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Monday, June 9, 2014

Bishop Guertin heads to final with 11-3 win over Hanover

High School Boys Lacrosse: Division I Semifinal

BEDFORD – The Bishop Guertin High School boys lacrosse team knew it would be getting a different Hanover team in Sunday’s Division I semifinal from the one it saw 12 days ago in the regular season.

The No. 4 Marauders hadn’t played well in that game, and with head coach Jeff Reed retiring at the end of the season, they had an emotional stake in keeping their season going. ...

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BEDFORD – The Bishop Guertin High School boys lacrosse team knew it would be getting a different Hanover team in Sunday’s Division I semifinal from the one it saw 12 days ago in the regular season.

The No. 4 Marauders hadn’t played well in that game, and with head coach Jeff Reed retiring at the end of the season, they had an emotional stake in keeping their season going.

Hanover had the lead – and possession – for most of the first quarter, but No. 1 Bishop Guertin rose to the occasion on defense and generated enough offense for an 11-3 win at Bedford High School.

The win sends the Cardinals (18-2) to the championship game Wednesday against No. 2 Pinkerton Academy, which beat No. 6 Exeter 15-4 in the first game. The final is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Bedford.

“At Hanover last week, we played very well and their goalie (Chris Washington), who is typically very good, didn’t play well,” Bishop Gueritn coach Chris Cameron said of the Cardinals’ 20-7 win. “Jeff Reed is retiring and he’s a great coach and the kids love him, so we knew that they were going to play hard. If we let them hang around and have any confidence that they were going to start believing. They did a little.”

With Hanover (12-8) controlling possession for most of the first quarter, Bishop Guertin was forced to play well defensively. The Cardinals did, and Cameron felt that kept them in it early.

“It was important that we played that way because we could have put ourselves in a hole considering how we played the first eight minutes,” he said. “Defensively, I thought we played great. We didn’t make many slides, but we didn’t have to slide much. We were on our game defensively. (Goalie) Jake (Sonberg) didn’t let up any soft ones and he made some nice saves.”

Dom St. Laurent (assist), Nick Prunier, Tom Hurley and Connor Donahue each had two goals for the Cardinals while John Miller had a goal and two assists. Bishop Guertin also got a goal each from Mike Carluccio and Alex Astarita, who was playing in his first game since suffering a broken wrist in early May.

Hanover got a goal apiece from Brendan Forauer, Conor Austin and Teddy Geraghty, but Reed felt like the Marauders had opportunities to get more.

“We had opportunities, but their goalie had a good game,” he said. “They played really well defensively and we just didn’t execute that well offensively.”

Hanover grabbed momentum to start the second half, scoring in the first minute to cut Bishop Guertin’s lead to 5-3. The Marauders won the faceoff – just one of two wins for Hanover – but turned the ball over and a St. Laurent scored a minute later to push the lead back to three goals.

Hurley and Prunier added goals less than a minute apart to make it 8-3 with 6:34 left in the third.

“We had a little momentum, too, but they don’t give it to you,” Reed said. “They’re so well-coached and they have so much depth, they come at you a lot of different ways.”

Bishop Guertin will be making its 10th straight appearance in the title game, and the Cardinals will be going for a fifth consecutive title, which would be a state record.

During that stretch, Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton have met five previous times, with the Cardinals winning four of them, including last year.

“I think these guys are ready to play and they’re not concerned with the past,” Cameron said. “They’re just going to focus on this one game. We’ll let Pinkerton worry about the past.”