By Chris Villani
The Blackstone Valley Tech boys’ lacrosse team entered the final week of the regular season having already achieved a double-digit win total on the year and posting a 6-2 mark in the Colonial Athletic League, good for second place in the standings.
“Everything is going well and as expected with a few little bumps in the road,” head coach Andrew Barksdale said.
The Beavers dropped a pair of contests against unbeaten Advanced Math and Science Academy, which won the CAL outright.
“We had some tough games against a league rival,” Barksdale said. “They have a good team over there and we almost beat them the second time, we just came up a couple of goals short.”
Still, Valley Tech has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming state tournament. The team has put together a balanced lineup with stand-out talent in all areas of the field. On offense, attack man Jackson Mastroianni has spearheaded the offense.
“He has been our go-to-guy,” Barksdale said. “Whenever we need a quick goal, if we can get him the ball, we are going to get it.”
BVT has been strong at the other end of the field with top notch goaltending from Anthony DiDonna.
“He has stood on his head for us,” his coach said. “Especially in tight games, he has always been there to save us.”
The defense has also been buoyed by the play of first-year sophomore Thomas Lee. The newcomer has been hustling to the back line to beat the opponents to the spot and earn an offensive possession for his team.
“He’s been able to back up more of the other team’s shots and get us possession of the ball more than anyone I have had in my eight years of coaching at BVT,” Barksdale said. “If we didn’t have that, we would not be on offense as much, so he has been a big key.”
Connor Matson has anchored the transition game for the Beavers and Barksdale said he has been there to “bail out” the rest of the team on many occasions throughout the first 14 games of the season, 10 of which were BVT victories.
It’s unclear where Valley Tech will fall in the statewide tournament, but Barksdale said the team is capable of making some noise in the playoffs if it can communicate a bit better on the field.
“In some of the losses this year, it’s been mental breakdowns that have hurt us,” he said. “If we can communicate defensively and get good, disciplined offensive possessions, then we should be able to make a good run for sure.”