Pair of wins for Sabers lacrosse

AMHERST – Led by a hat trick from sophomore Brendan Cray, the Souhegan boys lacrosse team defeated Hanover 9-6 yesterday afternoon.

Cray led a balanced Saber attack that saw four players score and two more add assists. Joe Nutting had a pair of goals and a pair of assists for the Sabers.

“It’s a great team,” Nutting said. “We all work hard in the offseason; we all love being around each other. No one’s selfish on this team. It’s all about working the ball around and sharing the wealth. If we get the win who cares who scores.”

Hanover led 2-0 after the first quarter, but Souhegan’s steady play in the trenches opened up the door to its offense.

The Sabers dominated ground balls 37-22. Souhegan outshot Hanover 40-28.

Jack Rives won 14 of the game’s 17 faceoffs which allowed Souhegan to dominate possession. Rivess did double duty, putting in yeoman’s work as a long-stick midfielder. He also led the team in ground balls.

“He’s a good faceoff guy with the (short stick), and if they get the ball back he pops out with the pole and does a great job as LSM as well,” Souhegan coach Brad Bishop said. “I think ground balls has nothing to do with coaching at all. It’s just the kids putting in the effort to get one or two guys in that ball and come out on top of it.”

Tied at three at halftime the Sabers put the pedal down. Four goals in less than five minutes midway through the third quarter broke open a 7-4 lead for the Sabers. Nutting’s first goal of the game started the run. Cray capped off his hat trick 22 seconds later. Mitch Hale scored the second of his two goals to cap it all off.

“The whole attack have the green light to shoot whenever they can, including most of our midfield,” Bishop said. “We just load them up and let them go to town. A lot of our stuff comes off ball because we move and work well off ball.”

When Hanover was on the offensive Nick King stepped up to the moment. The senior captain turned aside 10 Marauder shots to keep Hanover at bay. The Saber defense pushed out and kept Andrew Huizinga and the Marauder offense at bay for long stretches.

“He was on point today,” Bishop said. “Made some huge saves. He was all over the field; it was great.

“We were really focusing on packing in and getting inside-out so that way we know our D slides in there and were able to bump out. It’s been paying off during practices.”He was on point today. Made some huge saves. He was all over the field; it was great.”