Portsmouth falls to Pilgrim in back-and-forth affair

Girls’ lacrosse team now 2-4

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PORTSMOUTH — Despite four goals from freshman Kylie Donovan, the Portsmouth High girls’ lacrosse team was defeated by Pilgrim 12-10 in a back-and-forth contest Monday night at home.

In the first half, the locals fell behind early before tying it back up before the half. After the break in action, the two teams traded goal for goal until Pilgrim pulled away in the final minutes to hand Portsmouth its third start loss.

“Their defense made great stops against our transition midfield,” Portsmouth head coach Tara McCarthy said. “It was turnover after turnover, but we know we need to work on that. Our defense made the stops, we just need to put it all together.”

Portsmouth controlled play at the start, with Victoria Wolfe running in front of the net and scoring which put the locals on the board first.

Pilgrim would answer right back, however, with four goals in under 10 minutes as Portsmouth struggled to get the ball out of their own zone. This gave Pilgrim a 4-1 lead with 11:18 left in the half as the locals called a timeout.

Once action resumed, Portsmouth fought back as Donovan scored on fast break. Just two minutes later, after a stoppage in play, Ella Blackburn scored her 10th goal of the season to bring Pilgrim’s lead down to 4-3.

This was before Kate Cianciolo ran from Portsmouth’s own defensive zone all the way to the net where she would score and tie the game at four apiece just before the buzzer sounded on the half.

After the intermission, Pilgrim got on the board first after significant zone time which allowed them to earn a 5-4 lead. Just minutes later, Portsmouth’s Abigail Kaull scored on a laser that tied things up again.

The two teams continued to trade blow for blow as Pilgrim scored again, with Donovan answering just 18 seconds later for Portsmouth to tie the game at six.

Just one minute later, however, defensive breakdowns rattled Portsmouth as Pilgrim scored three goals in a span of just 24 seconds that forced the locals to call a timeout and now down 9-6.

After the timeout, Pilgrim continued to pour it on with yet another easy goal. However, Portsmouth would answer as Blackburn scored her second of the game to cut the visitors’ lead to 10-7.

As time winded down, the two teams traded goals yet again as Donovan scored off of a saved shot that set the score at 11-8 with just under eight minutes remaining. Portsmouth continued to show its mettle as Donovan scored her fourth goal, followed by one by Mary Arkins that made it 11-10 Pilgrim with 5:27 remaining.

Over the next couple of minutes, both teams struggled to gain possession until Pilgrim mustered one more goal with just 2:04 left to make it 12-10 and earn the visitors their first win of the young season.

“They never gave up,” Ms. McCarthy said. “This was the first game where the emotions were really there so it was nice to see that.”

With the loss, Portsmouth falls to 2-4 after a 2-1 start, while Pilgrim improves to 1-3 in Division II play. The locals will look to get back on track Wednesday, April 26, as they travel to play South Kingstown.

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