By Tim Lima
---- — WEST NEWBURY — A stout first half defensively provided opportunity for second half offense as Pentucket lacrosse outlasted Georgetown, 10-7.
Just two days before a highly anticipated rematch against rival Triton, Pentucket (10-4) focused solely on what is always a battle against Georgetown (4-10).
“We have had a couple tough games in the past week and my message to the guys is that we are continuing to get better regardless of what the outcomes of the games are,” said Pentucket head coach Dan Leary. “We have had a couple of tough losses recently but we have worked hard in practice and I am proud of the way they responded today, especially after being tied at half time.”
Defense reigned supreme in the game’s first two quarters and each team struggled to find scoring opportunities, leaving both the Sachems and Royals knotted at just three goals a piece.
“Georgetown always has one of the best defenses,” Leary said. “They run a great zone and find ways of giving pressure while in that zone, which is a unique way of playing. A lot of teams just pack it in, but they find ways to pressure and do a great job. They play every team close; if you look at their record against winning teams it’s always low scoring and competitive, so we knew coming in what we were getting into.”
In seven of 13 games this season, the Royals have held opponents to fewer than seven goals.
If time of possession dictated outcomes, the Sachems would have won decidedly. The Sachems controlled the ball for, at times, several minutes at a time while Georgetown picked opportunities to strike with pressure or cause turnovers.
“I think we like to settle in defensively,” said Georgetown head coach Andrew Boepple. “We obviously don’t want to give them too long of a possession but once we get settled and we are communicating, not running around, we’re fine. It just comes down to communicating, being in the right position and just having our slides ready to go.”
It’s a style of defense that the Royals are comfortable playing, and one which Pentucket transitioned to avoid as the game progressed. By turning up the intensity offensively and scoring early into possessions, the Sachems were able to regularly catch Georgetown off guard.
“We turned it on in the second half and started doing some things we talked about,” Leary said. “We knew it would be a grind-it-out game which would be our offense against their defense.”
The change led to seven Pentucket goals, while strong goaltending and effort restricted the Royals to just four.
“It feels good to have the feeling of having a save and watching your team get the ball down to the other end of the field,” said Pentucket goalie Ben Smith. “There’s nothing like knowing that you stopped a team from scoring.”
Smith would finish the game with 9 saves on 16 shots.
On the offensive end, Pentucket attack Sam Colombo had a monster game for the Sachems, scoring five goals on eight shots while adding an assist. Brendan Sullivan also had a good game, scoring twice on two shots. Nick Arcadipane and Connor Beaton were also involved on the goal scoring, each scoring once.
For Georgetown, Nick Depasquale tallied three of the Royals’ seven goals, while assisting on another. Jared Warren also scored for the Royals.
Pentucket will now look toward its game at Triton tomorrow night at 7 p.m. The two teams battled this past Friday, a game in which the Vikings took control late.
“I don’t even have a word to describe how good that would feel to beat them,” Smith said. “Just the rivalry against them and knowing that we should have beaten them in the first place would make beating them tomorrow that much sweeter.