By Jim Sullivan
---- — Standing one win away from making the state tournament, the Pentucket boys lacrosse team (9-5) hosted Hamilton-Wenham yesterday and will have to wait until the next game to punch its ticket. The Generals struck early and often, leaving the Sachems wanting, 11-5.
“Today was a bit disappointing for us,” said Sachems second-year coach Dan Leary. “We didn’t come out as strong as we wanted to. These Hamilton-Wenham type teams are the kind of teams that we are trying to get to their level. We’re still not there to play four quarters to compete with these type of teams that are at the top of their league.”
Having already qualified for the postseason, the Hamilton-Wenham (10-6) offense showed up well-oiled while Pentucket’s was sluggish, only scoring once in the first half courtesy of senior co-captain Calvin Wiles. The Generals picked up seven goals in the same half with three coming from Eddy Frick, whose teammates Griffin Webber, Cam Macri, Parker Strong and Matt Curran each scored single goals to give Hamilton the 7-1 lead going into the half.
Pentucket struck first just three minutes into the second half when Cody Rothwell dumped it in past General goalie Grant Thompson’s right side to give the Sachems a five-point deficit which was pushed back to six when Frick scored off of Sachems goalie Brett Connolly.
The Generals tacked on another goal six minutes later when Macri lined up dead center on Connolly and fired away.
Connor Beaton scored the Sachems fourth goal of the day next and Wiles followed suit with his second goal a minute and a half later to draw Pentucket within four, but General JD Asquith poured cold water on Pentucket’s hopes followed by another goal from Macri to end the day.
But the fact that Pentucket seems almost assured to make the post season for 2013 after having recorded not a single victory last year is something these Sachems can be excited about.
“For us, it all starts with the kids that we have,” said Leary. “We had a lot of kids coming back (from last year), we only lost a handful of guys. And the guys who came back came back with the attitude that they wanted to get better. They are not just out here to play a spring sport, they are out here to compete and to win.”
Leary says he is happy his team is comprised of plenty of lacrosse-first guys, but he also values the three-sport athletes that come out to play as well. One of those three sport athletes is Wiles, who also plays football and basketball but considers himself a lacrosse-first guy and will be playing lacrosse at Union College next year.
“I think we’ve just been playing a little bit harder, coming out to win.” Wiles said. “Last year, we just really weren’t into it.”