The Hendricken lacrosse team started its postseason with a high-energy first half in the Division I quarterfinals on Thursday, hopping out to a 15-2 lead at the half’s conclusion, and coasting to a 16-6 victory over Portsmouth.
The Hawks finished the season with a 5-5 record, which gave them the No. 3 seed in the D-I playoffs. With top seeds La Salle and Moses Brown gaining first round byes, the Hawks hosted Portsmouth, competing for a spot in the semifinal match-up against Moses Brown.
The Hawks came out with ferocious energy, keeping possession and creating net pressure for most of the first quarter. Conor Garrahy struck first for the Hawks one minute in, but Liam Donovan tied the score for Portsmouth two minutes later at one apiece.
The Hawks then seized control of the game, scoring five in a row, while linking passes and dominating possession. Garrahy netted two more goals in the spurt off of well-orchestrated attacks with Scott Henry and Tyler Williams assisting. Alex Perreault and captain Jack Hendrickson got in on the scoring as well, propelling the Hawks to an 8-2 lead at the close of the first quarter.
Hendrickson put the Hawks on his back to start the second quarter, scoring three consecutive goals in a two-minute span, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Patriots at 11-2. The Hawks piled on the scoring for the remainder of the half, upping their lead to 15-2.
Portsmouth outscored Hendricken 4-1 in the second half, but the hole was too deep to climb out of, as the Hawks advanced to play Moses Brown in the state semifinals.
Hendricken was beaten by Portsmouth handily earlier in the season, so the Hawks knew they needed to be the aggressors and control the tempo early.
“I told the team that we had to come out and win that first faceoff and get started off on the right foot,” Hendrickson said. “And we were able to get it going early.”
Hendricken head coach Kevin Murray was pleased with the progression of his young squad this season and feels that they are peaking at just the right time.
“We had some inexperience coming into the year, but we’ve come along. And now we’re starting to play well at the most crucial time of the year. We’ve got a tough game next week, so we’ll see what happens,” Murray said.
The Hawks will face off against the Quakers on Thursday for the third time this season. Hendricken won in triple overtime in their first game and lost by a goal in their most recent clash.
The game will be played at Rhode Island College at 8 p.m.