Warriors tighten up the “D” in 10-5 win over Malden Catholic
Published in the April 15, 2016 edition.
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD — On Thursday the Wakefield Memorial High School varsity boys’ lacrosse team hosted non-league opponent Malden Catholic at Landrigan Field. The Warriors took it to the Lancers as the home team doubled up the visitors by a 10-5 final score.
“These guys always play us tough,” Head Coach Andrew Lavalle said after the game. “We always have a tough time with MC. I think we play up for these guys as well.”
Lavalle saw his team put together a fine performance on both sides of the ball and improved to 3-1 on the season.
The Warriors jumped out to a two goal lead in the first quarter, before MC came back and tied the score at 2-2 heading into the second. Austin Collard got the ball rolling for the Warriors, then just over a minute later Brandon Grinnell scored his only goal on the evening.
“The story of the game was our young defense made a couple mistakes early in the game but then we corrected them right away,” said Lavalle after the game.
Malden Catholic got one back with 6:45 remaining in the first, then tied it with just under two minutes to go before the second quarter.
In the second, Wakefield tightened up the defense and sophomore goalie Ryan Chambers had a fine performance throughout the game, pitching a shutout in the second and fourth quarters, respectively, while racking up 13 saves on the day.
“Ryan Chambers has been the story, making a lot of big saves,” said the coach. “He’s been a guy we’ve been relying on a lot lately, he’s doing a great job.”
Wakefield added three goals in the second as Ben Yandell and PJ Iannuzzi tallied their first goals on the day and Collard netted his second. Wakefield held a 5-2 halftime lead.
“It was not necessarily our best game offensively,” said the coach. “But a lot of guys were dodging hard. On the offensive side the attack played really well for us. (the) Mids were working hard in the clear game. That was a real tough part for us, because MC covered it so well.
In the third quarter Malden Catholic outscored the Warriors by a 3-2 score.
Collard scored his third goal at just under the 10 minute mark in the third but MC came back and scored less than a minute later.
The Lancers added another goal just 30 seconds later and the score stood at 6-4 in favor of the Warriors.
Yandell scored again with about seven minutes to play in the third but two minutes later MC added another, making it 7-5 heading into the final frame.
Wakefield put up a three spot in the final quarter of play, completing the 10-5 win.
Iannuzzi got his second goal of the game around the 7:30 minute mark, making the score 8-5.
About four minutes later, Pat Leary got his only goal of the game for the Warriors, extending the lead to 9-5.
“Pat Leary continues to really make big plays when it counts,” said Lavalle.
Finally Iannuzzi added his third goal with just two minutes to play and the Warriors were home free with a win.
“For PJ Iannuzzi it continues to be his year,” Lavalle said. “We put him on the offensive side and he’s doing great on both sides of the ball. When you’re one of the hardest working guys on the team success is going to follow.”
Another player that stood out for Coach Lavalle was captain Andrew DeLeary
“DeLeary is another senior captain, he always does well,” the coach said. “Not only has he been great on the field but off the field he’s telling guys what to do and being positive. That type of attitude carries over; we’re practicing hard and playing harder.”
One thing Coach Lavalle was cautious of coming in was the face-offs.
“Our goal was to not get blown off the ball by #17 (Joe Cameron) on the face-offs and Steve (Marino) did really well.”
In all Coach Lavalle was glad to back on the winning side, with his team now 3-1. The lone loss came against Reading on Tuesday afternoon by 16-14 tally at Reading High School.
In the contest, Wakefield’s offense put up 14 goals but the Warriors came up short. The Wakefield goal scorers were unavailable. Meanwhile, the Rockets were led by Dan Cozzi and Kevin Tobin as each tallied four goals.
“Sometimes one loss leads to two very easily,” said Lavalle.
A busy vacation week awaits the Warriors with the team taking on Salem, Newburyport and Danvers. Monday’s game against Salem is 10 a.m. at Landrigan Field. Wakefield then takes on Newburyport on Wednesday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. at Newburyport High School and Danvers on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.
At Landrigan Field
Malden Catholic……2 0 3 0 — 5
WAKEFIELD……………2 3 2 3 — 10
MC — Kaziarn 3; Cameron 2.
WAK — Iannuzzi 3; Collard 3; Yandell 2; Leary 1; Grinnell 1.
MC — McCarthy 2.
WAK — Grinnnell 3; Leary 2; Yandell 1.
MC — Almquist 11.
WAK — Chambers 13.