Freshmen play key role in 11-6 BG girls lacrosse win

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Bishop Guertin's Lindsay Hult (17) gets pressured while trying to hold onto the ball as she's surrounded by Chelmsford defenders, including Sofia Balan (15) and Kathryn Slatts during the Cards' 11-6 win Thursday at Stellos Stadium.

NASHUA – Usually, high school coaches dread the idea of playing freshmen on the varsity level.

But coming off a state championship, Bishop Guertin girls lacrosse coach Kerry Gobiel welcomes them with open arms. No championship hangover.

Especially Rylee Bouvier, whose hat trick helped the Cards in an 11-6 win over Chelmsford (Mass.) – a team Gobiel had never beaten when she played at Lowell nor as the Cards coach until Thursday at Stellos Stadium.

“Some of our newbies were ready to step up,” Gobiel said. “I always love a freshman.”

Even Gobiel’s sophomores, she said, who didn’t play varsity last year, weren’t aware of how good Chelmsford, now 3-1, is. And that helped, as they had no fear.

“I really think we can contest for the championship,” Bouvier said, her team now 2-0. “This team works really hard. Hopefully we can get on a roll. … We’re going to really have to work for it. We have the potential to win.”

The Cardinals had jumped out to a 7-2 lead, led 7-4 at the half and the Lions, who were led by Kate Krueger’s four goals, scored early in the second half to close to within 7-5.

Then came the Cardinal eruption, four straight goals coming off the sticks of Maddie Keating, Amelia Piercy, Bouvier, and Emily Santom, a two minute span beginning with just over 13 minutes to play to make it 11-5.

“They’re a great team, coming off a state championship win,” Chelmsford coach Ashley Rokas said. “We knew we’d have to play our hearts out. … Too many turnovers for us.”

“It was just good energy,” Gobiel said. “People taking coaching.”

Santom, Claire Donovan, and Amelia Piercy each had two goals (assist for Piercy), while Madison Keating and Kennedy Wright had single tallies. Natalie Coutu had two assists.

Of course, Cards goalie Makeena Reekie had to do her part, as she did with 11 big stops. Reekie and Coutu are – you guessed it – freshmen. They want part of that championship feeling, too.

“That’s the plan,” Gobiel said.