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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Souhegan, Pinkerton meet again for girls lacrosse crown

And so they meet again.

For the second year in a row, the Souhegan High School girls lacrosse team will face Pinkerton Academy for the Division I championship Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Souhtgern New Hampshire University. ...

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And so they meet again.

For the second year in a row, the Souhegan High School girls lacrosse team will face Pinkerton Academy for the Division I championship Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Souhtgern New Hampshire University.

Just like a year ago, the Sabers are the top seed, earning that spot after beating the No. 2 Astros in the regular-season finale, but the Souhegan players hope things end differently in this year’s title game.

Pinkerton got a lead late in the first half and did just enough to hang on for a 12-10 win in last year’s title game. With the Sabers getting a 14-13 win over the Astros just 12 days ago, it’s a safe bet this year’s game will be just as close.

While the teams are familiar with each other, Souhegan coach Maren Petropulos believes there still could be some surprises from both sides.

“We didn’t show everything,” she said after the Sabers defeated No. 4 Exeter, 17-3, in the semifinals. “We have a few things up our sleeves.”

The Sabers (16-2) did show the Astros (15-3) that in the regular season, as Pinkerton keyed on Madison Learned and Mickenzie Larivee, allowing Jocelyn Donohue to step up, which included scoring the game-winning goal.

“We have so many options,” Petropulos said. “Our second goal (against Exeter) was by a junior who I’m sure no one is looking at. That’s what we need, everyone to step up in support. I’m sure we haven’t seen everything they have either.”

While Petropulos feels her seniors have been locked in this year, freshman goalie Meaghan Allard has also stepped up her game in the second half of the season. Allard made 13 saves in the semifinal and was a big reason as to why the Sabers were able to hold the Blue Hawks scoreless for the final 29 minutes of the game.

“She has come along and it’s huge,” Petropulos said. “She is more confident now. She’s more confident in the girls she’s clearing to. She’s got a little more of a swagger to her. For a freshman, she’s pretty impressive.”

Allard added that having so many experienced seniors on the team has helped her progress throughout the year.

“The beginning of the season was pretty tough for me,” she said. “I didn’t have the confidence, but as we kept going and we played, I built up my confidence. The team has really helped me with that.”

For seniors Learned, Larivee and Donohue, along with Jesse Jay, Taylor Behn and Olivia Durling, it’s one more chance to capture an elusive championship. That class helped the Sabers to the semifinals as freshmen and to the championship game as sophomores and juniors.

Tuesday will also be the sixth title game appearance for both programs, and both are 2-3 in those previous games.