Tue, May 27, 2008
05:30 PM @
North Division 2 - Round 2
Battle-tested Pentucket upsets Bishop Fenwick
Wednesday, May, 28
By Evan Mugford
The Pentucket girls lacrosse team isn't the type of group to fold mentally before the first minute even ticks off the clock in a state tournament game.
Even as a lower seeded team yesterday, the No. 14 seed Sachems avoided thoughts of doubt and hesitation in eliminating No. 3 Bishop Fenwick Crusaders (15-3) in the opening round of the EMass. Division 2 North Tournament. After registering a 19-14 victory, Pentucket will play No. 6 Georgetown in the quarterfinal.
Sarah Galligan (7 goals, 3 assists) and Breanna Yocum (7 goals, 1 assist) each had seven goals for Pentucket (11-8).
Pentucket trailed early, though, as an intense Crusader offense racked up a 4-1 lead.
The Sachems pressed on defense to temporarily slow the game to a more comfortable pace. Though the Sachems were having a hard time catching one another's passes, momentum appeared to be turning.
After two consecutive stops on defense, Pentucket nailed its second goal of the game at the 13:51 mark when Galligan busted loose. And though Fenwick answered back immediately, the Sachems rallied off three straight goals to cut the lead to 5-4, thanks to nice plays by Galligan, Kayla Jewett (1 goal, 3 assists), a hustling Zoe McKenzie (2 assists), and Sarah Evers (2 goals, 3 assists).
Pentucket appeared to be finding its stride as the goals became more frequent, passes were caught, and the Sachems were doing a better job of containing Crusader junior Bridget Dullea (9 goals).
As the second half slowly drew into Pentucket's favor, Yocum decided to dial up her play when it mattered most. Yocum, along with Galligan, netted seven of the Sachems' nine first-half scores en route to a 9-8 lead.
After the Crusaders scored the first two goals of the second half, the Sachems reclaimed the momentum with sound defense and transition passing. It appeared that the one-woman show of Dullea wasn't going to be enough.
At 22:57, Galligan found Yocum. At 21:53, Jewett found Galligan. And at 20:17, Jewett found Evers. The second half turned into a clinic for the patient and precise Sachems, and once the all-seeing Evers found K.C. Jones (2 goals, 1 assist) for Pentucket's last goal, it was a matter of running out the clock.
Autumn Gadd, Calley Yocum (2 assists), Kayla Melville, Julie Fallavollita, Alex Kowalowski and Hillary Dandurant preserved the lead on defense. Dandurant made 13 saves in net.
After completing the biggest upset in their respective bracket, Yocum and Galligan were both very content with the outcome.
"It feels good," beamed Yocum. "We had a shaky end to the season, but we played as a team and pulled out a great win."
"We've always been a second-half team," explained Galligan. "Once we shake off the rust and become more comfortable with our opponent's style and even with ourselves in the new setting, we tend to pick it up and play the way we're supposed to."
Playing against tough Cape Ann League squads has helped the Sachems in the long run, explained Yocum.
"Competing against such tough teams every week has made us stronger, and it's taught us how to be a better team," said Yocum. "We've progressed a lot this season."
"We're definitely going to bring even more intensity to our next match-up," said Galligan. "No matter who we face, we can play up to their level. As long as we play our game, we'll be fine."
Though the Crusaders were ranked high, Sachems coach Bob Pierce was confident.
"Fenwick played better than I thought they were going to," explained Pierce. "But 15-2 in their league is not the same as 15-2 in the Cape Ann League.
"We have a bunch of weapons and we're built like a tournament team," said Pierce. "But overall, we were 10-8 and we just beat a team that was 15-2. It feels good no matter what way you look at it."