The Pilgrim boys’ lacrosse team battled for its second come-from-behind victory in as many games to start the season on Wednesday afternoon, edging crosstown rival Toll Gate, 12-11, in overtime.
More than a week after erasing a four-goal halftime deficit against Ponaganset, the Pats rallied to tie the game with 16 seconds remaining in regulation against the Titans, as sophomore Matt Pacheco found the back of the net to force the extra period.
About midway through overtime, senior captain Pat Reilly finished off Pilgrim’s comeback when he completed his hat trick to secure a 12-11 road victory for the Pats.
“Our team created a lot of momentum in that final quarter, which carried right over into overtime,” Reilly said. “It was a great feeling to find the back of the net in that crucial moment for those guys.”
“Those wins are way better to me,” Pilgrim head coach Alex Gregson said of the Pats’ second comeback victory to start the spring. “They tell the kids that they’re never out of the game and that it’s up to them to stay in the game.”
Gregson is in his first year as Pilgrim’s head coach, but he served in the same capacity at Warwick Vets previously, so he knows how significant the crosstown rivalry matchups are.
“I only got to beat [Toll Gate] once at Vets, so beating them felt good,” Gregson said. “For the kids, they definitely want to come in and beat Toll Gate. [Toll Gate] has always been the powerhouse in terms of Warwick lacrosse, so it was definitely a good win for us.”
The Pats were led by Reilly in the victory, who added three assists to his hat trick for six points.
“He’s one of the hardest working kids, never shying away from a groundball,” Gregson said of Reilly. “Other kids see that and they feed off of it.”
Steve Pezzullo and Kyle St. Jean also registered hat tricks for Pilgrim, while Pacheco scored two goals and Ty Morgan chipped in with one goal.
Pilgrim’s comeback spoiled a five-goal effort from Titans’ senior Kyle Palumbo, as he led all scorers. Jack Dean (one goal, three assists), Connor Sullivan (one goal, two assists), Ezra Cox (two goals) and Tim Chaffee (two goals) also had offensive success for Toll Gate.
The loss dropped the Titans to 2-1 on the young season, and a Pilgrim loss to Mt. Hope a couple days later also dropped it to 2-1 in the standings.
Both Pilgrim and Toll Gate were set to host home games on Monday, but results were unavailable at press time.