Bedford boys pull off improbable lacrosse win to keep streak alive
BEDFORD — With three minutes remaining, many at Bulldog Stadium thought they were watching the end of the Bedford High boys’ lacrosse team’s 46-game winning streak.
With less than 40 seconds to play, it appeared Pinkerton Academy of Derry and the Bulldogs were headed toward overtime.
And then, with 10.6 seconds left, came the culmination of the most improbable of comebacks: a shot from behind the net by Bedford’s Aaron Palys that rolled up the stick shaft of Pinkerton’s goalie and into the net for a 10-9 Bulldogs victory, their 47th straight.
“I don’t even know how the goal went in,” said Bedford coach Matt Guerard. “I was watching, and the next thing I knew, we were jumping up and down.”
Bedford, classified as Division II by the NHIAA in lacrosse, raised its 2014 record to 7-0 while Division I Pinkerton fell to 6-2.
It was the Bulldogs’ third win this season over a Division I opponent.
Senior captain Dan Colella kept Bedford in the game with five goals before Tyler Sullivan, Sam Stanton and Palys combined to rally the Bulldogs from two goals down with three minutes to play.
Pinkerton’s Evan Sweeney and Jake Lisauskas had three goals apiece.
The first half saw each team trade leads several times, but the Astros led 7-6 at the half and 8-7 after three quarters. A Lisauskas goal boosted Pinkerton’s lead to 9-7 early in the fourth.
A turning point occurred midway through the final period, when Bedford goalie Matt Howe stopped Sweeney alone in front of the net at point-blank range.
“Every time the ball comes at him, I have faith he’ll stop it,” Guerard said of Howe.
Sullivan scored with three minutes remaining to get Bedford to within one at 9-8. Then, with 39.6 seconds remaining, Stanton, a midfielder, broke into the Astros zone and found the net with a long shot to tie the game at 9.
“I gave it to my best middie in Sam Stanton, and he connected on a missile,” said Guerard.
And then came the capper — Palys’ game-winner on a goal no one could have foreseen.
“There was a lot of adversity in that game for us,” said Guerard. “But we hung in there, stuck to the game plan and won the game.“I always tell our guys, a win is a win, no matter what.”Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly declined to comment after the game.