SOUTHBORO -- Groton-Dunstable came off a successful preseason trip to Cape Cod. The Crusaders ran into a rugged Algonquin Regional team that appeared to be in midseason form Tuesday afternoon at 911 Memorial Field in Southboro.
The Crusader defense allowed seven goals to sneak past junior goalkeeper PJ Kendall in the first quarter, and the Tomahawks held on to defeat Groton-Dunstable,15-5, in the season-opener for both teams.
"Algonquin had a great face-off guy," Groton-Dunstable head coach Rick Arena said.
"We really had no answer offensively for them. We cannot spot a good team like Algonquin that many goals in the first quarter and expect to climb out of that hole."
The Tomahawks' fast break attack was relentless on the Groton-Dunstable defense. Algonquin's Mike Wood and Ryan King collectively scored four goals in the opening seven minutes of the game. Groton-Dunstable etched its first goal of the 2014 season with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter. Austin Hourani corralled a pass from behind the cage by Quentin Forbes and wrapped it under the stick of Algonquin goalie Colton King to bring the Crusaders within four, 5-1.Mike Martens potted two quick goals late in the quarter to extend Algonquin's lead to 7-1. Groton-Dunstable senior Tristan Lynch connected on an outlet pass by Forbes with 45 seconds left in the quarter.
Lynch rolled against the pressure of an Algonquin defender and connected on an overhand smash that snuck between the legs of Colton King to make it 7-2 after one.
"No matter what the score is you like to see good lacrosse plays and that was a good one," Arena said of Lynch's goal. "We had some nice lacrosse plays in the second half."
Groton-Dunstable picked up two more goals in the second quarter from Hourani and Zach Cotoni.
Wood hammered home three-of-the-four Alongquin second quarter goals to put the Tomahawks up 11-4 lead at halftime.
It was a tale of two halves for Groton-Dunstable as its attack looked more fluid at the start of the third quarter.
Even though the Crusaders did not put away a goal in the third, they certainly had their chances. Cotoni tried to sneak one under the stick of Colton King, but King stymied the quality Crusader chance.
The Groton-Dunstable defense held strong in the second half allowing just four goals.
Groton-Dunstable's Jack O'Neil scored a late consolation goal with 53 seconds remaining.
Kendall finished the game with 7 saves for Groton-Dunstable, while his counterpart, Colton King, finished with 13 saves. Mike Wood led all scorers with a game-high five goals.
"We had a tough time defensively containing Wood," the coach said. "Wood was phenemonal -- we had no answer for him. We got a lot of good looks, but their goalie made some good saves.
Once we started to shoot low on him, we were able to get some by and make him work a little bit. We peppered him (Algonquin's keeper) He took what we threw at him." Groton-Dunstable returns to action today at 4 p.m., when it travels to Bedford.