By Jim Sullivan
---- — The Triton girls lacrosse team left Newburyport more discouraged than it arrived yesterday afternoon.
The Vikings (4-8 overall, 3-4 CAL) met a superior opponent in the Clippers (7-4 overall, 5-2 in the CAL), who took down the visitors 16-4.
“This has been a really, really good season,” said Triton coach Stacey Beaulieu. “And this is, in all honesty, a team I am extremely proud of. Our goal is to be competitive, and we just weren’t competitive today.”
Softening the blow a bit for Beaulieu was the fact that she was facing fellow coach and good friend Catherine Batchelder on the Port side.
The two coaches have known each other for seven years when they both became head coaches, and a deep friendship has developed along the way.
“We met during lacrosse, so lacrosse has always been the center of our friendship,” said Batchelder. “It’s good because we both are competitive. We go hard, we want to beat each other, but we’re friends after the game.”
“There’s a rivalry, but even in high school, some of my best friends played on rival teams,” said Beaulieu. “That’s just the nature of playing in the summer leagues and what not. So you can compete with a good friend of yours. We have a good time together. We have fun talking lacrosse and just talking life, and she’s been an awesome person to bounce stuff off of. Where I was last year and still struggling this year, she’s been there. She’s a good friend that doesn’t let me beat myself up too much.”
As with high school sports, there are up years and down years, and that is something both coaches can share a laugh over.
“We started this together,” Batchelder said. “She had really strong years because she had two Division 1 (college) players in Erin Curley and Sara Nardone, and those were some rebuilding years for us. So we weren’t always competitive, but usually our games (with each other) were competitive. And she usually got the best of us. Now she’s in a rebuilding phase with her program, and we’ve sort of gotten a little bit better in the past few years. We’ve both been there.”
“I have a ton of respect for Catherine as a coach and what she’s done for the Newburyport program,” said Beaulieu. “They have just gotten better and better and better, and obviously we had a slide last year.”
As Beaulieu and her team build to a winning record once again, she knows it’s the important things in life that keep the game in perspective.
“What amazes me is that she does it with a family of three at home, and still gets it done and is committed,” Beaulieu said of Batchelder. “The kids like playing for her, they play hard for her. She’s built a great program and you’ve got to respect that.”
On the field yesterday, the Clippers pulled to a 12-4 advantage in the first half before tacking on four more goals in the second. Julia Kipp led the Clippers in goals with five, Ali Peffer scored three, along with two from Kate McCauley, Livie Couturier and Olivia Kearney, while Kelly Conway and Morgan Timmerman had one apiece.
All four of Triton’s goals were scored by twin sisters Kaitlyn and Megan Muldowney.