EXETER, N.H. — Pinkerton coach Rob Daziel had a message for his Astros just moments after the Division 1 state championship game.
“Losing stinks, but we still got here!” he enthusiastically told his team.
Pinkerton scored the opening goal, but Bishop Guertin found its undefeated form and rolled from there, defeating the Astros 20-3 in the Division 1 title game on Tuesday night at Exeter High School.
Despite the loss, Daziel kept a positive outlook after the game.
“No one picked us to go to the finals at the beginning of the season,” said the coach. “That’s what I told the girls before this game. We were down a couple players, we had fought through injuries all year. The girls were tough. We got here, and BG just had a better day.”
Pinkerton (16-6) entered the game looking to earn the program’s fifth Division 1 state champion since New Hampshire began crowing champions in 1998.
Tuesday marked the Astros’ eighth overall state championship berth. They beat Bishop Guertin in the 2016 title game, and lost to the Cardinals in the 2019 championship.
Bishop Guertin (19-0) completed a Division 1 championship three-peat of sorts. BG — which has 16 players on its roster going to play college lacrosse — also won the title in 2018 and 2019, before losing 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the Cardinals’ fifth state title, and seventh finals appearance overall.
The Astros — playing without standout Caroline Daziel, who suffered a torn ACL in May — knew they faced a daunting task in the final. They were taking on a BG team that beat them twice during the regular season, by a combined 28-10 score. Pinkerton outscored the rest of its opponents this spring by a combined 264-116 margin.
“We were hoping it would be a little bit closer,” said Daziel. “The last time we played them we were within two with 10 minutes left. We wanted to make it close, but it’s tough to compete against such a talented group. We were just out-gunned.”
Allison Lamphere gave Pinkerton the lead 5:54 into the game. The junior put a move on a defender and fired a shot over the goalie’s shoulder and into the net. The Astros then had a chance to make it 2-0 less than a minute later, but a shot missed the net.
Bishop Guertin then found its groove, and scored the next seven goals before Astro Abby Jowett scored twice to make it 11-3 at halftime.
BG then limited Pinkerton to just three shots and no goals after halftime.
“We played two tough games against them in the regular season,” said top BG midfielder Lindsay Hult. “They have a very good goalie, so we had to work on shot placement. I have had a rivalry with Pinkerton since freshman year. We always come out as hard as we can against them.”
The Astros graduate leading scorer and Bentley College recruit Jowett, who tallied 82 goals this spring, along with Daziel (Flagler College recruit), Justine Doyle (New Haven recruit), Amy Quigley, Haley Davis and Naomi Menczywor.
But they should be right back in the hunt, with the talented returnees including emerging star scorer Lamphere (66 goals), midfielder Tatum Howe (12 goals) and starting goalie Lauren Sweeney, who made a few brilliant saves on Tuesday.
“I’m so proud of my team,” said Rob Daziel. “I follow these athletes after high school. This team did a lot of great things.”
Bishop Guertin 20, Pinkerton 3
Division 1 Championship Game
Goals: P — Abby Jowett 2, Allison Lamphere; BG — Rylee Bouvier 4, Katie Campbell, Lindsay Hult 3, Stephanie Reap 3, Amelia Piercy 3, Madison Keating 4, Nat Coutu 2
Saves: P — Lauren Sweeney 10, Naomi Menczywor 1; BG — Makenna Reekie 6
Pinkerton (16-6): 3 0 — 3
Bishop Guertin (19-0): 11 9 — 20