BYFIELD — Throughout its history, the Triton boys lacrosse team has never hosted or won a game in the state tournament. Today, the Vikings hope to accomplish both as Triton (10-8) hosts Austin Prep (11-7) in the first round of the Division III North tournament.
On paper, Triton and Austin Prep appear to be evenly matched opponents, with both teams boasting strong attacking lines and a handful of superstar-caliber players. In terms of a direct comparison, the only common opponent that Triton and Austin Prep shared this year was Newburyport, and neither team fared especially well against the Clippers. Triton lost 19-9 on May 2, and Austin Prep lost 15-4 on April 23.
“We’re looking at their schedule, they play a lot of tough games, they’re very competitive and they’ve played teams well,” said Triton coach Sean Parsons. “We know that they have good athletes, and we know they’re going to show up to play. We’re prepared, we’ve been working hard ever since Friday and the kids are psyched.”
As it turns out, Newburyport will be waiting for whichever team wins tonight’s first round matchup, but Parsons said his team is focused on beating Austin Prep, though he acknowledged that it would be fun to get a chance to play their archrivals in the postseason.
“The kids know what is afterward if we do end up winning, but they know what they have to do,” Parsons said. “They want to play them obviously, but we are focusing on Austin Prep. We need to get a win.”
In terms of statistics, the magic number for Triton figures to be 10. The Vikings are 9-1 in games in which they’ve scored 10 or more goals, and they are 8-2 in games in which they’ve held their opponents to fewer than 10 goals.
Overall, Triton scored 187 goals on the season, averaging 10.4 goals per game, while only allowing 161 goals, or 8.9 per game. A big part of that differential can be attributed to seniors Larry Cuddy and Dalton Tzitzon, both All-League selections who were responsible for a good portion of the team’s offense.