By Mike Flanagan & Ryan Kilian

DANVERS — The 2021 high school lacrosse season faced many curveballs thrown it’s way. It was only fitting that in the 2021 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 1 State Championship final, one more curveball was thrown.

St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.), the State’s No. 1 team throughout most of the 2021 season, defeated Boston College High School (Dorchester, Mass.) by a final of 11-7 on Thursday afternoon to capture the MIAA Division 1 State Championship – in a game that took nearly 20 hours to complete.

The fourth meeting of the season between the Catholic Conference heavyweights in 2021 was originally started at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night but was forced into a 14-hour lightning delay with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter.


Before the pause in the action, SJP was rolling. Back-to-back goals by Carter Rice ’21 (Laxachusetts / Syracuse) and Louis Timmons ’21 (Laxachusetts / Tufts) tied the game at 4-4 early in the second quarter for BC High, but sophomore attackman Jimmy Ayers ’23 (3D NE) piloted a 5-0 run to give Prep a 9-4 lead.

The two teams were then sent to the locker rooms due to lightning in the area. A 15-hour delay then ensued.

“We were ready,” SJP senior Michael Kelly ’21 (3D NE / Princeton) said, of the delay. “Obviously, it wasn’t ideal, but we went back in the locker room and did whatever we could to keep ourselves engaged. We came out today just as motivated as we were yesterday.”

Play Resumes

At 11 a.m. on Thursday, the two teams took the field once again to finish their championship bout. The only source of offense in the final 4:23 of the first half came from Kelly, who stung home a left-handed rip with 1:41 to play to make it 10-4 Prep at halftime.

Following an abbreviated intermission, Kelly struck again early in the third, this time dodging his way through a series of defenders before finishing a shot – up high at the net-mouth to make it 11-4.

“Michael Kelly was huge for us today,” SJP head coach John Pynchon said after the game. “It was a lot different of a game today than it was last night. Our offense was definitely a little more conservative playing with a big lead but {Michael} Kelley really came through. Those two goals he scored really allowed us to seize control from there.”

Trailing by seven entering the fourth quarter, BC High would simply not go down without a fight. A 3-0 run sparked some energy, with goals from Timmons, Will Emsing ’23 (Kings), and Owen Porter ’21 (Laxachusetts / Holy Cross) that trimmed the deficit to 11-7 with 6:50 to play in the game. BC was then given a man-up opportunity with the chance to get to within three goals, but they were unable to convert, as a caused-turnover by Michael Ayers ’21 (3D NE, Tufts) allowed SJP to make the key stop of the game, and run out the remainder of the clock securing the No. 1 ranked MIAA team in Massachusetts – the St. John’s Prep’s Eagles, a Division 1 title.

“Credit to Marcus Craigwell (BC High head coach) and those guys,” said Pynchon on BC. “I’m thankful we only had to play two quarters and change today and not four. They adjusted really well after the break and caused us a lot of issues. Thankfully, I thought our guys responded well and made the necessary plays. I’m so happy for our players that they were able to finish the job and I’m even more happy for these seniors.”

Standout Performers from St. John’s Prep vs. BC High

Jimmy Ayers (’23, Attack, 3D NE) – St. John’s Prep

Without a doubt the player of the game. Ayers did a little bit of everything as he carried Prep’s offense with a game-high four goals. It’s hard to believe that Ayers is still only a sophomore with the way he can quarterback Prep on the offensive end.

Mike Kelly – St. John’s Prep

Michael Kelly (’21, Midfield, 3D NE, Princeton) – St. John’s Prep

A fitting end to a phenomenal high school career for Michael Kelly, who registered a pair of goals in the second half to help Prep put the game away. This strong-left sharpshooter was a staple in SJP’s high-powered offense each of the last four years. Kelly’s dodging from his off-hand has become a big part of his game. This was put on full display late in the third quarter when the Princeton commit dodged his way to the left side of the crease before bouncing home a shot down low.

