To their chagrin and deep disappointment, there will be no third consecutive Division I championship for Pinkerton Academy girls’ lacrosse coach Rob Daziel and his talented charges.
Bishop Guertin’s Brynn Carroll potted a buzzer-beating goal during the semifinal-round tournament match between her third-seeded Lady Cardinals and the second-ranked Lady Astros at Portsmouth High School last Saturday, June 6, to end the academy squad’s excellent 2015 season and its hold on the D-I crown with a stunning, 9-8 defeat.
The top-ranked Souhegan High Lady Sabers, whom Pinkerton defeated each of the last two springs to claim the 2013 and 2014 divisional titles, were also bested by number four Exeter in Portsmouth that day, so for the first time in four years neither Pinkerton nor Souhegan will play for the D-I crown.
Souhegan hadn’t lost a single game in New Hampshire all spring prior to Saturday, and Pinkerton had won 14 consecutive matches without a defeat in its hunt for a third straight title.
Senior star Maggie McCarthy netted a team-high three-goals in the defeat, including her amazing 77th of the season to tie coach Daziel’s daughter Kennedy for the PA program high in tallies in one campaign.
Avery Drouin and Ali Davis each contributed two markers and Amanda Szostak had one for the locals. PA goalie Kyra Goucher was credited with five saves.
The Lady Astros – who defeated Guertin by a 14-12 count when the two sides met up in Nashua during the regular season in May – grasped a 6-5 lead at halftime of the tournament battle but were outscored 4-2 during the climactic second half.
The Lady Astros had experienced little trouble with seventh-seeded Merrimack in preliminary-round tourney play at PA Wednesday, June 3, throttling that lower-ranked opponent by a 13-5 score to move on to the semis.
The hosts scored the first four goals of the contest and ended up with a commanding 8-1 lead at halftime.
“Draw controls were key to our gaining first possession, controlling the clock, then finishing with a good scoring opportunity,” said Daziel.
McCarthy paced the PA effort with four goals and one assist for five points. Szostak scored three times, Drouin contributed a goal and two helpers, Micaela Capozzo was good for a goal and two assists, and Ali Davis, Nola Wesche, and Morgan Donahue each tallied once. Goucher made four saves in the PA net, and her backup Jackie Tarsook contributed one.
“Our low defensive efforts were from Kristen Sobolewski, Melanie George, Carly Young, and Morgan Hazelton,” said Daziel. “Maggie McCarthy and Melanie George led the team in ground ball recoveries. Megan Jarvis controlled the draws, giving us first possession the majority of the time.”