WEST NEWBURY — Going into halftime, it looked as if the Pentucket boys lacrosse team had found its equal in North Reading. The two teams were neck and neck in the standings, and for about 25 minutes, the two teams looked about as evenly matched on the field as two lacrosse teams could possibly look.
Then the Sachems came out after halftime and completely blew the Hornets away.
Down 3-2 coming out of the break, Pentucket scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter to take control of the game. The Sachems scored three more times in the fourth to help close out the huge 10-4 victory, with North Reading’s final goal coming after the game had long been decided.
“We came out a little slow in the first half, but then in the second half we turned it on,” said junior Connor Beaton, who finished the game with 4 goals. “We were down 3-2 at the half, we only let up one goal in the second half and we just kept rolling. Everyone was fired up the whole game and it was awesome.”
The Sachems (8-2, 5-2 CAL) didn’t waste any time jumping on North Reading (9-5, 5-3 CAL) early in the game. After Jeff Porter won the game’s opening draw cleanly, the junior midfielder rushed down the field and made a beautiful pass to Beaton in front of the net, allowing Beaton to effortlessly put it past North Reading goalie Nick Ponte and give the Sachems a 1-0 lead.
It wouldn’t be so easy after that, however, as the Hornets regrouped on defense to help keep the Sachems from getting any more clean looks. Every shot that did get through inevitably got swallowed up by Ponte, who finished the game with 20 saves, including 12 in the first half.
North Reading tied the game at 1-1 late in the first quarter when Shane Bartlett scored off a feed from Brad Lumb, but the Sachems got the lead again early in the second quarter after a Hornet defenseman dropped the ball about 10 feet in front of his net, hanging Ponte out to dry as Sam Colombo picked up the ball and scored.