GOFFSTOWN — Goffstown led 1:01 into play and never looked back, taking a 13-7 decision over visiting Portsmouth in a Division II boys’ lacrosse battle of 9-2 teams.
The Grizzlies improved to 10-2 by playing a slow and deliberate ball control style that allowed them to dictate play.
“That was our plan was to just do what we could and see what kind of defense they were running,” Goffstown coach Josh Lewis said. “We wanted to make sure we got a feel for it and what their players were like. We wanted to set the tempo.”
Goffstown led 5-2 at halftime, but Portsmouth (9-3) began to press in the third quarter, getting a goal from Luke Lacroce 1:41 into the period to make it 5-3.
Jack Carney scored for Goffstown 17 seconds later, but Portsmouth came right back on an Ian MacDonald goal to make it 6-4 with 7:41 remaining in the third.
But the Grizzlies clamped down from there, closing the third with two goals from Carney and another from Connor Bourque to push the lead to 9-4.
The teams traded goals at a fairly even clip in the fourth, which allowed Goffstown to close out the win, 13-7.
“I thought they played really well in the midfield and in transition. Their goalie (Colin Holt) was great,” said Portsmouth coach Chad Vischer of Goffstown. “They did a great job on ball movement. They beat us from beginning to end and they deserved to win.”
The game was tight in the early going as Sam Shearin and Carney gave Goffstown a 2-0 lead before MacDonald got Portsmouth on the board.
Stephen Dubois made it 3-1 Goffstown and Lacroce notched his first to leave the score 3-2 Goffstown after one frame. Shearin scored the only two goals in period two to account for the 5-2 intermission score.
Vischer took the blame for the loss, saying he did not have his team prepared well enough. The Clippers were playing without Spencer Griggs, but Vischer did not use that as an excuse.
“Our starting faceoff guy (Griggs) is sick. But (Goffstown) did a great job. It’s not the flu that beat us. They were ready to go,” Vischer said. “This was an important game. I’m disappointed in the way I prepared the team. I didn’t have these guys ready to go.”