NEWINGTON - It was anyone‚Äôs game.
That was until halfway through the second overtime period when South Windsor found the back of the net, ending the Newington boys lacrosse team‚Äôs chance at clinching an early postseason spot Thursday afternoon with a 9-8 loss.
‚ÄúHonestly I think we can call this game the game of our season,‚ÄĚ captain and defenseman Rob Petronio said. ‚ÄúThis is the one we definitely had circled off. This was a team that went 16-0 last year, undefeated.‚ÄĚ
With just a little over one minute left in regulation, the Newington boys lacrosse team was ahead 8-7, but South Windsor‚Äôs offense wasn‚Äôt going to let the Indians slip away easily.
With 1:01 on the clock the Bobcats found the back of the net, tying the game 8-8 and forcing it into overtime. Neither team was able to score within the extra four minutes, sending the game into its second overtime.
Last season‚Äôs matchups against South Windsor were less than satisfying for Newington, as the Bobcats beat the Indians 20-6 during regular season and then 16-7 in the first round of the CCC tournament.
Newington was looking for redemption and unfortunately for the Indians, they can up just short.
‚ÄúThis year is our ‚ÄėRevenge Tour,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Petronio said. ‚ÄúWe were really hoping to knock those guys off but they came and brought it today. We‚Äôre going to remember this feeling. We‚Äôre going to remember what it feels like to lose in double overtime, what a letdown it was. We‚Äôre going to use that to fuel us for next time.‚ÄĚ
South Windsor gained an early 2-0 lead on Newington by the end of the first quarter, but not even a minute into the second, sophomore attackman Owen Freeman put the Indians on the board and into the game.
Freeman tied Dan Pestrichello for the team-lead with three goals on the afternoon. But from there on out, the game was back and forth.
During the third quarter, the Indians were able to score four times, but they would never gain a lead greater than one.
Pestrichello tied the game up 2-2 with 8:42 left in the third quarter. The Indians, however, were constantly pressured, as South Windsor‚Äôs Quinn Hannagan found the back of the net two minutes later, to give the Bobcats back the lead.
As both teams traded goals, Newington added three more. Freeman netted back-to-back goals completing a hat trick, while Scott Robidoux netted the last goal with 26 seconds remaining.
In the final quarter, the Indians scored three more times. Pestrichello netted back-to-back goals less than 10 seconds apart, completing a hat trick of his own, while Connor Brennan claimed the last Newington goal at the four minute mark.
South Windsor scored four times during that same stretch.
‚ÄúIt was a very exciting game,‚ÄĚ Newington head coach Zach Zarookian said. ‚ÄúThis is definitely a program that we want to mimic and be a lot like South Windsor in terms of the progression of how far [Newington‚Äôs] program has come. We‚Äôre really happy about it, but we‚Äôre at the point where we don‚Äôt want any moral losses. We‚Äôre playing to win games. We‚Äôre disappointed and the kids are bummed, but it‚Äôs never been a fault of their effort or commitment.‚ÄĚ
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org