Graham Tyson – St. John’s Prep

Graham Tyson (’21, Faceoff Midfield, Fighting Clams, Bryant) – St. John’s Prep

Tyson capped his high school career with an extremely solid 8-for-11 night/afternoon at the faceoff X and he also put home a goal off a faceoff win. Complimented by a very respectable 4-for-7 performance by Owen Umansky (’23, Laxachusetts), SJP won the battle at the face-off X (12-of-19) and turned the extra possessions into goals. What made Tyson’s performance even more impressive was his ability to continually win the clamp. The few times when Tyson lost the clamp, his stiff stick and strong upper body allowed time for his wings to come in and offer support on groundballs. Add Tyson to the pipeline of tremendous New England native faceoff guys attending Bryant (Jacob Alexander – Kings, Nathan Laliberte – NH Tomahawks).

Will Emsing (’23, Attack, Kings) – BC High

Despite a tough second quarter where SJP finished the half on a 5-0 run, BC’s offense did enough to hang around. Emsing scored both goals in the first quarter on Wednesday night and in the fourth quarter of Thursday afternoon’s resumption to help pull BC back to within four. The sophomore attackman boasts a wicked left-handed shot with slick dodging abilities, often working from X. Emsing’s first goal, a lefty rocket up high on the run with almost no space to work with, and was arguably the best play of the night by BC. Emsing will be the lead dog in BC High’s offense next season – as a junior.

Box Score / Key Stats

ST. JOHN’S PREP (17-1) – 4  –  6  –  1  –  0  – 11

BC HIGH (14-4) – 3  –  1  –  1  –  2  –  7


Jimmy Ayers – 4 goals, 1 assist

Mike Kelly – 2 goals, 1 assist

Charlie Danis – 2 goals

Lucas Verrier – 1 goal

Tommy Sarni – 1 goal, 1 assist

Graham Tyson – 1 goal, 8-of-11 FO

Charlie Umansky – 4-of-7 FO

Charlie Wilmot – 2 assists

Pat Atkins – 1 assist

Kaden Quirk – 6 saves


Will Emsing – 2 goals

Louis Timmins – 2 goals

Owen Porter – 1 goal, 1 assist

Vin Horton – 1 goal

Carter Rice – 1 goal

Jamie Horton – 8 saves

2021 MIAA Division 2 Championship: Concord-Carlisle 11, Longmeadow 10

CONCORD, Mass. — In the Division 2 state championship game against Longmeadow (Mass.) on Friday afternoon, the Concord-Carlisle Patriots (Concord, Mass.) and head coach Tom Dalicandro held off longtime Western Mass. rival Longmeadow 11-10 to earn the Patriots’ fifth state championship in school history.

Conor Trant – Concord-Carlisle

Conor Trant ’21 (’22 Fighting Clams / IMG Academy (Fl.) / St. Joseph’s) led the way with four goals and one assist for Concord-Carlisle, and he was also impressive at the faceoff X, going 14-for-25 to help pace the Patriot’s offense.

Steven Cohen ’21 (’22 New Hampton School PG) was also spectacular in goal, making 14 saves, with many coming late in the contest.

Matt Dalicandro ’22 added three goals for C-C in the win, while Longmeadow received strong performances from goalie John Batchelor ’22 (Piatelli) (8 Saves), and attackmen Coleson Hanrahan ’23 (Piatelli) (5 goals), and Richie Joseph ’21 / Piatelli / Bowdoin (2 goals, 3 assists).

Steven Cohen – Concord-Carlisle

2021 MIAA Division 3 Championship: Dover-Sherborn 10, Nowell 4

DOVER, Mass. — Dover-Sherborn (Dover, Mass.) attackman Brad Peterson ’21 (3D NE) scored four goals, as D-S (17-2) captured their second consecutive Division 3 MIAA State Championship and their sixth title in the past decade.

Head Coach Brian McLaughlin‘s squad defeated Norwell (Mass.) 10-4 in the title game, as attackman Pierce Gregory ’21 (3D NE / Bryant) scored two goals, Luke Wiese ’21 (Laxachusetts / Muhlenberg) led the defense, and goalie Standish Carothers ’21 (3D NE) played well in the cage, helping lead the Raiders to another State title.

Griffin Vetrano ’22 (Kings) (2 goals), John Mullen ’23 (3D NE) (13-of-17 on faceoffs), and goalie Ryan Daly ’22 (Kings) (14 saves) were standouts for Norwell, who finished their 2021 season at 16-4 and are primed for a bright future.