Lady Astros’ Lax Crew Locks Up Second Spot in D-I

A blowout victory followed by a slim win last week enabled the red-hot Pinkerton Academy girls’ lacrosse squad to assure itself of the second seed in the Division I tournament, which kicks off this week.

The two-time defending Division I champions bagged their 12th and 13th consecutive victories last week with a 13-3 bashing of the Dover High Green Wave followed by a tight and dramatic, 9-8 edging of the rival Londonderry High Lady Lancers a few days later to end the regular season.

As a result of those two regular season-ending successes, the PA crew finished up at 16-2 and just behind the 17-1 Souhegan High Lady Sabers from Amherst, who were the only club to best the Pinkerton contingent this spring. The other PA loss came to a Massachusetts opponent at the start of the 2015 campaign.

The academy girls got victory number 12 with a 13-3 thumping of the Dover High Green Wave in Derry Tuesday, May 25.

Coach Rob Daziel’s damsels potted 10 unanswered goals in the first half – with goalie Jackie Tarsook having to make only one stop – as they rolled to the lopsided win and became 15-2 overall.

Ali Davis scored three times for the winners, Maggie McCarthy and Colby Millsaps were each good for two goals and one assist, Amanda Szostak and Megan Jarvis each scored twice, and Britney Johnson and Emma Bennett each tallied once.

However, victory would be much harder to achieve against the team’s rivals from Londonderry High three days later at LHS.

The academy side led by a single goal at 5-4 at halftime, one of which was an unobserved ball that just rolled into the net, but the contest was a long way from being decided.

Pinkerton potted the first two goals of the second half to push its lead up to 7-4, but after LHS coach Bob Slater called a timeout to rally his troops, the Lady Lancers kicked into a higher gear and netted four unanswered goals to go up by one at 8-7 with a little less than four minutes remaining.

Astro Avery Drouin knotted the score at 8-8 soon thereafter and PA senior star McCarthy scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with 1:23 left to play. The Lady Lancers worked hard to bag the equalizer but didn’t manage to, with PA goalie Kyra Goucher coming up huge several times down the high-pressure stretch.

“The game was a defensive battle, and our defensive play held Londonderry to fewer goals,” said Daziel. “Kyra Goucher made several key saves on free position shots toward the end of the game. We considered this a tournament game for us because winning it would mean locking up second place in the standings. It was Londonderry’s Senior Day, so obviously a big game for them in addition to the typical rivalry excitement. Both teams played with a lot of heart, and it was an exciting game for the fans on both sides. A classic arch-rival game.”

The victorious Lady Astros wound up receiving three goals from McCarthy, two goals and a helper from Drouin, one of each from Davis, Micaela Capozzo, and Dani Tompkins, and one goal from Szostak. Keeper Goucher finished the match with seven big stops.

The defending champions ended up being the number two seed in the 2015 tourney and began their tournament play Wednesday, June 3, with a quarterfinal-round match against the seventh-ranked Merrimack High Lady Tomahawks in Derry. That match took place after Nutfield News press time.