Boys’ lacrosse: Hopkinton and Bow head to overtime in season opener

Hopkinton celebrates Merrick Chapin’s game-winning goal in overtime against Bow in the Hawks’ 8-7 win in the season opener on Tuesday.

Hopkinton celebrates Merrick Chapin’s game-winning goal in overtime against Bow in the Hawks’ 8-7 win in the season opener on Tuesday. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Bow’s Nate Davis tries to navigate around Hopkinton’s Kip Hedquist during Tuesday’s game.

Bow’s Nate Davis tries to navigate around Hopkinton’s Kip Hedquist during Tuesday’s game. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Hopkinton captain Cam Bassett looks to move the ball downfield as Billy Smethurst tries to chase him down during Tuesday’s season-opening win for the Hawks over Bow. 

Hopkinton captain Cam Bassett looks to move the ball downfield as Billy Smethurst tries to chase him down during Tuesday’s season-opening win for the Hawks over Bow.  Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Hawks freshman Jackson Westover fires a shot on net as he’s checked by Bow’s Eli Ayers on Tuesday.

Hawks freshman Jackson Westover fires a shot on net as he’s checked by Bow’s Eli Ayers on Tuesday. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 04-10-2024 12:51 AM

BOW – The rosters are a bit different than they were when they met in the Division III semifinals last June, but once again, Bow and Hopkinton required overtime to decide the outcome between the two rivals on Tuesday in the first game of the spring season.

Like last June, it was the Hawks who prevailed in overtime with an 8-7 win thanks to the game-winning goal from Hopkinton’s Merrick Chapin.

The game had its moments of playoff-like intensity, but there were also numerous reminders that both teams still have a long way to go to reach their full potential. Bow committed 14 penalties in the game, allowing the Hawks a number of man-advantage situations. Hopkinton, meanwhile, looked a bit rusty offensively, though it turned in a stellar defensive effort.

“Guys did a really good job keeping their composure,” Hawks head coach Deacon Blue said. “A lot of penalties coming from Bow, but we kept our heads up, kept our heads in the game, and to do that first game of the season says a lot about our guys and where their heads are at.”

Chapin led the way offensively for Hopkinton on Tuesday with a hat trick and an assist. The Hawks also received two goals from Jackson Westover and goals from Patty Buss, Ozzie Rosenholm and Shane Smith. Bow received two goals apiece from Nate Davis and Gavin McCabe and goals from Billy Smethurst, Ryan McCabe and Brodie O'Neil. 

Both teams have high expectations this season. Hopkinton, as the defending D-III champions, looks to rely on a bit of a younger cast, while Bow, which finished last regular season undefeated, returns a large group of seniors that hopes to take cap off their careers with a state championship.

Putting themselves in position to do so will require the Falcons to play with more discipline than they did on Tuesday. 

“I think we got 14 penalties, so you look at it, and that’s the difference,” head coach Devin Calkins said. “We could probably be a little bit cleaner in our execution as a team. Simple things like passing and catching in transition, under duress, that stuff makes a difference in the game, was probably the difference today. We had a couple good chances in overtime to capitalize, but we didn’t hit the cage. So it comes down to execution, comes down to discipline and staying out of the penalty box.”

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New rule changes could’ve been partially to blame for the excessive number of penalties. This season, the National Federation of State High School Associations added a rule that incidental contact with the head or neck area will result in a penalty. 

It’s something the players will continue to adjust to as the season progresses.

But for Blue, his team’s ability to stay calm and focused on taking care of business through the bumps stood out as a major positive from the opening day victory.

“These guys are super cohesive,” he said. “Really strong team. They’ve got each other’s backs, and they don’t want to retaliate. They just shake it off, keep playing the game and I think really embody the sportsmanship that we value so highly at Hopkinton.”