If Tewksbury High field hockey coach Pat Ryser was worried about her team having a letdown game after last week's big upset tie with Andover, she need worry no more.
Junior forward Natalie Bourne scored a three-goal hat trick while senior midfielder Sheri Liggiero had a goal and four assists as the the Redmen tied their season's high for goals in a game in a 7-1 romp over Lawrence Tuesday.
"To be honest, they're not the toughest team on our schedule, so it's kind of a good thing we played them after Andover," Ryser said of Lawrence. "I was able to empty the bench and get a lot of playing time for everybody."
All three of Bourne's goals came in the first half as the junior sharp shooter raised her team-leading total to 11 goals on the season. Liggiero, who assisted on two of Bourne's three goals, leads the team in assists with eight.
"Nat's really chalking up the goals and Sheri's starting to chalk up the assists," Ryser said. "They're both doing a real good job."
Sophomore forward Hayley Sutherland returned to action after missing two weeks with an injury and returned to form immediately, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. Senior midfielder Nicole McKenna scored her first goal of the season, and sophomore forward Ashley Kelly scored her second goal of the year. Liggiero's goal came on a penalty stroke. It was her third of the season.
The Redmen improve to 6-3-2 overall and 5-3-2 in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Tewksbury is unbeaten in its last five games (3-0-2) and has not lost a game since Sept. 22.
TMHS needs to accumulate 18 points (two points for a win, one for a tie) in order to qualify for the MIAA state tournament. The Redmen currently have 14 points and could qualify as early as Friday if they can repeat earlier victories over Dracut (Thursday) and Bedford (Firday). Both games are home games.
With seven games left on her schedule, Ryser likes her team's chances of qualifying for the state tournament for a 15th straight year.
"I feel like we're really starting to gel," Ryser said. "And it's at the right time of the year. The Andover tie really helped because it came at the start of the second round (against MVC teams) and I hope we're going to carry that momentum for a while."
CENTRAL DOWNS TMHS GOLFERS, 14-6
The Tewksbury High golf team threw a minor scare into Merrimack Valley Conference powerhouse Central Catholic before losing a 14-6 decision at Trull Brook golf course on Tuesday.
Juniors Derek Petti and Ryan Muise won their matches by identical 2 up scores, while senior Pat Grinley took a 1 up victory to account for Tewksbury's six points. But junior Tyler Slavin lost a close match, 1 down, to Central's Joe Leavitt in the first group, and junior No. 3 man Pat Doherty lost his match, 2 down, on the final hole.
"This was really a match that could have very easily swung our way...had we been able to pull out the two matches that went down to the wire," said TMHS coach Jim Sullivan. "Today's lesson was one of closing. We're doing a really good job of fighting back in matches between holes 5-8, but there have been a couple of matches where we came up on the short end on the last hole or last two holes, and that made the difference between winning and losing the match."
Tewksbury, now 6-4 overall, plays at North Reading Thursday afternoon and at Methuen on Friday.