By Chad Garner
TOWNSEND — It certainly was a fight to the finish at Sterilite Field Tuesday evening.
But, in the end, the Tyngsboro girls’ lacrosse team delivered down the stretch to knock off North Middlesex Regional, 11-9, in a highly-contested Mid-Wach B battle.
“It was all about defense at the end,” Tyngsboro coach Carrie Casey said. “They have some strong players, and we knew to focus on those three particular players, and that’s what helped us in the end there.”
The evening belonged to senior attack Jackie Richardson, who scored five goals to pace the Tigers’ attack.
“She was definitely one of their key shooters that got us, I guess,” said North Middlesex assistant coach Ally Watkins, filling in for head coach Margaret Desilets who just had a daughter Brianna on April 25 but was at the game and coaching at times from the sideline in the second half. “She definitely is a great player.”
The lead traded hands five times in the game, but the Tigers (5-5, 2-4) stepped up in crunch time to get back to .500.
“It was a great game, back and forth,” Watkins said. “A couple more possessions would have really helped us out.”
After McKenzie Kelly tied the game 8-all for the Patriots with 13:18 left, Tyngsboro cranked up its defensive intensity, while also striking for goals from Kyle O’Hare, Richardson and Ashley Leal to claim a huge league victory.
This is a huge win,” Casey said. “They deserve the win.”
Kimmie Zuccaro weaved through the Tyngsboro defense and went top shelf to beat goalie Brianna Day-Lewis, giving the Pats a 6-5 lead.
But Richardson potted her fourth of the game and Jenny Koehane cashed in on a free shot to put the visitors up 7-6.
North Middlesex’s (8-4, 4-2) Danielle Kozloski netted her hat trick for the 7-7 tie, but Hailey Casey allowed the Tigers to regain the lead at 8-7.
Great defense by both teams — especially goalies Day-Lewis and NM’s Kaitlin Babineau — was on display in the first half.
“We had some big saves from our goalie,” Watkins said. “Our goalie saves our butt half the time.”
North Middlesex led 2-1, as Madison Ozog fed Kozloski for her first of the game, and then Sam Donohoe made a great pass over the defense to set up Kozloski. Ozog’s second tally put North Middlesex up 4-2 before the Tigers’ Jenna Durkin and Richardson countered to deadlock the game at the half.
“Today we are proud of (Richardson) because she doesn’t like to go left, but teams have picked up on that and they were forcing her left and she scored with her left most of the game today,” coach Casey said. Ozog and Kozloski each had hat tricks, while Zuccaro had two goals for the Pats.
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