LONDONDERRY — Two evenly matched teams combined for one heck of a match.
Hanover and host Londonderry entered Monday’s Division I boys’ lacrosse match with identical records and the contest went down to the wire with the Lancers edging the Marauders, 8-7.
“Hanover and us ... it seems like every year we see them in the playoffs,” said Londonderry head coach Joe McCune. “It wouldn’t surprise us to see them again and it’s not always the team that won last time that has the upper hand. It’s always a close match.”
Hanover (7-5) had a chance to tie the game late. Marauder Teddy Geraghty scored with 45 seconds remaining to make it 8-7 and Hanover got the ball back.
But Brendan Forauer’s shot from the left side was stopped by Lancers goalie Erik Kenison with 20 seconds remaining and Londonderry (8-5) held on to win.
“I knew it would be close,” said Hanover head coach Jeff Reed. “You look at the comparative scores and we’re very even teams.”
Londonderry trailed 5-4 at halftime, but slowed the game down in the third period and scored the only two goals in that frame. Shayne Holland and Nick Yennaco got the tallies to put the Lancers on top 6-5 after three.
“We told our guys we had to ramp it up, we had to go faster and shoot better and they responded,” McCune said. “We were hollering at them from the sideline ‘go fast, go fast, go fast’ and they finally heard it and that’s when things started working better for us.”
Yennaco scored in the first minute of the fourth to give Londonderry a 7-5 lead. Forauer scored for Hanover with 9:40 remaining, but Max Hastings scored less than a minute later to give the Lancers the insurance they needed.
“We played pretty well except for the third quarter,” Reed said. “They took it to us in the third quarter and we just turned the ball over way too much to win the game.”
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Hanover led 1-0 on an Andrew Huizenga goal, but Lancer strikes from David Wiedenfeld, Eric Coburn and Yennaco put Londonderry up 3-1. Forauer scored to cut the lead to 3-2 after one period.
The Marauders came back to take a 5-3 lead on second-period goals from Jin Kim, Huizenga and Jude Arbogast. Sam Hastings scored for Londonderry to stop the string and leave the score 5-4 at intermission.