AMHERST — The Exeter High School boys lacrosse team’s senior midfielders showcased the chemistry they have built over years of playing together in the Blue Hawks’ 16-2 Division I victory over Souhegan on Tuesday.
Senior midfielder Hayden Lechner led Exeter (3-0) in scoring with four goals alongside two assists. His classmates in the midfield, Connor Holly and Spencer Clark, each had a hat trick, and Jackson Hale scored twice. Clark also contributed two assists. Bryce Sturtevant, another senior midfielder, went 15-for-19 on faceoffs and had an assist.
“They’ve been playing with each other since sixth or seventh grade and they all pull for each other, they all want each other to succeed, they challenge each other in practice,” said Blue Hawks coach Gerry Holly, who is Connor’s dad.
Hale is committed to Franklin Pierce University, Connor Holly will play at Clarkson next year and Clark is a Bryant commit.
Gerry Holly said his team is fortunate to have a strong midfield group among its seniors and sophomores.
“We’ve still got to be able to improve, we’ve still got to be able to get better, making sure that we’re challenging ourselves and doing everything we can to keep playing faster but we are pretty lucky to have a lot of depth there,” Gerry Holly said.
Exeter led the Sabers, 5-0, after the opening 12 minutes, 11-1 at halftime and 16-1 entering the final quarter.
Souhegan coach Keith Bertrand said the Blue Hawks have athletes who are big, strong, fast, aggressive and communicate well.
“They’ll play you the second you step on the field and they’ll get on your hands and they make it hard for guys to move the ball,” Bertrand said. “If you’re not ready for that speed, if you’re not ready for that aggressiveness, obviously it disrupts your timing and that’s what they’re very good at. They’re well coached.”
Senior attackmen Gavin Kostandin, Will Barry and sophomore midfielder Gabe Albert each scored once for the Blue Hawks. Freshman Ethan Bernich and sophomore Ryan Tatman, who each played a half in goal for Exeter, made a combined four saves.
Souhegan (1-2) received a goal each from Alex Karpawich and Anthony Garrant and nine saves from Nathan Fritz. Zachary Barlett won four faceoffs for the Sabers.
“I thought our defense stepped up,” Gerry Holly said. “Offensively, we started a little bit slow but I think us having a little bit more depth helped us out and we were able to just keep it rolling.”