After posting a sub-par record of 2-3 in its first five matches of the 2015 campaign, the Londonderry High boys’ lacrosse squad bested a pair of opponents last week – including the rival Pinkerton Academy Astros – in getting over the .500 mark.
The Lancers ended their two-game losing skid and the Exeter High Blue Hawks’ three-game winning streak by besting that opponent by a 10-3 tally Tuesday, April 28.
The victory evened Londonderry’s season record at 3-3 and made the Blue Hawks 5-3 on the campaign.
Senior midfielder John Derhak and junior attack Dave Wiedenfeld each potted three goals for the victors, and senior attack Devin Brunet contributed two tallies to the successful LHS effort.
Lancers’ senior goalie Chris Rowan made 10 saves his contribution to the lopsided win, and senior long stick midfielder Scott Beedham picked up five ground balls.
And while that victory was pleasing for the Lancers, it suffered in comparison to the LHS crew’s intense and emotional 11-9 edging of the rival Pinkerton Astros at Londonderry High Saturday, May 2.
The hosts entered that battle aiming to gain some revenge for the disappointing 12-6 loss they were dealt by the academy bunch the previous Saturday, April 25.
In the rematch, the rival squads battled it out in a contest worthy of the lengthy and intense rivalry between teams from Pinkerton and LHS, with the host Lancers claiming the hard-fought win late.
The hosts showed their intentions of winning over their rival as soon as the contest began, with LHS potting the first three goals of the match during the opening seven minutes of play.
Those scores were collected by Lewis Carroll, Brunet, and Wiedenfeld.
Pinkerton trimmed that lead down to a single goal with consecutive goals in a span of less than a minute, but the Lancers went up 4-2 on a John Derhak tally with just 3.3 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Each side got two goals during the second quarter, and the LHS crew stepped into halftime carrying a 6-4 advantage. The hosts’ two second-period scores came from Shayne Holland and Derhak.
The Astros came flying out of the halftime break looking as if they had every intention of taking over this match. They netted three consecutive goals in the first two minutes of the third period in grabbing a 7-6 lead.
Londonderry evened it at 7-7 with 7:53 to go in the period on a goal by Sean Snyder, but the Astros regained the upper hand 33 seconds later.
The Lancers responded with the tying tally with 2:19 to go in the third on Derhak’s third marker of the day. They regained the upper hand at 9-8 on a score by Wiedenfeld with just 8.5 seconds showing on the clock.
Only three goals were netted in the intense fourth quarter, with Pinkerton tying the score at 9-9 two minutes in, but Londonderry potting the winning goal with 6:27 to go on a shot by Wiedenfeld and an insurance marker on an open-net goal by Carroll with just two minutes left to snare the 11-9 victory.
Derhak finished with four points on three goals and an assist, Wiedenfeld notched four points on two goals and two assists, Carroll and Snyder were each good for two goals and a helper, and Holland and Brunet each bagged their single tallies.
Also vital to the Lancers’ success were goalie Rowan’s eight big saves.
“We’re in the middle of a tough, murderous row on our schedule, and beating a tough opponent like Pinkerton will give us the push we need to go on strong,” said coach Sean LeBlanc.
Things then got even tougher for the Lancers Monday, May 4, when they played host to the 7-0 Souhegan High Sabers of Amherst.
Their opponent showed why they are undefeated, as they handed the Lancers an 11-6 loss to move to 8-0 in tough Division I while Londonderry slipped back to the .500 mark at 4-4.