THE MELROSE Red Raider lacrosse team enjoyed a big 14-6 victory over Belmont last week. Pictured is senior Brady Pitcher. (photo by Raj Das


Red Raiders are 2-1 on season



MELROSE—The Melrose High boy’s lacrosse team is on the winning side of things after picking up dual wins against Middlesex Large competition over the last week. Melrose (2-1) certainly has a challenging schedule this spring, perhaps none more so than Reading, who they are scheduled to face this Wednesday (post deadline) on the road in a pre-playoff test of Div. 2 powers.

So far, Melrose has beat both Belmont and Woburn over the week in 14-6 and 11-4 contests, respectively.

The wins started against the Tanners on April 6. Melrose enjoyed five goals from senior captain Shea Fogarty and additional goals from Liam Maher and Brady Pitcher. It was certainly a tale of two halves. Melrose was deadlocked against the Tanners at halftime 4-4, having not exactly played to their full potential, according to Melrose head coach Matt James.

“By the second half, we pulled away and sort of became the team we are,” he notes. That came with a flurry of goals that helped Melrose outscore Woburn 10-0 in the second half for a final 11-4 score.  James adds, “This was a game where, in a way, we were feeling out new roles on the field, trying to find what positions worked, etc. By the second half we had things ironed out. We had a lot of key assists on goals which was nice. We were in total control.”

Against Belmont on April 8, Melrose enjoyed a larger sized home win of 14-6 thanks to the work of Brady Pitcher (4 goals) Liam Maher (3) and Max Kleinbub (2). James notes that the Red Raider defense shined in this effort, thanks to the work of Michael Fuccione at the net and the overall work of senior TJ Sullivan.

“TJ serves as the anchor of our defense and has been playing awesome,” says the coach. Of the sophomore Fuccione, James sees continued improvement. “He commands our defense really well and does a good job of figuring things out as each game passes. He’s passionate at the net.” James also points to the defensive work of seniors Max Kirby and Pat Lucien. “Max has been so great on defense and Pat brings a great physicality to the game.”

Prior to these wins, Melrose battled a season-opener against playoff foe Marblehead and fell, 11-4. “It was definitely humbling,” notes James. “But it was good for us. It woke us up and helped us translate what we’re doing in practice into our games.”

Over April break, Melrose will compete in the first ever Players Cup tournament against non league teams such as Chelmsford and Acton Boxboro. “It’s a great opportunity to face quality statewide opponents, great programs with respected coaches. We’re excited,” says James.

But before that, they will travel to Beverly on Saturday for a 10 a.m. game. Fans can catch up with the Red Raiders at home on April 27 when they host Watertown.