TYNGSBOROUGH – The Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boys’ lacrosse team found itself trailing 1-0 just 39 seconds into their Saturday game against the Tyngsborough Tigers at Tyngsborough High School. But that would be the only time they would trail, as the Crusaders won, 15-7, on the back of hat tricks by Nick Irby, Quintin Forbes, Tristan Lynch, and Austin Hourani.
“We know those guys are scorers,” Crusaders head coach Rick Arena said. “They’re capable of doing that game in and game out. It’s just a matter of getting used to each other, and today was one of those days where we were firing on all cylinders.”
The Crusaders went into halftime up 6-3, with the Tigers hanging around thanks goals in the waning seconds of both the first and second quarters.
“Tyngsborough’s going to fight the whole game,” Arena said. “We can’t let our guard down, but we did, and they took advantage of it. That’s the sign of a good time.”
But the Crusaders exploded out of halftime, outscoring the Tigers 7-1 in the third quarter, putting the game away in the process. Lynch, who scored all three of his goals in the third quarter, started the barrage 27 seconds in with a goal off one of Forbes’ five assists. 18 seconds later, Paul Leonardo scored to make the score 8-3. Hourani later scored back-to-back goals to complete his hat trick, including one eight seconds into a locked-in man advantage. During the same penalty, Forbes scored his third of the game.
“I think it was a matter of being smarter with the ball and getting good opportunities,” Arena said. “We’re playing fast, but not rushing it. We did that offensively and defensively.”
The Crusaders also registered some highlight reel-worthy goals. In the second quarter, Zach Cotoni stole a Tyngsborough clearance in front of the net and passed to Forbes, who faked the goalie out of position and scored on the second move. Later in the second, Irby scored in similar fashion, intercepting the goalie’s clearance 10 yards in front of the net and walking in for the score. In the third quarter, Lynch got his second goal as he took a pass from Zach Cotoni and buried the ball in the net in one fluid motion.
Kyle Butler, Kyle Laforge, and Ben Foley each had two goals for the Tigers (3-1).
Goalie P.J. Kendall made seven saves for the Crusaders before being pulled in the fourth quarter for Ryan McLean, who made five saves.
Cotoni and Michael Tammaro scored the remaining goals for the Crusaders (2-2), who will go on the road to face Nashoba Tuesday at 7 p.m.