In a rematch against league powerhouse Algonquin Thursday, both the boy’s and girls Groton-Dunstable lacrosse teams lost their contests. The Groton-Dunstable Regional High School boy’s lacrosse team was much more competitive than the first time they played back on April 1, but the Tomahawks used lengthy possessions throughout the second half to pull away with an 8-3 victory. In girls’ lacrosse action, the Crusaders lost to Algonquin, 13-10, with sophomore Maria Antonellis making 13 saves for the Crusaders, who fell to 4-5 this season.
Girls Lead At Half, Lose 13-10
by Michelle Walsh
Groton Dunstable Girl’s varsity lacrosse team falls to Algonquin despite a 2 goal lead at the half. Caitlin Berube gained draw possession during the first half by dominating the draws with help from her teammates on the circle Nicki Wilkinson and Sophie Irby. Nicki Wilkinson led the crusaders off to a nice start with the first goal of the game. Nicki put another 2 free position goals in the net 1st half, Sara Walsh netted 3 goals and seniors Livy Rubeski and Livy Penny also added to the scoreboard to give the crusaders a 8-6 score at half.
Unfortunately Algonquin came off the half strong winning the draws and answering with 5 quick goals! Defender Fiona Henry answered back by intercepting an Algonquin pass and racing down the field to score a goal only to have it called back because it was thought to be in the goal circle! Momentum started again with a beautiful goal from Maddy Smethurst assisted by Sara Walsh, but time was not on GD’s side and there were 2 more goals by Algonquin and 1 more by Nicki before the game ended with a 10-13 loss for the girls. The girls worked hard and played hard, especially goalie Maria Antonellis who made 13 saves, 9 of in the second half. Being that this is a young team, next year should prove to be a different ending.
The girls play at home against Nashoba with a JV game at 4 p.m. and varsity at 5:30 p.m.
Boy’s Team Falls 8-3
The first half of Thursday’s game between the Groton-Dunstable Crusaders boy’s lacrosse team and the Algonquin Tomahawks was much more competitive than the first time they played back on April 1. But the Tomahawks used lengthy possessions throughout the second half to pull away with an 8-3 victory at G-DRHS.
The Tomahawks were paced offensively by seniors Mike Wood (hat trick) and Nick Polutchko (two goals). Wood’s second goal came in the third quarter on a fancy behind the back shot after the Tomahawks kept the ball in the offensive half of the field for a good five minutes. The lengthy possession was indicative of how the whole game unfolded for both teams.
“We were playing way too much defense,” Crusaders head coach Rick Arena said. “That possession was back breaking.”
The Tomahawks got off to a 4-0 lead after the first quarter, winning four of five faceoffs and beating the Crusaders on ground balls, 5-3. The Crusaders cut the deficit in half in the second quarter, with goals by sophomore Ryan Dodge and senior Quinton Forbes. The Crusaders won the ground ball battle in the second quarter, 5-4. But that would be as close as they would get, as the Tomahawks outscored the Crusaders 4-1 in the second half.
“We won the second quarter, which is what we wanted to do,” Arena said. “I thought that was going to propel us into the third quarter.”
Wood completed his hat trick in the fourth quarter with three seconds left on a Crusader penalty. Later on, Ryan King scored another highlight reel goal by hauling in a long rebound at the top of the box and hitting the top shelf of the cage.
The Tomahawks won finished the game winning 12 of 14 faceoffs and 20 of 33 ground balls.
“We’re not tough enough on faceoffs, and we need to get better at that,” Arena said. “They have a good guy on faceoffs, and against a team like that, you can’t afford to give possessions away.”
Arena also said that the lack of possessions made things especially difficult.
“We actually had the ball in the second quarter, we didn’t have it in the first or third quarter. We need to slow it down. We need to possess, relax, and then run our offense. We took shots too soon and gave them the ball back, and then they controlled the clock.”
For the Tomahawks (7-4), Zach Skowronek and Alex Sabel each had one goal, while John Leach made 12 saves. For the Crusaders (5-5), junior Zach Cotoni had the lone second half goal, while P.J. Kendall made 11 saves.
The Crusaders will host St. John’s-Shrewsbury Tuesday at 4 p.m.