Chieftains Start Hot, Survive Tigers’ Rally
BOLTON - About a month ago, the Nashoba Regional boys’ lacrosse team wound its way up to Tyngsboro, where the Chieftains found themselves on the short end of a 7-5 decision.
But fast forward a month to Tuesday, when the two sides locked horns for the second time this season, this time on Route 117.
And with the way the Tigers had pulled away in the last meeting lodged deep in their memories, Nashoba wasn’t about
to let that happen again.
Nashoba jumped out to a six-goal lead at the half, yielding some ground, but hanging on and pulling away in the end as the Chieftains scored an emphatic 10-7 win over Tyngsboro in a critical Mid-Wach B contest Tuesday afternoon.
The win lifts Nashoba to 8-3 overall (5-1 Mid-Wach B), as the Chieftains have now won four straight. They’ll entertain North Middlesex Regional on Thursday afternoon. Tyngsboro fell to 8-2 (4-2).
Nashoba coach Matt Biggs praised the way his team came out like gangbusters in this one - as well as how they remained resilient, even with Tyngsboro charging back.
“After the first time we met in Tyngsboro - I don’t know, something about that field, it gets to us - we had them circled on our schedule,” Biggs said. “In Tyngsboro, we didn’t put four quarters together; we put five minutes together here, five minutes there. So our goal was to put together a first half, and we did.
“But we talked about our track record: We come out hot, and we think we’re OK, and we stepped back a little bit today.”
While Nashoba looked sharp in taking the early lead, equally impressive was Tyngsboro battling back. Sam Vanasse had re-established the six-goal cushion 1:32 into the third quarter, only 49 seconds after the Tigers had opened the second-half scoring courtesy Mitch Anderson.
But the Tigers kept coming, as Tyler Maille popped in the next three goals for Tyngsboro, the first two on consecutive shots 17 seconds apart.
To complete his hat trick and to pull the visitors to within three, Maille had bounced off a defender to the left of Kam Gilchrest and scored over the senior’s shoulders.
Thomas Michaud and Kyle Williams (2 goals) scored on assists by Dillon Hylind in the first 5:21 of the fourth, but Nashoba’s Rory Boots saw to it that Tyngsboro got no closer.
With a little over two and a half minutes remaining in the game, Boots crossed from right to left some 15 yards from the goal and slung it low to give Nashoba a twogoal edge, 9-7.
And with just under two minutes to go, Boots connected with Michael Henderson for the final goal of the game.
Nashoba scored the first two goals courtesy Luke McConnell and Vanasse before Williams got Tyngsboro on the board after sweeping it into the net.
But the Chieftains used five goals over the remainder of the half to take a deserved 7-1 lead.
Aidan Lee charged in after a change of possession at the midway line and tucked it up on the scoring side of the crossbar to give Nashoba a 3-1 lead.
Only 1:55 later, Boots scored the first of his three goals after consecutive ground balls won by the Chieftains. And a minute and a half later, Boots fed Henderson with a cross-box pass, which saw Henderson punctuate the first quarter with a sharp strike down by his knees.
McConnell added his second goal of the game less than two minutes into the second quarter, before Boots charged in and bounced it at a perfect angle to score his second of the day. “Emotionally, he’s big. He’s the kind of player who no matter what his matchup is, he can take it to the net,” Biggs said of Boots’ performance. “But the best part of Rory, he does it as a committee: He’s looking to score, and he’s looking to pass it to a teammate, which is great.”