Sabers hold off Astros

AMHERST – The Souhegan High School girls lacrosse team knew that Pinkerton Academy was going to try to take away someone in the Sabers’ offense during Thursday’s game.

But who would it be?

The Sabers spent their first few possessions figuring it out, and once they did, they were able to build a big enough lead to withstand a late comeback by the Astros for a 14-13 win in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The win gives Souhegan (16-2), winners of 14 games in a row, the No. 1 seed going into next week’s Division I tournament. Pinkerton, which defeated the Sabers in last year’s title game, slips to the No. 2 slot.

With Pinkerton (15-3) keying on Madison Learned and Mickenzie Larivee, it was Jocelyn Donohue who stepped up for Souhegan. Donohue led the way with six goals, including the last two for the Sabers, the first of which broke a 12-12 tie, and what proved to be the game-winner with 4:39 left to play.

“We knew that Pinkerton was probably going to focus on Madison Learned and Mickenzie Larivee, so we had a Plan B and a Plan C and a Plan D,” Souhegan coach Maren Petropulos said. “We needed other kids to step up and Jocelyn Donohue stepped up in a huge way.”

Larivee finished five goals and three assists, while Jesse Jay had two goals and two assists and Learned added a goal and two helpers. Meaghan Allard made seven saves, including two in the final four minutes that helped preserve the lead.

The Astros six goals from Kennedy Daziel and Maggie McCarthy added three goals, including one with 27.8 seconds left that made it a one-goal game. Pinkerton took a timeout after the goal, but Souhegan was able to win the draw and worked about eight seconds off before Daziel was assessed a yellow card.

The Sabers killed more clock before turning the ball over, but by then, Pinkerton had the ball near midfield with just 1.5 seconds to play. Time ran out before the Astros could get an opportunity to shoot.

“They played well and it was a good game,” Pinkerton coach Rob Daziel said.“It was a good game and we kept it close. It’ll be anybody’s game next time.”