GROTON — On Thursday afternoon, the Groton-Dunstable boys lacrosse team hosted the top dog in Central Massachusetts, Algonquin. After 48 minutes, the Tomahawks had remained unbeaten with a 10-5 win, accomplished not with a hammer but with a scalpel.
The visitors were patient offensively, stingy defensively and sound all over the field. Conor Healy cemented the win with a deft finishing touch, scoring six goals with a hard and accurate shot.
“Algonquin does all of the little things right,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Rick Arena. “Healy is a great scorer and he presents a lot of problems. We picked up a lot of penalties and that didn’t help.”
The Crusaders drew first blood, taking a 1-0 lead when Tristan Lynch found the back of the net, but scoring chances were few and far between for Groton-Dunstable over the remainder of the first half as they managed only four shots on goal over the first 24 minutes.
“We didn’t get enough shots on goal in the first half,” said Arena. “We didn’t solve their defense or test the goaltender.”
The Crusaders did have a quality chance to add to the lead, but Algonquin goaltender Matt Hanlon turned away Matt Manning’s bouncing shot from right wing.
The Tomahawks responded with three goals to take a 3-1 lead after one quarter.
Scott Perreault tied the game with a hard, low shot from right wing.
Groton-Dunstable goaltender Mike Kerwin (16 saves) came up with a pair of outstanding stops, including denying a bullet from Mike Wood, and the Crusaders dodged a bullet when a shot rang off the post.
The Tomahawks maintained the offensive pressure and goals by Healy, off a nice set-up pass from Wood, and Davis Kraft sent them to the second period with a two goal lead.
The Crusaders failed to mount any offense in the second period, getting just a single shot on goal. Kerwin came up big, stopping the first four shots he faced, but Zach Murphy-Brown took a pass all alone in front of the net and scored to send the Tomahawks to intermission with a 4-1 advantage.
Healy picked up three goals in the third period as Algonquin extended the lead to 8-3 by outscoring Groton-Dunstable 4-2. Healy scored on a short shot after taking a pass from Wood, ripped a hard shot under the cross bar, before making it 7-2 by netting a low shot after coming from behind the net.
Matt Manning drew the Crusaders to within five late in the third quarter, making a strong cut, taking a pass from Kyle McCullough and scoring from close range, and the Crusaders made it interesting by scoring the first two goals of the fourth quarter to close to within 8-5.
David Sweet made it 8-4 when he netted an 18-yard bouncer, before Manning took a pass in the slot from Hayden Lynch and ripped a low shot inside the left post.
Algonquin turned it on the rest of the way, getting the final six shots on goal, two of them finding the net, both by Healy.