Both the Groton-Dunstable boy’s and girl’s lacrosse teams lost their season opening games to league powerhouse Algonquin Tomahawks on Tuesday. The Crusaders boys’ team ran into a buzz saw, falling 16-5 at 9/11 Memorial Field. The girl’s game was more competitive and less lopsided; the final score was 18-14.
Boy’s Team Drops 16-5
SOUTHBOROUGH — The Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boys’ lacrosse team ran into a buzz saw in their season opener Tuesday, falling to the perennial power Algonquin Tomahawks by a score of 16-5 at 9/11 Memorial Field.
The Tomahawks won seven of ten faceoffs in the first quarter and used that advantage to open the game on a 5-0 run. The first quarter came to a close with the Tomahawks up 7-2, with three players each scoring two goals — Mike Wood, Mike Martins, and Alex Sabel. Sophomore Austin Hourani and senior Tristan Lynch each had a goal in the opening frame for the Crusaders.
“They had a great faceoff guy, and we had no answer for him,” Crusaders head coach Rick Arena said. “You can’t spot Algonquin that many goals in the first quarter and expect to climb out of that hole.”
Wood continued his magnificent play in the second quarter. He scored three more goals, including one where he faked two shots, drawing three Crusader defenders and goalie P.J. Kendall out of position, allowing him to put it in the wide-open net to make the score 12-2 going into halftime.
The second half was much more competitive, with the Crusaders only being outscored 4-3. Hourani tacked on his second goal of the game, and junior Zach Cotoni got on the scoreboard as well, but the Tomahawks kept their advantage at ten after the third quarter with more goals by Sabel (four on the game) and Ryan King (two).
“We got a lot of guys in there that are looking to take a step up from last year’s team, or new guys coming in looking to make a mark for themselves,” Arena said. “Against a really good team, it becomes difficult. We had a tough time containing Wood. He was phenomenal.”
Girl’s Team Stays In Hunt, 18-14
by Michelle Walsh
Groton Dunstable Girl’s team lost by 4 goals to Algonquin, the champion of last years’ Central Mass districts, proving that they are a team to watch out for in 2014. GD’s team this year has only 3 seniors, therefore showing they are a young team that will be continuing to grow in experience in the near future.
The Senior captains helped lead their team both offensively and defensively. Liv Rubeski led the way with 6 goals and 2 assists, defender Shelly Herlihy with an interception and several ground ball wins, along with a goal and some key forced turnovers by Livy Penny. Junior captain Nicki Wilkinson contributed 5 goals and 1 assist along with 8 ground ball wins.
At half time GD was only down by 3 with a score of 11-8. After the half the Crusaders fought hard to come within 1 with 2 consecutive goals from sophomore Sara Walsh to bring the score to 14-13, before Algonquin took off with the lead.
One of the key areas where GD was strong was with sophomore goalie Maria Antonellis, stopping 7 of the quality shots on net second half and finishing the game with 16 saves, 4 of which were from the 8 meter!
“I was really impressed with the girls performance against Algonquin. “ Crusaders head coach Sarah Valacer said. “Starting the season with such a big game can be difficult, but they proved that they are ready to perform this season. Defensively we have plenty of things that we need to work on, offensively as well, but Nicki Wilkinson and Liv Rubeski really proved that they are ready for the season to start and really wanted to win. I am looking forward to playing next Thursday against Shrewsbury to see how far they have come since last week.”
The Tomahawks’ offense wasn’t the whole story. Sophomore goalie Colton King played out of his mind, making seventeen saves, including eight in the second quarter, surrendering no goals in the process. He was pulled after the third quarter for backup goalie Johnny Leach, who made four saves.
“We did get a lot of good looks,” Arena said. “Once we started to shoot low on him, we started getting the ball by him … we peppered him, but he took what we had.”
Paul Nardone added the last goal for the Tomahawks, while freshman Michael Tammaro had the final tally for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders travel to Bedford High School on Friday for a nonleague contest against the Buccaneers at 4 p.m.