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NHIAA Girls' Lacrosse: Astros turn tables

DERRY — Pinkerton Academy of Derry turned the tables on Exeter to avenge a loss from eight days prior.

The Astros got up 5-0 early and never looked back in an 18-10 triumph over the visiting Blue Hawks in girls’ Division I lacrosse action Tuesday.

It was the opposite of last Monday’s meeting between the teams where Exeter (10-5) led 6-1 early at home and then held off a late Pinkerton (15-2) surge.

“I challenged the girls to come back from the last time we played,” said Astros head coach Rob Daziel. “They executed what we practiced and I couldn’t be more pleased with their performance. They did a nice job.”

On Tuesday, just as in last week’s meeting, the trailing team made a comeback bid. Behind 9-3 at the half, Exeter came out of the break strong.

Kim Arkell scored for Exeter to make it a 9-4 score 1:15 into the second half and Erin McKenna scored four minutes later for the Blue Hawks to cut the lead to 9-5.

The teams traded a goal each to make it 10-6 before the Astros began to put the game away in the final 10 minutes.

Aleah MacKay scored a pair of goals for Pinkerton and Kennedy Daziel scored with 6:32 remaining to push the Astros’ lead to 13-6. It was back and forth from there with the Astros netting another five goals in the final six minutes to Exeter’s four goals to account for the 18-10 final.

“Exeter kept clawing back. Even up by six I wasn’t confident the game was in the bag yet,” Daziel said. “Early in the second half they came back at us and we let them back in it. I called a timeout and challenged the girls to start playing their game again and they did.”

Brentwood police officer Stephen Arkell’s death in the line of duty two weeks ago has taken a toll on the Exeter squad, which has Arkell’s daughters Kim and Lauren on it.

Exeter head coach Courtney Preneta said the toll that has taken on the team, coupled with a stronger game plan from Pinkerton, led to the change of fortune in the second meeting.

“I think it’s been a long week (between games),” Preneta said. “I think they’re emotionally drained and I think Pinkerton made some adjustments and were a little more ready for us.”

Exeter was led on offense by Kelly Moran with three goals. Goalie Sarah Carley made six saves.

Pinkerton got five goals each from Daziel and MacKay. Netminder Sarah Lambert made seven saves, six of them in the first half to help the Astros build their lead.

“We executed the way we’ve been executing all season (Tuesday),” Rob Daziel said. “We wanted to be playing our best ball and this was one of our best games against a good team.”

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