Tough outing

There are lots of reasons to take a timeout.

The Bedford High School girls lacrosse team needed one Monday just to have a talk.

The Bulldogs were down a player in the second half against Merrimack, and the Tomahawks had already scored once to cut the lead down to three. Bedford coach Christine Hodgdon took a timeout to remind her players what they were supposed to be doing in that situation.

“We just needed to talk a little and get organized, because we were a man-down,” she said. “We didn’t want to give up easy goals off that.”

The timeout worked, as Bedford’s defense shut down Merrimack the rest of the way while going on a 6-0 run to win 16-7 in a Division II game at Bedford Stadium.

Drew Shapiro led the Bulldogs (7-1) with six goals and an assist while Kelsey Linehan had four goals and MaKayla Sterling adde two goals and two assists. Kennedy Boyle also had two goals and Sawyer Biron had two assists while Ashley Maddox made seven saves.

Merrimack (3-4) got four goals from Dana Mendes and one each from Courtney Duffy, Tori Currie and Jenny Mulligan. Lauren Goodspeed made an emergency start in goal and played well despite the outcome.

The Tomahawks trailed 7-1 through the first 15 minutes of the game, falling behind thanks to some inconsistent play. But Merrimack was able to cut the lead to four, 8-4, going into halftime, and carried that over into the second half, trailing 10-7 with 17:53 to play.

“We made fewer turnovers and we won some draws,” Merrimack coach Paul Drone said. “Those were the things we weren’t doing in the first half. We’d gain possession, turn it over, and they’d drive down and we’d be unsettled.

“When we clean up our mistakes and play consistent, we can put the ball in the net and play solid defense. It’s when we throw the ball away and have the unforced turnovers, it comes back to haunt us.”

Currie’s goal made it a 10-7 game and came 32 seconds after Biron was assessed a yellow card. Hodgdon called that timeout after the goal, and the Bulldogs came charging back with a couple of shots that Goodspeed was able to stop.

Janelle Makmann received a yellow card with 14:15 to play to put Bedford down a player again, but this time, it was the Bulldogs who scored to make it 11-7. After killing off the man-advantage, Bedford scored three goals in three minutes to go up 14-7 and retake momentum.

“We prepared well for them, and as we get closer to the meat of our season, we’re going to have to be more mentally focused on the personnel our opponents will have,” Hodgdon said. “We did that (Monday), knowing what their threats were. We did a good job with that.”