Pinkerton's Sammi Benson jumps up to hurl the ball over the Souhegan defense, scoring a goal Tuesday afternoon at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

To say that Pinkerton girls lacrosse coach Bryon Murphy has had an impressive tenure at the helm of the Astros would be an understatement.

His career record of 117-33-1 coming into this year would suggest that.

However, this spring Murphy's team came into the season with what looked to be an inexperienced roster, particularly at the goalie position. But on Tuesday, Pinkerton showed that it is still a force to be reckoned with in Division 1 with a 9-7 victory against mighty Souhegan.

The win improved Pinkerton to 6-0 in Division 1 and 6-1 overall. It also put the Astros in sole position of first place in the Division 1 standings.

"We have been playing well against the teams that we should play well against," said Murphy, who is in his ninth year at Pinkerton. "But Souhegan is one of the favorites to win the whole thing. I think we've made some improvements. We certainly played hard and I'm very proud of the girls."

The game was not as close as the score would indicate, Pinkerton dominated the tempo of the game and Souhegan was only able to generate offense in the final minutes of each half. Souhegan's attempts to surge back into the game were too little too late and the Astros' sophomore goalie Julie Medeiros saw to it that Souhegan would never even things up.

"This was a big game for us," said Medeiros, who made nine saves in the win. "This is my first year playing, so coming out with that win feels really great and boosts my confidence so much."

Medeiros had been splitting time in net with junior Kara Beaulieu, but in this game Murphy wanted to stick with the hot hand.

"Julie did a great job in this game," Murphy said. "I talked to the girls before the game and I told them that if we had a goalie that looks hot at the half, then we're going to stick with that, and that's what we did.

"I thought our entire attack did a great job hustling too."

After Pinkerton and Souhegan traded goals to begin the game, the Astros scored five unanswered goals. Sara Angelosanto scored twice and Kellie Cunningham, Kelsey Currier and Nicole Curry all found the back of the net.

Souhegan added three straight goals of its own in the final six minutes to make the score 6-4 at the half.

The second frame was almost a mirror image of the first, as the Astros score three goals to open up the scoring. Sammi Benson and her sister Jacki netted a goal each and Curry scored her second goal of the game to give Pinkerton a 9-4 advantage with just 5:27 left in the game.

After a few minutes passed, Souhegan made its final run of the game, scoring three goals in a 26-second span from the 1:53 mark to the 1:27 mark. But the run wouldn't last any longer thanks to efforts of the Astros' back line and Medeiros, and a fine job of killing the clock by Pinkerton's attack.

"I was a little nervous at the end of the game," Murphy said. "I knew if we gave them enough chances, they (Souhegan) were going to score some goals."

Nevertheless, the Astros didn't not allow enough chances for Souhegan to tie the score, and they came away with their most impressive win of the season so far.

"This could be one of the biggest wins we've had since I've been coaching," Murphy said

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