro capitalized three minutes later, restoring a two goal lead with just over three minutes to play. Louis Piccolo took possession behind the ned and found Trey Guerini. The senior battled his way through a sea of defenders and tucked his shot top shelf to put Foxboro up 9-7 with 3:32 to go.
But that would be the final time the Warriors found the back of the net. Just 22 seconds later, right off a draw win, Jeff Wenzil buried one for the Mustangs to make it a one goal game.
Foxboro was whistled for too many men on its next offensive possession and the Mustangs took advantage. Senior Tim Nicklas scored the equalizer for Medway with just over a minute remaining.
Medway came away with another draw win and set up their offense. With under 30 seconds to play, the Mustangs put the play into motion: Tomsik cut across the middle, taking a pass with back towards goal, jumping, turning and bouncing in the game-winner with 18 seconds to play.
“Just costly, costly turnovers,” Noone said of the fourth quarter. “When we needed to possess the ball, we couldn’t. They stepped up the pressure and we couldn’t handle it. I didn’t want to play defense as much as we did today. I knew they had guys that could score, [Tomsik] is a beast and [Wenzel] can shoot the ball really well.
“Just small things, like we had the chance to clear and we had a guy open on the sideline and we forced it into the middle. Just things we’ve talked about all season long. Medway is a good team so you can’t do that against those teams.”
While the Warriors graduate three seniors, the majority of the team returns with plenty of experience. All nine of Foxboro’s losses this season were by four goals or less, and six were by two or less.
“It hurts now,” Noone said. “There’s a reason we try to play a tough schedule. When these kids get more experienced, they will be battle tested. Unfortunately sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Now it’s about working hard and getting better in the offseason.”
Foxboro boys lacrosse finishes the season 11-9.