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Dan O'Brien a defensive force in St. Anthony's win over Yorktown on senior day

St. Anthony's defender Daniel O'Brien stands during the

St. Anthony's defender Daniel O'Brien stands during the national anthem prior to their game against Yorktown at St. Anthony's on Saturday, May 10, 2014. Credit: Steven Ryan

There was one minute left.

St. Anthony's had a comfortable five-goal lead over Yorktown in a non-league boys lacrosse game.

And it was a pretty humid afternoon Saturday.

Translation: It was no longer imperative for Friars defender Dan O'Brien to force a turnover.

He did it anyway, though. Then the Army-bound senior produced two more takeaways during the final minute. Because, well, just because, he said.

"It's a mentality of our defense; we practice hard and we play hard," O'Brien said after host St. Anthony's enjoyed its senior day by beating Yorktown, 12-7. "The extra motivating factor is our deep bench. You got to keep playing. You have to show up every game and be in every play. There's always someone behind you."

Senior goalie Jack Concannon helped set the tone on defense early, making four of his seven saves in the first quarter. The Friars (13-3), who never trailed, went on a 7-0 run in a 35-minute stretch while dominating possession and led 9-2 after Greg Galligan scored from about 20 yards with 9:49 left in the third quarter.

"I was getting a little frustrated out there," Galligan said, jokingly. "I said, all right, I got a 17-yarder so I'm just going to try and take it and hope for the best."

Galligan scored three goals, Brendan Homire had two goals and one assist, Michael Laviano had one goal and two assists, and Joe Licciardi scored twice.

"The seniors decided to leave their legacy on the field today," said Galligan, a senior, who wore a hat from Georgetown (where he'll attend college) after the game and was the final player to leave the field.

Yorktown (10-6) isn't the ideal squad to schedule a senior day against, however. Connor Vercruysse, a senior headed to Rutgers, is one of the premier offensive threats in the state.

After a while, stopping Vercruysse, who had two goals, became O'Brien's assignment.

That eventually changed.

"They actually moved Vercruysse up to midfield because he was having a hard time against O'Brien," Friars coach Keith Wieczorek said.

O'Brien, a two-year starter who Wieczorek called "the team's best cover guy," was modest about making things difficult for Vercruysse and simply said it gave him a good feeling.

Galligan was more direct when referring to O'Brien's play.

"I don't even know what to say. Dan played definitely one of the best games of his career today, hands down," Galligan said. "I was just thinking, 'Oh my gosh.' He was playing his position and getting those checks in and he was intercepting a bunch of those balls on the clears. He played definitely one of the best games I've seen."

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