Preview capsules for D-II softball, D-III boys’ lacrosse finals

Saturday, June 09, 2018

High school tournaments today



No. 2 John Stark (17-2) vs. No. 8 Coe-Brown (14-5)

HEAD TO HEAD: The finalists did not meet during the regular season.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: The Generals survived No. 15 Portsmouth, 5-3, in the first-round before a 10-1 quarterfinal rout of No. 7 Goffstown and a 4-3 triumph over No. 3 Pembroke in the semifinals. The Bears edged No. 9 Souhegan, 5-4, to open the tournament, shocked previously undefeated No. 1 Milford in the quarterfinals, 9-7, and topped No. 13 Kennett, 4-3, in the semifinals.

NOTES: Freshman Izzy Nelson will likely be in the circle for the Generals, who have reeled off nine straight wins. Nelson struck out 10 in each of Stark’s previous two wins and fanned 13 in the first-round victory. Nelson has also wreaked havoc at the plate with six hits in the playoffs. ... Leadoff hitter Kali Kolehmainen provided a big spark for Stark in the semifinals, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. ... Stark’s only two losses this season have come to Souhegan and Milford, teams that Coe-Brown beat during its tournament run. ... The Bears rallied past Kennett with an RBI triple from Olivia Farrar and an RBI single from Drew Cappetelli. In the quarterfinal upset over two-time defending champion Milford, Emma Dubois hit a grand slam and Lauren Veno provided the game-winning RBI. ... Katherine Messenger will likely be in the circle for Coe-Brown. ... Both teams are set up for future success. The Bears have just two seniors (Dubois and Drew Stevens) on the team, while John Stark has three (Haley Philibotte, Jillian Palmacci and Gillian McGirr). ... John Stark lost its only previous championship appearance, 6-5, to Coe-Brown in 2014. Coe-Brown has gone 4-4 in eight previous title games, claiming championships in 2015, 2014, 2010 and 1978.



No. 1 Hopkinton (16-0) vs. No. 2 Laconia (15-1)

HEAD TO HEAD: The Hawks defeated the Sachems, 10-4, on May 9.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: Hopkinton rolled to a 15-2 rout of No. 8 Coe-Brown in the quarterfinals and dispatched No. 4 Plymouth, 11-2, in the semifnals. Laconia pulled away from No. 7 ConVal for an 11-4 quarterfinal win and beat No. 6 Monadnock, 11-5, for a trip to the championship.

NOTES: The two programs have distinguished themselves as the class of the division throughout the season. The Hawks have outscored the opposition, 209-61, this season, while the Sachems have enjoyed a 191-92 advantage in scoring this season. ... Hopkinton is seeking back-to-back undefeated championship seasons and can claim its third boys’ lacrosse title overall (the other came in 2011). ... Laconia was the 2016 D-III champion and also won three straight from 2003-05. ... The regular-season meeting was tale of two halves as the Hawks held a 4-3 lead at halftime but created some separation with four third-period goals and maintained the advantage. Paul Molnar paced the Hawks with three goals in the win while Alex Rousseau made 14 saves in net. Colby Queit led the Hawks with five goals in the semifinals and Rousseau turned away 12 shots. ... Laconia also has a strong presence between the pipes in Stephen Towers, who made 17 stops in the semifinals. Riley Roy led the offense with four goals and four assists in the semifinal victory, while Parker Minor and Ryan Chiasson each recorded a hat trick. ... Hopkinton and Laconia also played for D-III girls’ lacrosse championship. Laconia won that one, 10-6. ... The matchup is the first game in a championship tripleheader in Exeter with the D-II final at 5 p.m. an the D-I final at 7:30 p.m.