McSparren shines as Hawks hold off Skippers
North Kingstown kept Hendricken leading scorer Dylan McSparren quiet for the first quarter, but that trend wouldn’t last much longer.
McSparren, who now has 28 goals on the season, scored three times in both the second and third quarters, totaling six goals in an eventual 12-9 victory over the Skippers.
“He’s a good player,” Hendricken head coach Kevin Murray said of McSparren. “He actually started out a little flat today and then picked it up. He’s a tough matchup, he’s quick and he’s a smart player. We didn’t really help him out at the beginning getting open for him, but, to his credit, he decided he had to score a little more. We try not to rely on one guy, but unfortunately we had to at times tonight.”
North Kingstown (2-6) came into the game in dire need of a win, and its desperation translated into results on the scoreboard early.
Skippers’ junior captain William Ashley opened the scoring when he beat Hendricken goalkeeper Ryan Williams with a short-side shot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead just over a minute into the first quarter.
It took Hendricken more than eight minutes to respond, but it would when Griffin O’Farrell danced through a bevy of defenders before slipping a shot to the back of the net to tie the score at 1.
North Kingstown senior attack Sean Stamp responded with two of his game-high six goals in a span of 32 seconds late in the first quarter, but Luke Dilibero would trim Hendricken’s deficit to 3-2 when he won a faceoff and raced in for a goal shortly after.
The Skippers had quite a bit of success at the offensive end in the first quarter, but Hendricken’s defensive efforts would improve as the game wore on.
“We were a little flat to start, and we talked about not coming out flat, but we were flat,” Murray said of his team’s start. “To our credit, we came back and played hard. We just need to work on being more consistent throughout the whole game.”
Hendricken’s offense really got going in the second quarter, thanks in large part to McSparren.
Stamp netted his third goal in the second quarter for North Kingstown, and Jordan Silversmith scored the Skippers’ only other goal in the quarter.
But, at the other end, McSparren got in a groove early, netting his first goal of the game just 46 seconds into the second quarter.
He would add another a few minutes later, and O’Farrell tallied his second goal of the game to tie the score at 5 just one minute, 27 seconds before halftime.
McSparren would close the scoring in the first half, barely beating the buzzer with a snipe that gave the Hawks their first lead, 6-5, heading into the break.
Hendricken carried that momentum into the third quarter, outscoring North Kingstown, 3-1, to take a 9-6 lead into the fourth quarter after McSparren scored all three goals to up his total to six.
Hendricken senior midfielder Michael Duckworth and Stamp then took over in the final 12 minutes, scoring three goals apiece for their respective teams as the Hawks held off the Skippers en route to the three-goal victory.
“We came off a bad loss last week (17-0 against undefeated Moses Brown), so it was good to get a win today,” Murray said. “But, it’s the second half of the year now, so we’re still trying to work on some things, put some things together and make a run at the playoffs.”
Hendricken (5-3) will look to continue its winning ways at Portsmouth (2-6) on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
“We’re in third place right now, but Moses Brown (8-0) and La Salle (8-1) are heads and heels over everyone right now, so everybody’s climbing the ladder,” Murray said. “There are a lot of middle-ground teams right now, and we’d rather be more towards the top (of the standings) than the bottom. We just have to play hard every day we’re out here, and hopefully we’ll get it together a little bit.”