Can anyone stop the battle-tested road warriors from Bedford?
The boys' team hasn't lost since going 19-0 and capturing the Division II crown last season, and the Bulldogs (9-0) earned impressive wins at Division I Exeter and Hanover. They basically scrimmaged Pinkerton of Derry to a draw in the preseason. Today they face another tough test on the road at Winnacunet of Hampton (5-1).
The heart of Bedford pulsates throughout the midfield, led by senior David Phelps. Senior middie Jeff Campbell and attackman Jason Campbell form an outstanding brother combo. (Windham's Anthony Gallo and brother Ben, a goalie, are also in contention for most outstanding brothers. Anthony scored seven goals, while Ben made 15 saves as the Jaguars defeated Manchester Manchester, 14-13, earlier this week.)
Bedford, defensively, has been rock-solid. Goalie Matt Howe and senior standouts Clay Kirkpatrick and Dave Lademan lead a defense that has allowed double-digit goals only once - an 11-10 comeback victory at Exeter. The Bulldogs trailed by four goals in that game with 8:19 remaining. From there, attackman Dan Colella took control of the turf at Bill Ball Stadium and scored three goals in the final five minutes. Only championship teams can win those types of games.
Coach Matt Guerard has done a fine job keeping the Bulldogs focused one play at a time. One ground ball. One sharp pass. One goal. Can Bedford keep it rolling today in Hampton? It's one of several great games to watch.
Winnacunnet is coming off a character-building 9-8 win against St. Thomas of Dover (6-2), a game in which the Warriors scored three late goals to defeat their Seacoast rival, 9-8, this week. Bedford has the inside track on the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, but everything else is up for grabs. Goffstown, Winnacunnet, St. Thomas and Bow are all playing excellent lacrosse.
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GAME DAY: Souhegan of Amherst (4-3) is pumped for a home game against Pinkerton (9-1) today. Junior Mack Walker notched 13 goals and 26 assists in his first six games to lead the Sabers.
"Friday is a huge game for us," said Souhegan first-year coach Brad Bishop, who spent the past three seasons at Manchester West. "We can run with them. If we show up and play hard and run our sets clean, I think we'll be in good shape."
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DEPTH CHART: April vacation gave the Hanover boys' team a serious gut-check as a half-dozen players were away for one reason for another. Goalie James Washington took a music trip to France, but Dan Deroy stepped in and made 11 saves as the Marauders defeated Manchester Central, 19-4, in Hanover. Freshman George Geraghty scored the team's final goal as the Marauders improved to 6-0 overall.Staff writer Kevin Gray writes about high school lacrosse for the New Hampshire Union Leader. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org