Panthers stun Raiders late

Erik Niit (23) dodges on the perimeter of the box and gets set to cut back inside to the cage. Photos by Mike Flanagan

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Dover-Sherborn boys lacrosse has solidified itself as one of the premiere teams in Division III, entering Friday’s date with Hockomock champ and Division I power Franklin at 8-3 (5-1 TVL).

Despite holding a two-goal lead late, the Raiders were unable to hold off the powerful offense of the Panthers (11-1, 7-0), as a goal by Nitin Chaudhury with 27 seconds to play broke an 8-8 tie and delivered Franklin the comeback 9-8 victory. Senior captain and attack-man Timmy Polk led DS with three goals and three assists.

Pierce Gregory (3) cuts from X and breaks towards the cage.  Photos by Mike Flanagan

Pierce Gregory (3) cuts from X and breaks towards the cage. Photos by Mike Flanagan

Bradley Peterson got the Raiders on the board just 15 seconds in after Matt Paolatto won the opening face-off, dashed in and fed a pass to a cutting Peterson who took the ball to X, dodged, and stuck it home up high for the 1-0 lead. Pete Barnard made it a 2-0 game off a feed from Noah Sampson with 8:28 remaining in the opening quarter. Jake Davis fired home a goal with 4:55 to play and the Raiders clung to a 2-1 lead at the end of one quarter.

Franklin tied the game at two with 9:01 to play in the second quarter before Polk untied it on the man-up by launching home a left-handed cannon for the 3-2 lead with 8:01 remaining in the half. Franklin responded with a pair to claim a 4-3 lead with 3:49 remaining in the half. With 37 seconds left in the half, Polk delivered a left-handed strike from 10 yards out to tie the game at four at halftime.

Franklin took a 5-4 lead midway through the third quarter, but Pierce Gregory tied things at five on the man-up as the game entered the final quarter still deadlocked. Polk completed the hat trick to give the Raiders a 6-5 lead with 7:27 to play. Franklin evened things at six before Henry Kenney gave DS back the lead at 7-6 with 5:55 remaining. Erik Niit made it a two-goal game at 8-6 with a cut and finish at the crease with 3:21 remaining, forcing Franklin to take a timeout.

Following the break, Franklin responded with three straight goals, the final coming from Chaudhury on a crazy dodge and nifty feed from Davis with 27 seconds to play. The Panthers stunned the Raiders for the 9-8 win.

At the time of print, DS will look to get back on track against Holliston on May 15.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.

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