A decisive win over the Nashua High School North Titans in the Gate City Thursday, April 30, gave the Pinkerton Academy boys’ lacrosse squad its fourth consecutive victory and made its 2015 record 6-1.
But several days later coach Brian O’Reilly’s Astros faced a determined and emotional Londonderry High contingent – on its home field – that had every intention of avenging its Beeman Trophy loss to Pinkerton in Derry a week earlier. And the Lancers got that job done and ended the academy squad’s winning streak.
In the 17-7 hammering of Nashua North, Pinkerton received four goals and an assist from Mason Barchard, four tallies from Chris Valentine, three tallies from Todd Billetter, and one goal and seven big assists from James Tulley.
But the Astros had their hands far more full with the rival Londonderry High Lancers Saturday, May 2, with the hosts aiming to gain some revenge for the 12-6 loss they were dealt by the Pinkerton bunch April 25.
The rival squads battled it out in a contest worthy of the lengthy and intense rivalry between teams from Pinkerton and LHS, with the host Lancers claiming a hard-fought 11-9 win.
The Lancers showed their intentions of tallying a victory over their rival as soon as the contest began, with the hosts potting the first three goals of the match during the opening seven minutes of play.
Pinkerton trimmed that lead to a single goal with consecutive goals from Barchard and Jack Hanaway in a span of less than a minute, but the Lancers went up 4-2 with another tally of its own with just 3.3 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Each side potted two goals during the second quarter, and the LHS crew stepped into halftime carrying a modest 6-4 advantage.
However, the Astros came flying out of the halftime break looking like they had every intention of taking over this match. And they took definitive steps toward doing just that by netting three consecutive goals in the first two minutes of the third period in grabbing a 7-6 lead. Brett Datillo snared the first of the three, Tulley potted the second, and Hanaway snagged the third to give their side its first advantage of the day.
Londonderry evened the score at 7-7 with 7:53 to go in the period, but the Astros regained the upper hand 33 seconds later on a labeled shot by Datillo.
The Lancers responded with the tying tally with 2:19 to go in stanza three, and they regained the upper hand at 9-8 with just 8.5 seconds showing on the clock.
Only three goals were netted in the intense fourth quarter, with Pinkerton tying the score at 9-9 less than two minutes in on a shot by Barchard, but Londonderry potted the winning goal with 6:27 to go and an insurance marker on an open net with two minutes left to snare the 11-9 victory.
Barchard and Tulley each collected two goals and an assist, Datillo and Hanaway each scored twice, Reese Popkin scored one tally, and Billetter dealt out two assists. Pinkerton goalie Nick Richard contributed six saves to the intense effort his squad put forth.
Then Monday, May 4, the academy crew played host in a rematch of the last two Division I championship matches with the five-time defending champion Bishop Guertin Cardinals from Nashua.
And the visiting defending champs handed the Astros their second consecutive defeat in a lopsided, 17-9 decision.
Guertin moved to 10-1 with that decisive win while the academy laxmen slid to 6-3 on the campaign.