CRANSTON – Narragansett’s boys lacrosse team had some legitimate concerns with their offensive depth while running through the Division III schedule this year to the tune of only one loss. In Sunday’s sunny championship game, it was the reason they fell in a hard-battled one-goal game to Westerly, who won their second title in D-II and first since 2015.
Narragansett took care of No. 3 Lincoln in Thursday’s D-III semifinals, with three goals from Gabe Wooten and three from Jack McGreen, a common refrain this season with the two high-scoring seniors regularly up there in the box score. They also had ten saves from sophomore goaltender Aivan Durfee and two goals from senior middie Owen McCadden.
No. 4 Westerly (12-2) knocked out top-seeded Burrillville in their semi-final game then won 8-7 at Cranston Stebbins Stadium after coming through for a late comeback against the Mariners (13-1).
“We finally played the price for being a bit of a two-headed monster,” Mariner head coach Mark Chafee said. “Some of the other guys stepped up and scored, but we really didn’t know what to do to solve that puzzle.”
“[McGreen] is strong enough to power through it,” Chafee said. “They double and triple-team Gabe. Some of the young guys just weren’t ready to deal with that yet. That’s too bad because they all fault really hard.”
McGreen absolutely dominated the center of the field, winning a vast majority of the faceoffs if not all of them. The problems came when Narragansett’s offense condensed near the Bulldog’s goal, and Westerly trapped Narragansett’s go-to twosome.
Westerly went up 2-0 in the first before McGreen made it 2-1 ten seconds into the second quarter. It was his only goal and one of three points with two assists. Wooten made it 3-2 on his first of three goals. With the extra-man advantage, McGreen linked up with Wooten to make it 4-3, where it was at the half.
Wooten made it 5-4, and then senior midfielder Ben Reddington made it 6-6, one of his two goals, off of a McGreen assist. On a Wooten to Reddington combination, Narragansett was up 7-6. Durfee stopped five, and Narragansett’s defense played well up to that point, but Westerly found their scoring edge in the final few minutes and went up 8-7.
“They have a little more balance than we do offensively,” Chafee said of the Bulldogs. “Credit to them, they run a nice scheme and everybody’s involved.”
“Three captains are going to be tough to replace,” Chafee said. “Some of the other guys too. Ben Reddington played great. Owen and Teddy hadn’t played in two years. I think back to the first meeting when I said I have six kids coming back, that’s it.”
The Mariners will lose nine seniors this year.