LONDONDERRY — In complete control after one quarter, yet leading by only two goals, the Pinkerton Academy boys lacrosse team needed something to liven it up in its game against Londonderry on Friday.
The Lancers scoring 32 seconds into the second quarter just about did the trick.
Pinkerton then exploded for a 6-0 spurt to practically put the game to bed at halftime. After dealing with a small Londonderry run, the Astros held on for a 15-7 victory.
“(The second-quarter run) took the wind out of their sails,” Pinkerton head coach Brian O’Reilly said. “It’s tough when you’re getting scored on and the team scoring on you keeps winning face-offs. It’s depressing ... It tilts the field in our advantage, tremendously.”
Just 28 seconds after Londonderry (6-4) pulled that one back, senior Ryan Auger scored for Pinkerton (6-3), and the floodgates opened.
The Astros scored three more, including two goals in the span of 17 seconds from senior Owen McCormack, before a Londonderry timeout. After it, McCormack and sophomore Hunter Drouin completed first-half hat tricks.
Thanks to a wide range of scorers and a spark from senior Gennaro Marra on face-off duty, Pinkerton led, 11-2, at halftime. Marra was nearly automatic in the second quarter, despite difficulties with increasing rain and mud as conditions worsened.
The senior acknowledged the impact of his success during Pinkerton’s early runs, but felt his, and his team’s, performance tailed off.
“We played good through spurts today,” Marra said. “We need to play a more complete game, though, myself especially.”
Londonderry answered Pinkerton’s 12th goal with a 3-0 run to end the third quarter, then added another a minute into the fourth frame.
While Pinkerton wasn’t in severe danger, the Lancers could sense a swing in momentum.
O’Reilly said the halftime talk with his team centered around the rivalry aspect of the contest, and how Londonderry, despite a nine-goal deficit at the time, wouldn’t be giving up any time soon, and it showed.
“They’re not going to give up, they’ve got too much pride,” O’Reilly said. “We got messy on offense, forcing balls inside. All the sudden, ground balls aren’t coming up the way we want them to.”
With the Lancers threatening again, junior goalie Jack Sweeney came up with three striaght saves, leading to a Pinkerton break. However, a turnover gave Londonderry a chance to run, until junior Mason Drouin charged back to dispossess the Lancers ball-carrier.
McCormack, who finished with a team-high of five goals, scored off the turnover to end Londonderry’s 4-0 stretch.
“That’s the way we should have been playing,” O’Reilly said. “Mason coming back on that ride, getting possession, then those turnovers kill a team when we can stop them from clearing, come back and score on them.”
O’Reilly joked that, while there were a few problems throughout the contest, he’s not going to complain when he sees the 15-7 scoreline at the end of what is often a fierce battle between the two rivals.
Instead, the Astros will absorb the good and the bad from the game, Marra said, and use it moving forward, with the possibility of seeing the Lancers again looming large.
“It’s nice to pick up the win, but there are a lot of things we can take from this game, especially potentially seeing them down the road in the playoffs,” Marra said.
Pinkerton 15, Londonderry 7
Goals: Owen McCormack 5, Mason Drouin 3, Hunter Drouin 3, Ryan Auger 2, Gennaro Marra, Conner McCormack
Saves: Jack Sweeney 7
Londonderry (6-4): 0 2 3 2 — 7
Pinkerton (6-3): 2 9 1 3 — 15