Brothers Sean and Patrick Crogan hone skills in their backyard that transfer to the lacrosse field for Lexington

Recently, the Lexington practice field has become the place to show off their skills.

“Hours in the backyard are clearly paying off on the field,” said Sean, a sophomore who has five goals in a 1-1 start. “We go mess around out there, jokingly sometimes, but then you’d be surprised how often we do the same thing on the field.”

The Minutemen picked up their first win Wednesday in a hard-fought 11-9 Middlesex League win over Wakefield.

Whatever the brothers have been working on, it’s working. Both are highly-skilled midfielders, but Lexington coach Dave Walsh said their play styles are entirely different.

“Patrick is just so incredibly fast in the open field,” Walsh said of the senior who has committed to attend, and play, at Georgetown. “And when he dodges, he dodges kind of violently, changes speeds very quickly, and gets off these quick shots that are accurate and quite hard.”

“Sean looks a lot more like a football running back,” added the coach. “He’s able to take a high-traffic situation and worm his way through and somehow free his hands up to get off a what looks like an unlikely shot and put it in the net.”

This season is the next chapter in a comeback story for Sean, who suffered a serious leg injury during his freshman football season – the same year he was scheduled to suit up alongside his brother in varsity competition for the first time. One year later, the two brothers are prepared to make the most of their one season together as Minutemen.

“Last year, I was pretty bummed when I realized this was one of the two years that I had to play with Patrick in high school, but that just gives me reason to make this one that much better,” Sean said. so far, it’s been all I can ask for. Every time one of us scores, we get to celebrate together. It’s truly just a dream come true. ”

Their father, Colby, a 1994 Lexington grad, is their offensive coordinator. The elder Crogan spent most of his life around the sport and played collegiately at Hartford. When his sons took a liking to the sport, Colby was more than happy to work with them.

Patrick joined the Laxachussetts program as a fifth grader, working his way up from the bottom team and developing into the 59th-ranked prospect in his class by the National Lacrosse Federation. Sean joined the same year, making the top team and keeping that spot ever since.

“I think a lot of times, they kind of know what each other is thinking,” their father said. “They both can look at a situation, read it the same way, and react. And they can play off each other that way, and it’s just really nice to have that type of [lacrosse] IQ out there. ”

Patrick is set to join the Georgetown lacrosse program, currently ranked third nationally, in a matter of months; Sean has similar collegiate aspirations. Before he leaves and hands the reins to his brother, Patrick is imparting some wisdom on Sean that their father has emphasized throughout – “the devil is in the details.”

“I try to emphasize that, when we’re in the backyard, let’s go full speed,” Patrick said. “When we’re in practice, let’s go full speed. Let’s not have half jog or run, stuff like that. I just really want him to always put his best foot forward and try his hardest. ”

With league rivals Reading and Winchester also contenders, the 20th-ranked Minutemen will have plenty of challenges on the road to a tournament berth.

“We practice all these little things together, we talk about it over dinner or over breakfast, stuff like that, and then to see it come together in the game is pretty cool,” Patrick Crogan said. “And just being in the same locker rooms, it’s a cool environment. ”

Quick sticks

▪ Coming off an All-Scholastic football season for Rockland last fall, Lucas Leander prepared for his junior lacrosse campaign by improving his off-hand and getting faster and stronger.

Two games into the season, Leander’s work has already paid off in a big way.

In two impressive wins, the captain has racked up 24 points. Leander struck quickly in Rockland’s season-opener against Middleborough, scoring five goals in the first quarter. The attackman did not know his exact goal total until after the final whistle of the 18-11 win but, after his lightning-quick start, Leander recognized that a special day was ahead.

“I knew I was going to have a big day, but I did not realize until the end of the game how many goals I really had,” said Leander, who finished with 12 goals and five assists.

This 17-point outing was a career-best for the junior captain, but he was quick to deflect the praise to his teammates.

It did not take Rockland’s opponents long to adjust to the threat posed by Leander. In the Bulldog’s next game against Abington, a close 11-8 win, the Green Wave spent the first half face-guarding Leander in an effort to keep the attackman from even touching the ball. With all of the opposing defenders focused on him, Leander was able to find open teammates throughout the game, racking up 6 assists and scoring once for the Bulldogs.

▪ Winchester is off to a 3-0 start under second-year coach Phil Reulanda 1994 Winchester graduate who played for John Pirani, the 40-year coaching veteran who retired after leading the Sachems to a Division 2 state title in 2019. Winchester topped Marblehead, 13-6, in the opener, then edged Minnechaug, 6-5, before opening Middlesex League play with a 6 -4 win over Burlington. Senior captain Sam McDonald has eight goals and three assists, junior Colby Beliveau netted nine goals through three games, and senior captain Jeffrey Russo has controlled the faceoff X. The defense has been led by senior captain Liam Dohertyjunior Owen Stesneyand junior goalie Jack Young.

▪ Sandwich avenged a 13-11 loss to Scituate in the Division 2 South quarterfinals last spring with a 12-8 win over the Sailors Monday. Sophomore goalie Shane Corcoran made 14 saves in front of senior captains Dan Bader and Jesse Woodill, who led the defense. Sophomore Avery Richardson tallied four goals and senior captain Tim Souza netted a hat trick as a 16-year Sandwich coach Mike McNeil topped Scituate coach Mark Puzzangarahis teammate at UMass Boston in the early 1990s.

Games to Watch

Friday, Chelmsford at Billerica – The Indians have allowed just five goals during a 2-0 start, while the Lions (3-0) look to extend their 16-game win streak over Merrimack Valley Conference foes.

Saturday, Needham at Hingham, 12 p.m. – After coming up short in a nonleague test at Lincoln-Sudbury and topping Lexington Sunday, Needham faces another top-tier nonleague foe in Hingham

Tuesday, Hamilton-Wenham at Ipswich, 4:30 p.m. – Fierce rivals who tangle in football every Thanksgiving, the Generals and Tigers will play the first of their two Cape Ann League lacrosse games this season.

Tuesday, St. John’s Prep at BC High, 5:30 p.m. —These powerhouses met four times last season, with Prep topping BC High, 11-7, in the Division 1 state final.

Thursday, Newton North at Wellesley, 4:30 p.m. —Two Bay State Conference programs with plenty of history meet for a rivalry game in April.

Correspondent Nate Weitzer contributed to this story.

Ethan McDowell can be reached at [email protected]

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