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Bow boys’ lacrosse team runs into juggernaut Bedford, falls 15-4 in semifinals

Bow goalie Chase Chamberlin stops Bedford's Nick Vailas (4) from close range in the first quarter.

Bow goalie Chase Chamberlin stops Bedford's Nick Vailas (4) from close range in the first quarter.

EXETER – It was deja vu all over again for the Bow boys’ lacrosse team. Just a year ago, these Falcons took Bedford down to the wire in the Division II semifinals, only to succumb in the end.

This year it was the same two teams, on the same field, and for a while it looked like it was heading for another close contest … until Bedford turned on the jets.

The top-seeded Bulldogs scored eight straight goals in the first half to snuff out any thoughts of a Bow rally on their way to a 15-4 victory at Ball Stadium in Exeter last night.

Captain Matt Sanford had two goals and Trevor Garrett and Ben Podis had a goal each for Bow. Bedford was led by Dakota Clark and Patrick Simpson with four goals each. Tyler Sullivan had three for Bedford.

A disappointed Bow Coach Ross Mondello put it succinctly: “We couldn’t win a faceoff. It’s what it boils down to.

“Every time they gained possession, they scored or took some time off,” Mondello said. “It’s frustrating to see your attack just stand there, but we played hard.”

“We were getting looks but couldn’t finish them,” Sanford said. “They have a ton of athletes, so it’s hard to compete with that. They’re definitely a D-I team.”

The No. 5 Falcons finish their season with a record of 11-5. For Bedford, it was another milestone: the Bulldogs’ 60th game without a loss, assumed to be the longest active winning streak in the nation for boys’ high school lacrosse.

Of course, the streak takes a back seat to Bedford’s ultimate goal – to complete their tenure in Division II as three-time champions.

“We don’t care about the streak,” Bedford captain Dan Colella said. “We’re back to where we want to be. Now we have to get the job done. I want nothing more.”

The game started with both teams taking their time with possessions. It remained scoreless until the 5:09 mark when Dakota Clark beat Bow goalkeeper Chase Chamberlin.

But two minutes later, Sanford ripped one past Bedford’s Matt Howe to tie it up. Clark scored again with 2:32 left in the first and a minute later Garrett tallied unassisted and the Falcons were even again.

But from that point on, Bedford found another gear and dominated Bow, scoring eight times to take a 10-2 lead at the half.

Possessions were one reason; Bedford had most of them. And when the Falcons did get the ball, the physical Bulldogs forced turnovers.

“We fought hard, got the ball and controlled the time of possession,” Bedford Coach Matt Guerard said. “We didn’t force shots or passes and I think that gave us control of the game.”

Sanford said the Falcons were not giving up. “Last year we almost took them down. We went into halftime and said, ‘Why not the second half?’

“You’ve got to hand it to our guys, I love this team,” Sanford said. “I’ve played with them for four years and I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else.”

“I think we had a good season,” said Mondello, reflecting on the year. “We peaked at the right time midseason, but I wish we could have had a few games back.”

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