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16 - May 27, 2011 by Marc Ayotte Sometimes, team records are not indicative of

how a team is actually playing. Such was the case with the Pelham boys’ lacrosse team entering their Senior Night contest against Gilford High School on Monday, May 23. The Pythons entered the game with an 8-3 record, but have been playing so much better than the wins and losses reveal. After a close first period that saw the two teams tied at one apiece, the Pythons’ offense rocketed to perfection, forcing the visiting Golden Eagles to crash-land and resulting in a 13-2 Senior Night slashing. With the thumping of Gilford, the Pythons are securely perched in sixth place in the NHIAA Division III lacrosse standings. Python goalie Jon Dostie set the tone early for

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Pelham Shoots Down Golden Eagles on Lacrosse Senior Night

the Pythons, as the senior goalie shined on ‘his’ day. Dostie came up big with four solid saves in the game’s first four minutes of action. Despite his strong performance, the visiting Golden Eagles grabbed the

The adrenaline and enthusiasm of senior night then kicked in for the Pythons. Just 13 seconds into the second stanza, Korey ‘K-Lube’ Lubinger gave the ‘homies’ a 2-1 lead. A minute and 12 seconds later, Ryan White upped the PHS lead to 3-1. Then, with 2:34 left in the half, Nick Morin, on a great individual move, increased the Python lead to three goals at 4-1. Just seven seconds later, Korey Lubinger, as he did so many times in a Wolfpack uniform, supplemented his hockey linemate’s efforts with his second goal of the afternoon, giving Pelham a 5-1 halftime lead. Nick Morin started things off for Pelham in the second half when he completed his hat trick, giving Pelham a 6-1 lead. As the Pythons upped their lead to seven at 8-1, an amusing bellow echoed from one of the Gilford faithful. With the Pythons in constant possession of the little white sphere, frustration had set in for this one Golden Eagle fan: “Shoot the ball, guys!” he implored the Gilford players. “You haven’t had a shot in a period and a half.” Shortly after, the Golden Eagles called a timeout and with 1:26 left in the quarter, Gilford obliged by scoring and cutting their deficit to six. But that’s all the ink that would be used in the scoring column for the visitors. The Pythons, over the ensuing 14 minutes of play, piled on five more goals as they soared to the double-digit win. The Pythons were led once again by the scoring proficiency of attack Nick Morin, who lit up the Gilford goalie for four goals. Korey Lubinger, Keston Beauregard, Ryan White, and Tyler Racca each scored twice in the Python victory. Senior Rich Sullivan scored once while picking up three helpers. Derek DeFranzo and Kevin DeAngelo rounded out the Pelham scoring with a goal each. The Python seniors deserving special recognition are: Ryan White, Evan Skinner, Jamie Favreau, Joe Perrone, Peter Soonthornprapuet, Mike Chadwick, Tyler Racca, Jon Dostie, and three-sport/four-year starter Rich Sullivan.

Derek DeFranzo (#2) and Nick ‘Scorin’ Morin (#8) celebrate a goal as Pelham ran the score up on visiting Gilford on Senior Night

early lead when attack Andy Upton gave his team the 1-0 lead. At 9:18 of the opening session, Pelham’s Nick Morin slithered one by Gilford’s goalie Norm Harris to tie the score at one, where it would remain, after the first 12 minutes of play.

Earlier in the week, the Pythons regrouped from their second consecutive one-goal defeat—a nail- biting, 6-5 decision at the hands of Derryfield High. The prescription for getting back in the win column was a game against Milford High on May 17. But with five ill players either not playing or seeing limited action for Pelham, coming out with a victory against their one-win and nine- loss opponents was not a certainty. However, a jaw-to-the-ground, feverish, seven-goal outburst by Pelham’s Nick ‘Scorin’ Morin propelled the Pythons to a 12-2 shellacking of the host Spartans. With a highly anticipated and important match-

up against Hollis-Brookline on the horizon, it was understandable how the Pythons may have been a little flat going into action against a team that was residing in the basement of Division III boys’ lacrosse. Nonetheless, Pelham methodically rolled over the Spartans. “We did what we needed to do. We played well for 48 minutes,” commented Coach Matt Regan on his team’s win. In completely controlling the flow of the game, the Python offense was able to give goalie Jon Dostie somewhat of a breather in the cage, as he faced only nine shots on goal. Offensively, besides Nick Morin’s personal highlight reel, Pelham received single goals from five separate players. Jamie Favreau, Ryan White, Keston Beauregard, Peter Soonthornprapuet, and Mike Roscoe each slipped shots past the Milford goalie. Not entering into the scoring column, but certainly playing a big role statistically, was the Pythons’ Kevin DeAngelo. The Pelham face-off go- to-guy was spectacular in winning an incredible 18 of 18 face-offs. The following day, the blue and white of PHS faced the Cavaliers of Hollis-Brookline in a battle of two premiere teams in Division III boys’ lacrosse. The Cavs marched into Pelham owners of an impressive 11-1 record, with their only blemish being against the division’s top team, Kearsarge. Two hours later, they hopped on the bus back to Hollis with one more defeat in hand as the Pythons emerged with an exciting, 7-6 overtime victory.

In a close scoring affair throughout the entire 48 minutes of action, the home team Pythons found themselves with a precarious, 3-2 halftime lead, compliments of Jamie Favreau’s goal with 90 ticks left on the clock. In commenting on Favreau’s clutch goal, Coach Regan noted, “It was as well a placed shot that could have been made in lacrosse.” Prior to Pelham taking a lead into the intermission, goals by Keston Beauregard and Ryan White had given the Pythons an early 2-0 lead. Back-to-back goals by Hollis-Brookline tied the score before Favreau’s goal regained the lead. Third-period goals by Derek DeFranzo and

Keston Beauregard jumped the Python lead to three, at 5-2, before the Cavs scored to cut the deficit to two at the end of three quarters of play. The final stanza saw a visitor assault as the Cavs scored three unanswered goals to take a 6-5 lead.

Pelham senior Tyler Racca (in white) pays the price, but scores against Gilford in action on May 23

Coach Regan was able to settle his team down in the last five minutes of regulation and with a minute and 30 seconds left on the clock, Jamie Favreau once again came through, notching his second goal of the game and tying the score at six. With the clock clicking down and the Pythons in possession of the ball, Coach Regan had some words of praise for Keston Beauregard. “Keston made a really smart decision at the end of the game to maintain possession,” Coach Regan said. The ability to hold on to the ball at the end of regulation allowed the Pythons to begin the extra session with the ball. The Pythons proceeded to move the ball around

effectively in overtime and with 2:50 left, Nick Morin, with a beautiful feed, set up Ryan White for the game winner. “We’ve been practicing it [that play]—the one we didn’t run correctly in the Hopkinton game. We executed it properly in this game,” added Coach Regan. After the game, Python Jamie Favreau commented on the team’s approach to the overtime period and their overall psyche after dropping a double OT game just last week. “Going into OT was definitely a huge test for us. We’ve struggled with taking care of the ball in crucial situations, as shown in the Hopkinton game, but that wasn’t the case in this game. At the end of the fourth quarter, instead of pushing the ball to get a last second goal we held the ball and went into OT. In the huddle before OT, Coach Regan drew up a play and we had to execute.”

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