DANVERS — It was sunny all day Thursday, June 8, then it rained for two hours while St. John’s Prep faced off against Wellesley in lacrosse, then the sun came back out.
But in case you’re forgetting, the No. 1 Eagles show up no matter what. They defeated No. 17 Wellesley 16-1 in the Division 1 round of 16.
Simply put, Prep coach John Pynchon says it how it is.
“That went about as well as we could ask,” Pynchon said. “It was good.”
It certainly was. After one quarter, four Eagles scored en route to a 4-1 lead. Luke Kelly’s falling shot from distance headlined the early firepower, and Pynchon was loving the versatility.
“A lot of guys contributing [and] a lot of guys, defensively, playing really well,” Pynchon said.
Fittingly, since the Eagles warmed up to “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twister Sister, several Raiders hit the turf in a physical first quarter for the Blue and White.
“Just good hard competition,” Pynchon said.
The second quarter was more of the same, and then some. Prep scored seven more and led 11-1 at the break. When asked about the barrage, Pynchon said sharpshooting was the key to stopping Wellesley’s zone.
“We knew they were going to play a zone,” Pynchon said. “The key to playing well against a zone is shooting well, and I think we shot the ball well.”
Highlights of the second included Harlan Graber’s snipe from the left wing, goalie Gavin Kornitsky’s top-shelf save on a bouncer, and Rowan Mondello’s goal with 10 seconds remaining in the frame.
Everything was clicking for The Prep, which had 11 goal-scorers Thursday.
“Just the execution in the second quarter [and] third quarter,” Pynchon said. “Going down the stretch there was really good.”
The third quarter saw more dominance, and you knew it was coming when Prep’s Christopher Esposito scored three seconds in on a bouncing shot.
Some of the Eagles’ top talent was quiet – for its standards – but Pynchon was happy with how many players got involved.
“Getting guys to buy in and be a little bit selfless,” Pynchon said. “And, really, be team-first guys.”
It’s great when star players can score several times in one game, but with how Prep plays, it’s not always necessary according to Pynchon.
“They could score 10 goals a game, but because of how our offense works and how balanced we are, they’re scoring one or two, which is what we want,” Pynchon said. “If we can get 10 guys scoring one or two, that’s what we want.”
Prep led 16-1 after three – the eventual final score before a scoreless fourth. Even with a 15-goal cushion and a trip to the Elite 8 all but secured, the Eagles played tenaciously until the final whistle.
“We’re just blessed with really great kids who work really hard. They play the game hard [and] they compete very hard,” Pynchon said. “Growing competitive kids: I can’t take credit for that.”
Now it’s on to No. 8 North Andover at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Danvers.
“It’s really just gratitude and happiness that we get two more days,” Pynchon said. “Then tomorrow is a work day and we get back to it Saturday.”
Matt Morrow, Kelly, Mendello, Grayson Ambrosh, and Graber led the way with two goals apiece, and they’ll seek more damage to the home nets come Saturday.