Saint John’s lacrosse notches win over Algonquin

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Saint John’s lacrosse notches win over Algonquin
Saint John’s lacrosse team member Max Laursen runs into an Algonquin defender. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Saint John’s Pioneers lacrosse team entered Thursday’s game against Algonquin Regional High School with four straight losses.

When Saint John’s trailed Algonquin midway through Thursday night’s game, the team could have easily called it quits. Instead, the Pioneers rallied, played with confidence and walked away with a hard-earned 8-5 win over the Titans that set the team in the right direction.

“The kids stepped up offensively. They stepped up defensively, and we did what we had to do,” Saint John’s Head Coach Justin O’Leary told the Community Advocate after the game. “We battled back.”

While Saint John’s scored the first two goals of the night, the Pioneers quickly found themselves behind 5-3 to Algonquin at halftime; the Titans’ fifth goal came with just 1.9 seconds remaining before intermission. After halftime, however, the Algonquin scoring stopped, and Saint John’s shut the Titans out 5-0 in the second half. 

“[The team is] resilient. They could’ve packed it in. Like any sport, the momentum swings, and it swung our way. We made the adjustments we needed to make. We did the little things we needed to do. The kids listened, and they kept fighting… They never quit, and that’s what I love about them. They play hard until the end,” O’Leary said.

The Pioneers, down two starters heading into the game, were led by Matt Lemay, who scored four goals. Saint John’s also had contributions from Owen Naber (1 goal), Cole Citro (1 goal), Max Laursen (1 goal) and Ryan Mikule (1 goal). Jacob Beaulac registered two assists, and goalie Aaron Ricketts accounted for 18 total saves.

“I think the win really helps us. It’s been a long stretch. We play in the Catholic Conference, and every game on our schedule, we’re playing the best. Some days we’re the best, and some days we’re not. It really helps us because we’ve dropped so many close ones to come back and win it like this. It says a lot about their resiliency,” said O’Leary.

Ranked 11th in the latest MIAA Division 1 power rankings, the Pioneers are feeling dangerous. 

“Our record is not where we want it to be, but you don’t want to face us in the playoffs either,” said O’Leary. “We’re not going away, and we’re hanging around for 48 minutes.”

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