Astro Laxmen Lose to Guertin in Finals Again

The Bishop Guertin boys’ lacrosse team maintained its stranglehold on the Division I championship last week by bagging its fifth consecutive crown. And for the third time in those five years, the Pinkerton Academy Astros wound up being the victim of the BG juggernaut’s success.

Coach Brian O’Reilly’s Astros suffered a 10-6 loss to coach Chris Cameron’s Nashua-based BG bunch in the 2014 D-I title game at Bedford High School on Wednesday, June 11. And as a result, the academy crew had to be satisfied with the runner-up trophy as it headed back to Derry.

Guertin has been in every one of the last 10 Division I championship matches since 2005. The Cardinals beat PA in the D-I final in 2005, lost to the Astros in the 2006 championship match, and since then have defeated O’Reilly’s charges in 2008, 2011, and each of the last two springs as well.

The two teams had met in Nashua on May 5, with the Cardinals collecting a 14-11 regular season victory, but second-ranked Pinkerton had bagged 10 consecutive wins since then – including two tourney victories – and the locals had every reason to feel good about their ability to knock off the top-ranked Cards in the title match.

But, Guertin had every intention of keeping its championship run rolling, and played like it.

The Cardinals netted the first two goals of the title match during the first five minutes of the opening quarter, with the Astros slicing their deficit in half with 6:31 left when Evan Sweeney was set up by Jake Lisauskas and potted the first PA shot on the BG cage.

Guertin responded by potting the next two goals to go up 4-1 with 2:48 remaining in the period, but Pinkerton had the last word in the first stanza when Brett Dattilo was set up by Todd Billetter with just 33.5 seconds left to go to make it a 4-2 contest.

The Astros got to within a goal of the lead at 4-3 just 35 seconds into the second quarter when Sean Delea scored unassisted, but BG answered a little more than two minutes later to go back up by two at 5-3.

Pinkerton trimmed the deficit back down to a single goal with 7:03 showing on the clock, thanks to a man-up goal by Lisauskas, but BG had the final word with 1:18 left in the half to make it a 6-4 game.

The defending state champs enjoyed a 13-7 advantage in shots on net in the first half, but PA goalie Cam Hayward’s seven saves kept his side in the fray.

Both contingents netted two shots in the third quarter – during which BG had a 7-3 advantage in shots on net – to move the match score to 8-6 in Guertin’s favor rolling into the fourth quarter.

The Cards put the contest away by scoring twice more and holding PA to no tallies during that final stanza. The Cardinals ended up with a 6-1 advantage in shots on net, for a game tally of 26-11 in shots on net over their opponent. Pinkerton keeper Hayward finished up with 16 stops.

James Tulley and Billetter scored the two second-half goals for the Division I runner-up crew.