PEABODY — Less than two weeks ago, the Hamilton-Wenham girls lacrosse team came to Bishop Fenwick’s Donaldson Field and locked up its postseason berth at the expense of the Crusaders.

Yesterday afternoon, Bishop Fenwick got its revenge by knocking the Generals out of the tournament with an 8-7 win in a Division 2 North first round game.

Fenwick sophomore Merry Harrington missed the regular season game against Hamilton-Wenham, and she played the role of secret weapon well in the teams’ postseason affair. She scored off a feed from freshman Hannah Durkin with 1:29 to go to lift the Crusaders.

Durkin had the ball to the left of — and slightly behind — the cage and delivered a strike to a cutting Harrington, who finished to snap a tie that had stood for over four minutes.

“That was a big time play,” said Fenwick (12-7) coach Karen Guillemette, whose team will meet Ipswich tomorrow afternoon (4 p.m.) on the road in the quarters. “It was awesome for a freshman and a sophomore to come up with a play like that. That is huge in the tournament. If you want to do something, that’s what you need — everyone to step up.”

The Crusaders finished with only two goal scorers. Harrington’s game-winner gave her a hat trick while senior captain Annette Ruggiero was hot from the opening draw.

Ruggiero got Fenwick off to a fast start, scoring the Crusaders’ first four goals and finishing with five.

“I’m not sure how many goals she scored against us the last time, but she did a good chunk of their scoring that last game,” Hamilton-Wenham (8-9) coach Amanda Chase said. “We knew that she was one of the big threats, and she was.”

Even though Hamilton-Wenham handed Fenwick a 12-9 loss the first time around, Guillemette felt good about the rematch.

For one thing, she knew Harrington would provide a boost with her presence in the lineup. Guillemette also felt like the Crusaders didn’t turn in a complete effort the last time against Hamilton-Wenham.

“I felt pretty confident. I wasn’t thrilled with the way we played the last time. I thought we could play much better and we definitely played better,” Guillemette said. “(Harrington) wasn’t playing in that game and she’s been a great player all year. I knew that would be a plus because they wouldn’t be expecting her. I just felt confident, like I knew we could beat them.”

The Crusaders played more confident and got off to a solid start, opening a 3-1 lead early, but that still wasn’t enough to put much space between them and their opponents.

Hamilton-Wenham never let the lead swell to more than two goals and a three-goal run for the Generals actually put them in control 5-4 with 19:07 to play.

Goals by Phoebe Shaw, Grace Papp and Kendell Santin turned a 4-2 deficit into a one-goal lead.

At that point, the game went back and forth until Harrington deposited the winner.

“We expected another good game. The first time was a battle, a good game,” Chase said. “We came out on top and things went our way. Today, we struggled a little bit with some of the things we’ve been working on.”

Both teams got solid defensive play, especially from the goalies.

Hamilton-Wenham’s Lauren White made several key stops in the first half, preventing the Crusaders from opening a bigger lead.

Fenwick’s Meghan Woodworth, meanwhile, had what Guillemette called “probably her best game of the year.”

“She was phenomenal and the defense played great,” Guillemette said. “If you told me it was going to be 3-2 at the half I would have laughed. There was no way I would have thought it would be that low.”

Guillemette also praised the play of defenders Jackie Hart, Nicole Muir and Emily Rocker.

Shaw, Papp and Santin each had two goals for Hamilton-Wenham, and Catherine Ecker added one.

“We had a little lull in the middle of the game and it got a little sloppy, but overall we started strong and finished strong and that was the difference,” Guillemette said. “They’re a great team and they played better than they played the first time. Everybody does at this time of year.”

Trending Video

Recommended for you