Up and down

AMHERST – Everything was going right for the Souhegan High School boys lacrosse team.

The Sabers controlled possession early, got some bounces, and their shots found the back of the net to give them a 3-0 lead over Bishop Guertin just three minutes into Monday’s Division I game.

Unfortunately for Souhegan, not much went right over the next 30 minutes, as the Cardinals scored 16 unanswered goals and knocked off the Sabers 16-6.

Tom Hurley (assist), Nick Prunier and John Miller each had three goals for Bishop Guertin (14-1) while Connor Donahue had two goals and six assists and Dom St. Laurent added two goals and three assists. Jake Sonberg made eight saves, including a couple early that helped change momentum for the Cardinals.

“It was weird,” Bishop Guertin coach Chris Cameron said. “I knew we’d dominate faceoffs, and we actually won them, (but) we coughed up three possessions right away. To their credit, they were ready to play.”

Joe Nutting put Souhegan (9-5) on the board 1:36 into the game, when Sonberg lost the ball outside of the crease, and the Sabers’ midfielder was able to get enough of the ball to flip it into the open net.

Mack Walker and Blake Brunley also scored to make it 3-0 with 8:56 left in the opening quarter.

“We told them going in it was going to be a roller coaster, lots of highs and lows,” Souhegan coach Brad Bishop. “We started great, but they stared getting faceoffs and groundballs in the middle of the field.

“The groundballs really hurt us between the restraining boxes. That was the big difference, whether it was groundballs off a faceoff or a scrum for the ball. We weren’t getting those 50-50 balls that we need for the win.”

Souhegan also got two goals from Brendan Cray and a goal and an assist from Mitch Hale, while goalie Nick King made 11 saves. Bishop tried to fire up the Sabers’ defense in the second half by switching to Alex Brunley (five saves) but by then it was too late.

“Nick played a great first half and then our defense came out and just crumbled in front of him,” Bishop said. “He had no chances for those.”

The Cardinals tied the game at 3 on a goal by Hurley with 5:04 left in the first, and it looked like the score would stay locked into the second. But Bishop Guertin got a goal with 14.2 seconds left in the quarter to take the lead for good.

A goal by St. Laurent and two more from Hurley made it 7-3 Bishop Guertin less than three minutes into the second.

“We had just one possession after another,” Cameron said. “We got faceoffs, groundballs and we rode hard.”

The start was similar to the Cardinals’ win over Londonderry last Thursday, when they fell behind 3-1 before going on a 10-0 run.

“Very similar to the Londonderry game, so I’ve got to find that answer to get us ready to play,” Cameron said. “If we come out like that against Duxbury (on Wednesday), it’s going to be a different story.”