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The Derryfield boys' lacrosse team celebrates its championship. (BENJAMIN KLEIN PHOTO)

Derryfield boys beat Hopkinton for Div. III lacrosse title

NASHUA — In a battle of the unbeatens, Derryfield of Manchester defeated Hopkinton 10-5 for the Division III boys' lacrosse title at Stellos Stadium Tuesday night.

With the Cougars seeded first and the Hawks seeded second and more than 400 fans in attendance, the night had a charged energy for the championship game.

"It is just an unbelievable feeling," said Cougars head coach Chris Hettler, who was drenched in Gatorade by his players shortly before the final whistle sounded.

"I couldn't be more proud of my guys, the seniors really stepped up," he said.

Derryfield goalie Mitch Green was a stone wall, making it near impossible for the Hawks to capitalize on the rare moments they had clear shots on goal. Green, a senior, made 14 saves, while fellow senior Matt Milne scored five goals.

While Derryfield scored first, the first quarter ended tied 2-2. Derryfield then blew open the game in the second quarter by scoring four unanswered. Despite playing from behind most of the game, the Hawks fought hard throughout, scoring two quick goals in the third quarter to pull the game to 6-4. But the Cougars didn't let them get close again, answering with three quick unanswered goals of their own, ending the third quarter with a 9-4 lead.

The fourth quarter looked more like a game of keep-away, as the Cougars used a ball-control offense to run the clock out.

Hawks goalie Matt French put up a valiant effort in trying to keep Hopkinton in the game, but in the end the constant onslaught of the Cougars' 29 shots on goal proved to be too much.

"We faced a lot of adversity to get here, and we had a target on our back all season," Hettler said.

Players on both sides played hard, fast, and physical, with teammates constantly reminding one another constantly that this was the last game of the season. But Derryfield's speed and athleticism stood out, resulting in a plethora of open field opportunities that led to goals.

"Both of these teams play at the highest level of lacrosse in New Hampshire. They both do things that I rarely see in Division I let alone Division III. They are both athletic and quick," game director Scott Insigna said.

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