EXETER, N.H. – The Derryfield Academy Cougars clinched their fourth straight NHIAA Division II Boys’ Lacrosse Championship on Saturday, defeating Winnacunnet, 9-1.
Neither team managed make their way onto the scoreboard in the first quarter, with Derryfield senior John Anderson breaking the deadlock with 7:15 in the half. Anderson’s goal kicked off a string of Cougar goals over the next five minutes, giving Derryfield a 4-0 advantage at the half and a huge boost after both teams struggled to establish an early threshold.
“We felt really good coming out of the first quarter. Obviously, we would have liked to hit some of (the opportunities) we saw. The looks that we had drawn up during practice were there and we knew if we kept on playing defense, they’d fall and they did,” said Derryfield head coach Chris Hettler. “Once we got some momentum going, it was fun to see the guys execute the way that they did.”
Once the stalemate lifted, Derryfield’s domination became permanent, as senior Jon MacLean added another two goals in the third quarter to go along with his first period goal, followed by another three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter.
The only thing separating Derryfield from becoming the first team in NHIAA Boys’ Lacrosse Championship Game history to shutout their opponent was a score from Winnacunnet senior Tyler Hoar with 3:17 left in regulation.
“Absolutely incredible performance by (goaltender) Avry (Truex) and the defense. It’s a group that’s been together for a long time,” said Hettler. “We had a good game plan coming in, but to think they could have executed that well, I don’t think I could have dreamed of that coming in.”
Saturday’s outcome differed from the tight 9-8 victory Derryfield grasped against Winnacunnet in April, but it was nothing new to a Cougar squad that dominated most of their opponents this season.
Only their 8-7 loss to Exeter on May 17 prevented Derryfield’s seniors from graduating without a single loss during their four years at the school.
Along with MacLean’s three goals and Anderson’s early goal, Derryfield got goals from sophomore Chas Dean, senior Max Horton, junior Gunnar Senatore and junior Henry Howe.
Video of the Cougars’ award ceremony can be found on Manchester Ink Link’s Facebook page.