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South Hadley falls short in Division 2 boys lacrosse final

  • TJ Fitzell, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball against John Ryan of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    TJ Fitzell, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball against John Ryan of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sam Duda, front, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Sam Duda, front, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley seniors Justin Pontz, left, and Alec Plotnikiewicz hug after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley seniors Justin Pontz, left, and Alec Plotnikiewicz hug after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley goalie Justin Pontz, right, deflects a shot from Longmeadow Saturday during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley goalie Justin Pontz, right, deflects a shot from Longmeadow Saturday during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Evan Marcus, center, of South Hadley, tries to gain control of a loose ball between Longmeadow defenders John Ryan, left, and Alex Calabrese during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore looks on.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Evan Marcus, center, of South Hadley, tries to gain control of a loose ball between Longmeadow defenders John Ryan, left, and Alex Calabrese during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore looks on.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jeff Beauregard, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball as William Lukas of Longmeadow defends during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Jeff Beauregard, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball as William Lukas of Longmeadow defends during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Tom Dowd, left, of South Hadley, passes while defended by Reid Leveillee of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Tom Dowd, left, of South Hadley, passes while defended by Reid Leveillee of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Evan Marcus, second from left, of South Hadley, scores on Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS

    Evan Marcus, second from left, of South Hadley, scores on Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley head coach Kyle Cloutier talks to his team at halftime during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley head coach Kyle Cloutier talks to his team at halftime during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • TJ Fitzell, second from right, splits Longmeadow defenders Nicholas Crews, third from left, and John Ryan during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    TJ Fitzell, second from right, splits Longmeadow defenders Nicholas Crews, third from left, and John Ryan during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Ryan Dickinson, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Daniel Cotnoir of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Ryan Dickinson, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Daniel Cotnoir of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley senior captains Alec Plotnikiewicz, from left, Ian Hanrahan and Evan Marcus stand with the runner-up trophy and head coach Kyle Cloutier after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley senior captains Alec Plotnikiewicz, from left, Ian Hanrahan and Evan Marcus stand with the runner-up trophy and head coach Kyle Cloutier after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • TJ Fitzell, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball against John Ryan of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Sam Duda, front, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley seniors Justin Pontz, left, and Alec Plotnikiewicz hug after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley goalie Justin Pontz, right, deflects a shot from Longmeadow Saturday during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Evan Marcus, center, of South Hadley, tries to gain control of a loose ball between Longmeadow defenders John Ryan, left, and Alex Calabrese during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School. Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore looks on.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jeff Beauregard, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball as William Lukas of Longmeadow defends during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Tom Dowd, left, of South Hadley, passes while defended by Reid Leveillee of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Evan Marcus, second from left, of South Hadley, scores on Longmeadow goalie Matthew Draymore during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley head coach Kyle Cloutier talks to his team at halftime during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • TJ Fitzell, second from right, splits Longmeadow defenders Nicholas Crews, third from left, and John Ryan during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Ryan Dickinson, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Daniel Cotnoir of Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley senior captains Alec Plotnikiewicz, from left, Ian Hanrahan and Evan Marcus stand with the runner-up trophy and head coach Kyle Cloutier after their loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 final Saturday at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

CHICOPEE — Allowing a goal in the final seconds of a quarter is disappointing. Having it happen twice can be demoralizing.

The South Hadley boys lacrosse team saw Longmeadow score with a single second remaining in the first two quarters of Saturday’s Western Massachusetts Division 2 championship at Chicopee Comp.

The Lancers maintained their perfect record with a 10-6 victory for their third sectional title in four years.

No. 2 South Hadley (16-6) saw its season end in the western Mass. final for the fourth straight season.

“It was great to get back to the final this year, and I think we turned some heads doing that,” senior defender and tri-captain Alec Plotnikiewicz said. “But it’s disappointing to come up short here again. It’s pretty impressive to get here four years in a row, and I’m proud to have been a part of it even though we could never win it.”

Top-seeded Longmeadow (23-0) will face central Mass. champion St. John’s of Shrewsbury (19-3) in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Worcester’s Foley Stadium.

Longmeadow is “really good,” Tigers coach Kyle Cloutier said. “They’re the deepest team in the area, going 25 players deep. That along with their hard work is why they beat us and every other team in western Mass. I know it’s really hard to beat us three times in a season.”

The Tigers fell behind 4-0 just over seven minutes into the contest, but got back to within 4-2 late in the quarter on goals by Evan Marcus and Ryan Dickinson.

“We talked during our timeouts about settling down and getting back into the game,” Plotnikiewicz said. “We fell behind 4-0, but we told each other there was still three-and-a-half quarters to go. We didn’t allow ourselves to gave up.”

After a South Hadley turnover in the waning seconds, Lancers long pole Jack Ryan raced up the right side before unleashing a bounce shot from outside 20 yards that found its way in for a 5-2 lead.

The teams exchanged a pair of tallies until late in the second, but Longmeadow re-established its four-goal advantage as William Lucas took a feed from Max Stukalin and beat the halftime buzzer.

“Those were tough, especially the first one,” Plotnikiewicz said. “He came down the side, but we really didn’t think he was even going to shoot. Those things happen sometimes, but to have it happen twice was difficult.”

Marcus scored three goals with an assist for the Tigers. Dickinson, Tom Dowd and TJ Fitzell added a tally apiece. Goalie Justin Pontz stopped 10 shots in the loss, as he was under constant pressure in the early going.

“We played about 90 percent of the first half on defense, and with the firepower they have you can’t play that way,” Cloutier said. “It’s tough to keep getting stops.”

Eric Barsalou registered a hat trick for Longmeadow, while Zach Lucas (two goals, assist) also had three points.

“They really keep you on your toes defensively,” Plotnikiewicz said. “We knew we couldn’t sleep on anybody because they’ll take advantage, which they did anyway. And their quickness combined with our pregame nerves led some trouble clearing the ball.”

South Hadley possessed the ball for much of the third quarter, but was unable to cut into the Lancers lead. In fact, Drew Kelleher scored the lone goal of the quarter to make it 9-4.

Lancers goalie Matt Draymore made seven of his 11 saves after halftime.

“Their goalie stood on his head in the second half,” Cloutier said. “We certainly had our opportunities, but he kept turning us away. That’s the best I’ve ever seen (Draymore) play.”

Trailing 10-4 with five minutes to play, the Tigers put in a pair within 19 seconds to cut the deficit to 10-6. Fitzell controlled the ensuing faceoff, but South Hadley turned it over seconds later and Longmeadow began to run the clock out.

South Hadley’s last gasp came when the Lancers took a one-minute penalty with 1:12 remaining, but nothing came of the Tigers’ second man-advantage of the fourth quarter.

After losing 6-of-7 faceoffs to Kelleher in the first quarter, Fitzell controlled just over half of the game’s remaining draws, allowing the Tigers to settle into the game.

“We knew what our problems were,” Cloutier said. “We corrected them the best we could and were right there the rest of the way, but good luck to anybody trying to climb out of a hole like that to Longmeadow.”

It was the final high school game for South Hadley seniors Plotnikiewicz, Marcus, Pontz, Ian Hanrahan, Tom Dowd, Tikori Mahdi, Jeff Beauregard, Bryan Shippee and Brandon Gorman.

“I can’t say enough about this class, I love those guys,” Cloutier said. “The program’s going to miss their production, but more than that we’ll miss them as people. Just a tremendous bunch of kids.”

Michael Wilkinson can be reached at mwilkinson@gazettenet.com.

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