Late goal lifts Old Lyme boys to Shoreline lacrosse title

Clinton — With the final frantic minute ticking down, junior Jack Bocian emerged from a wild scramble with the ball in his stick and outcome of the Shoreline Conference tournament championship in his hands.

Pressure?

Nah.

Bocian thought of his Old Lyme boys' lacrosse teammates as he charged toward the Valley Regional goal. He calmly finished off the breakaway — a rare one for a defensive midfielder — by firing home the game-winning goal with 37.6 seconds remaining for a thrilling 9-8 victory at the Indian River Recreation Complex.

"I had to win this for my family," Bocian said. "These are my brothers and my best friends. We went 6-10 last year and this is all we want is just to win this. Now we've got to go and make a run in the states."

The championship wasn't sealed until Old Lyme held off one last desperate push by Valley Regional. Goalie Jimmy Rollins came up big, blocking a hard shot.

When the game finally ended, the Wildcats stormed the field and mobbed Rollins.

"There was a lot of shots at the end," Rollins said. "After we got that last goal, we just kept it together and worked hard. It's a great feeling. It's a really great feeling. We did it together."

The Wildcats won their second title in three years, first with coach JC Flaherty, a 2008 Old Lyme High School graduate.

"For me, it's kind of a homecoming thing," Flaherty said. "We had a rough year last year. To turn around this, it's really great. I'm proud of how the guys played tonight. They worked for 48 minutes."

Old Lyme appeared to be in control, scoring four straight goals to break a 3-3 tie. Freshman Owen Macadam scored just 11 seconds before intermission to put the Wildcats ahead by a goal.

The Wildcats continue to own the momentum. Senior Matthew Henderson, junior Mike Kolesnik and senior Grayson Colvin each scored to extend the lead to 7-3 in the third quarter.

At that point, Flaherty warned his players not to let down.

"That was a huge moment in the game," Flaherty said.

The Wildcats took a few penalties and Valley scored two man-up goals to start a comeback.

Valley's Charlie Ferrucci scored in traffic to tie the score at 8-all with 4:24 left.

The pace picked up as both teams pressed for the game-winning goal. Bocian ended up a somewhat unlikely hero.

"Jack scoops it up and runs through a double team and ends up somehow finding his way free," Flaherty said. "Especially for a defensive midfielder, to step up like that in that situation was awesome."

Kolesnik finished with three goals while Macadam and Colvin each added two.

The championship game was expected to be close with the teams splitting two tight regular season meetings.

"Hats off to Valley," Flaherty said. "They battled us obviously right to the very end. Luckily, the pipe helped us a couple times and my goalie played well."

g.keefe@theday.com

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