HOOKSETT, N.H. — With less than three minutes remaining in the New Hampshire Division 1 girls lacrosse state championship game, everything seemed primed for Pinkerton to win its second state title in four seasons.
Holding onto a one-goal lead over Bishop Guertin, the Astros had 2:50 to run off the clock, and they would be crowned the top team in New Hampshire.
Instead, when the final horn sounded, it was Bishop Guertin celebrating a second straight championship.
With two goals in the final minute, the Cardinals overcame a second-half comeback by Pinkerton, as the Astros fell 12-11.
“In the end, the chips just fell the wrong way,” Pinkerton coach Rob Daziel said.
The Astros’ last state title came at Bishop Guertin’s expense in 2016. But the Cardinals (19-2) came out of the gates with no intentions of letting history repeat itself, scoring the game’s first three goals. They won the first seven draws as well, keeping the ball out of the sticks of the Astros (19-2).
A controversial call that negated a goal by Pinkerton’s Lauren Lisauskas for a dangerous follow-through also put the Astros a man down, and Bishop Guertin scored with eight minutes left in the first half. Although it appeared there was no contact on Lisauskas’ follow-through, instead of a 5-3 deficit late in the first, Pinkerton trailed, 6-2.
At the break, the Cardinals lead, 7-4, with the earlier four-goal advantage the largest of the game.
“We’ve been down by four a lot of times,” Daziel said. “I figured these guys would fight their way back and they did.”
The Astros came roaring back in the second half, going on a 4-1 run to tie the game at 8-8. Then, Madison Daziel’s goal with just under 13 minutes to play gave Pinkerton its first lead.
When Kiley Davis scored with 2:50 to go and Pinkerton caused a Bishop Guertin turnover off the draw, anticipation began to grow as the Astros closed in on the title. However, a turnover gave the Cardinals one more chance, and they took it.
With 47.9 seconds on the clock, Lindsay Hult scored, and it was deemed she’d been pushed as she scored, giving the Cardinals possession rather than going to the draw. Twenty-four seconds later, Abigail Ahearn fired home from a free position. And although Pinkerton won the ensuing draw and forced a free position opportunity with three seconds to go, the Astros couldn’t convert.
Both of Pinkerton’s losses this spring came to Bishop Guertin, while the Astros managing 17 consecutive wins in between. For those who are set to return next year, though, it’ll be put behind them as they regroup and gear up for another run in 2020.
“It was a tough game, just one of those games,” Daziel said. “We talked it about at the end, wishing our seniors farewell, then we told the underclassmen we’re going to work our way back.”
Bishop Guertin 12, Pinkerton 11
NH Division 1 Finals
Goals: BG — Rylee Bouvier 3, Lindsay Hult 2, Madison Keating 2, Emily Santom 2, Abigail Ahearn 2, Claire Donovan; PA — Lily Auger 4, Madison Daziel 2, Kiley Davis 2, Lauren Lisauskas, Abigail Jowett, Zoe Howe
Saves: BG — Makenna Reekie 10; PA — Dani Martineau 2, Lauren Sweeney 3
Bishop Guertin (19-2): 7 5 — 12
Pinkerton (19-2): 4 7 — 11