Two of the best faceoff men in the state went head-to-head in the Division 3 state final

WORCESTER – Backed by a shutdown goalie, the suffocating defense of the Norwell Superior boys lacrosse staff played a important job in clinching the program’s 1st-ever state title.

But junior faceoff artist John Mullen – literally and figuratively – starred at center phase.

Opposite of yet another one particular of the state’s premier abilities at the X in Medfield’s TJ Casey, Mullen won 13 of 18 clashes for No. 2 Norwell to help seal a 11-3 get over the No. 8 Warriors on the campus of Worcester Condition University, Wednesday.

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“John, each working day, brings a large amount,” claimed Norwell coach Josh Stolp. “In practices and games, he’s 100 percent all the time. That is just his way of taking part in. He’s a fantastic shooter, a fantastic offensive menace, so after he gets the ball, he can get it out into a rapidly break definitely rapidly, which is substantial.”

In Norwell’s landslide third-quarter operate, in which the Clippers stretched a 3-1 halftime lead to a 9-2 cushion coming into the fourth, Mullen gained all but a single faceoff in 8 makes an attempt.

“It’s annoying because we’re ordinarily accustomed to successful all the encounter-offs with TJ,” Medfield coach John Isaf mentioned with a chuckle. “(Mullen) is a fantastic participant and he provides them so many belongings, it’s challenging to get again-to-again targets against a group like that. Specifically when their goalie (Ryan Daly, who built nine will save in the earn) is wonderful, their protection performed really very well and we just could not get any momentum heading.”

Norwell’s John Mullen during the Division 3 state title sport from Medfield on the campus of Worcester Point out University on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

To close the third quarter avalanche, Mullen took a get at the X and swiftly delivered just one of his two goals on the night, just seven seconds immediately after a rating from Joe Dally. His faceoff dominance served the Clippers score three occasions in the final minute of the body.

“It was all about the mentality, to be straightforward. I was nervous, but I did not want to be far too anxious to jump and stuff. It was rather regular,” said Mullen, who is dedicated to keep on his lacrosse career at Syracuse. “I just preferred to acquire so negative and our team came out with it. I’m tremendous delighted.”

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Mullen gained 308 of his 382 total deal with-offs in his junior time (80.6 percent), which compliments his 20-target, 18 assist statistical splits properly. For his job, Mullen has 578 wins at the X and only 121 losses (80.8 percent). Additional frequently than not, the area tilts Norwell’s way.

“He’s one of the ideal in the state. He’s received wonderful wings on the facet to support him out, but I indicate, it’s a struggle each time that whistle blows,” Casey, who will engage in at UMass, said of Mullen. “We’re the two similarly as quick to the ball. It’s just (about) who outmuscles every single other, who will get to the floor ball. It was a terrific match by Mullen, but I know Medfield will be again following yr.”

Norwell's John Mullen and Medfield's TJ Casey after the Division 3 state title game on the campus of Worcester State University on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Norwell’s John Mullen and Medfield’s TJ Casey right after the Division 3 point out title sport on the campus of Worcester Condition University on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Mullen returned the praise.

“(Casey) is a fantastic guy. If I shed versus him, I’m like ‘Alright, he’s truly good’ so I really do not actually treatment. We equally have terrific respect for every other and communicate to each other right after the recreation,” Mullen claimed. “Likely in opposition to him, I have bought to go super rapidly mainly because he’s seriously rapidly also. It’s a mental game, all close to, but we respect each individual other so a great deal. It’s fantastic.”

It can be not the 1st time Casey and Mullen stood eye-to-eye as Norwell took the regular period matchup above Medfield by a 8-7 rating on April 9.

“Norwell and Medfield, us two teams, I truthfully do not know who’s much better,” Mullen claimed after the earn. “Tonight, we were better. But it is whoever provides the most, and it would seem like we introduced it additional today. We have been completely ready.”

Norwell's John Mullen battled Medfield's TJ Casey during the Division 3 state title game on the campus of Worcester State University on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Norwell’s John Mullen battled Medfield’s TJ Casey in the course of the Division 3 condition title sport on the campus of Worcester State College on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Along with Daly, assault Ryan Shea and midfielder Timothy Ward, Mullen will return to Norwell Significant as a senior next yr with intentions of forming yet another operate of title rivalry.

But for now, savoring a title properly-earned will do just wonderful in the meantime.

“It’s amazing. I cannot even fathom. I’m type of speechless, to be honest,” Mullen said. “I’m just so joyful we received.”

This post initially appeared on The Patriot Ledger: John Mullen’s faceoff stardom was vital in Norwell’s first title gain