For the Beacon
The Pilgrim boys’ lacrosse team fell to the Chariho Chargers, 8-3, in the Division III title game on Sunday afternoon at Brown University.
Pilgrim struck first midway through the first quarter when Pat Reilly assisted to senior Steven Pezzullo, who lit the lamp, giving the Pats an early 1-0 edge. But, with 4:15 left in the frame, Chariho evened it at 1 when Zach Grassi found the back of the cage.
Twenty-eight seconds later, Chariho struck again when Will Foley fed James Foley for a score, giving Chariho a 2-1 lead. Reilly had a chance just before the end of the quarter, but his shot was denied by the Chariho senior goalkeeper Richard Jurovich-Quinn.
“The guys got down early,” Pilgrim head coach Alex Gregson said. “When they put those two quick goals in during the first quarter, I could see the gas come out of the guys and I did everything I could to get it back and they just didn’t respond.”
Forty three seconds into the second frame, Chariho’s Alexi Fauzey put a bouncer past Balutowski to extend the Chariho lead to 3-1.
A little more than two minutes later, Chariho scored again when Brine Wotherspoon dished to Will Foley, who rifled it past Balutowski to increase the Chariho edge to 4-1.
Pilgrim won the ensuing draw and went on the offensive, but a wraparound shot from Kyle St. Jean sailed wide and a turnaround attempt from Pezzullo was stopped by Jurovich-Quinn midway through the second period.
After Pilgrim’s Reilly put a roller wide, Chariho’s Ryane Hart assisted to Will Foley and he shot a laser past Balutowski to extend Chariho’s lead to 5-1 with 4:05 left in the first half.
With two minutes to play in the half, Pilgrim’s Pezzullo had a spinning shot in front stopped by Jurovich-Quinn, but Pilgrim’s St Jean was able to get it back and from behind the net, passed in front to sophomore attacker, Matthew Pacheco, who found the back of the cage, pulling Pilgrim within 5-2.
One minute into the second half, Balutowski made a stunning stick save, snagging a missile from Fauzey. Pilgrim’s Michel-Jose Rocheleau was disciplined for slashing five minutes later, a one-minute penalty and Chariho took advantage with the extra man. Wotherspoon rifled in a shot from in front past Balutowski, extending the Chariho edge to 6-2.
Pilgrim started the fourth quarter on the attack, but Jurovich-Quinn denied a pair of shots before Chariho’s Wotherspoon eventually stole the rock and dished to Hart for a goal, putting Chariho up 7-2.
Midway through the final period, Pilgrim had back-to-back shots deflect off the crossbar, one by Pezzullo and the other from Ty Morgan.
With 3:45, Balutowski made a stick save on a shot from Fauzey, however less than a minute later, Chariho’s James Foley made a spinning shot to extend the Chariho lead to 8-2.
Forty three seconds later, Reilly found the back of the net, pulling the Pats within 8-3.
“Chariho played a great game, especially defensively,” Gregson said. “We’re used to scoring a lot more goals than that and we just couldn’t get it going offensively today.”