To call a game a tale of two halves is usually an exercise in ignoring the subtle ebbs and flows in order to fit the contest into a cookie-cutter narrative. For the men’s lacrosse semifinal between the Bishop Hendricken Hawks and Barrington Eagles, however, the old cliché fits rather well.
In a Jekyll and Hyde performance, Hendricken started out strong but faltered down the stretch, losing its semifinal showdown with Barrington 13-6 at Brown University’s Stevenson Field on Thursday.
Hendricken came in riding a hot streak, having rebounded from two season-opening losses to finish the season at 6-4. Amidst that 6-4 record was a split with the same Barrington team the Hawks were matched up with in the semifinal, a fact which seemed to signal a tight affair as both teams fought for the right to make their way to the state finals.
The first half played to that script. Hendricken scored two goals in the first quarter and one in the second, and more importantly held Barrington’s explosive offense scoreless through the first half. Despite the relatively quiet offensive showing up to that point, the Hawks were flying high, emphasizing ball movement and physical defense in their attempt to upset the 7-3 Eagles.
“We tried to move the ball around and get guys involved, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the net,” said Hendricken head coach Kevin Murray.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, their offensive ineptitude would come back to haunt them.
Once the second half started, the lead evaporated in the blink of an eye. Barrington scored three goals in the first two minutes of the third quarter, finding the net on seemingly every shot. By the end of the third, Barrington had gone on a 9-1 run and gained a lead it would never relinquish.
“I though we played all right defensively,” said Murray in regards to his team’s third quarter struggles. “They just moved the ball well. They broke us down, and found the open guy.”
Hendricken opened the fourth quarter with an unassisted goal by Andrew Grady to cut the lead to four, and looked to be gaining some momentum as it forced several Barrington turnovers and generated several shots on net. However, Barrington’s goalie, senior Adam Thompson, stopped all the rest of the shots that came his way, stifling any hope of a Hawks comeback.
“We got good shots, but we just didn’t put the ball in,” said Murray. “The goalie made some good saves, but we just couldn’t put the ball in.”
Barrington would go on to score three more goals in the fourth, ballooning its lead en route to what had become a dominant win, ending Hendricken’s season in the process.
But though the Hawks’ season ended rather ignominiously, Murray was careful to keep the entirety of his teams’ resume in mind in evaluating what his team had accomplished.
“I’m proud of the guys,” said Murray. “We gave all we had, we grew as a team, and we just came up short against a really good team.”
Barrington fell 9-8 to unbeaten La Salle in Sunday’s championship game.