The Londonderry High girls’ lacrosse team’s finish to the 2014 season wasn’t what either former head coach Mike Boyle or the Lady Lancers wanted.
Boyle and the fifth-seeded Lady Lancers weren’t even together when the campaign came to a close Wednesday night, June 4, with a 10-9 loss to the fourth-ranked Exeter High Lady Blue Hawks in Division I quarterfinal-round tournament play at Exeter High.
Boyle stepped down from his coaching post (see related story below) unexpectedly with a few games left in the regular season, with his assistant Meredith Jackes taking the reins.
It was the third meeting of 2014 for the two teams, with the Lady Blue Hawks having snagged a 10-6 win in the contest at LHS in late April and an 8-7 victory at Exeter High in the final regular season matches for both teams, with Jackes in charge.
The tournament game was tight, with eight ties of the score and the host Lady Hawks busting a 9-9 deadlock with just 1:45 left in regulation time before hanging on to preserve that slim advantage.
“We had our opportunities on offense, but we just couldn’t finish,” said Jackes. “But I was proud of the way we played. Like I told the girls, they left everything out on the field.”
Graduating senior Alexa Bedell, who is moving on to Southern New Hampshire University, where the girls’ semifinal tourney contests were subsequently played, potted five of her team’s goals but said the team that played best in the quarterfinal game got the desired outcome.
“We fought hard today, but I thought (Exeter) deserved to win,” she said.
The Lady Lancers netted the game’s first goal on a Bedell shot – set up by Sarah Bell – less than two minutes after the opening faceoff.
Exeter scored the next two goals, with Londonderry answering on a Breda Holland tally with 19:45 left in the first half, which made it a 2-2 contest.
And by the time halftime rolled around, the score was knotted up tight at 6-6, with Londonderry grasping an 8-7 advantage in shots on net.
In half number two, the score was tied at 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9, before Exeter went up 10-9 with 1:45 showing on the game clock. The Lady Lancers got the ball into the possession of junior standout Noelle Lambert on their subsequent possession as they sought the tying tally, but a strong Exeter defensive play wrenched the ball away from Lambert, and the Lady Hawks were able to kill off the remaining time.
Along with Bedell’s five goals, Lambert scored once and dealt out five assists, Hannah Kearney, Chelsea Lewis and Breda Holland each tallied once, and Bell and Gabbi Morris were each good for one assist. Londonderry goalie Emily Holtshouser finished up with five saves.