Host Magicians in Div. 2 North semifinal round tonight at Landrigan Field
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD — The semifinal round of the 2015 Div. 2 North boys’ lacrosse tournament is set to get underway tonight at 5 p.m. at Landrigan Field as Wakefield plays host to Marblehead.
The Warriors come in with a 15-4 record under first year head coach Andrew Lavalle. They’ll face a Marblehead team that comes in with a 14-6 record with the winner earning a berth in the finals.
Wakefield will be looking to reach the finals for the first time, while Marblehead is looking to make a repeat appearance after losing in the finals a year ago.
The Warriors are led on the attack by junior forward Brandon Grinnell, who set the single season record for points by a Warrior player this season. He is helped out by senior Vin Ferretti, sophomore Austin Collard and junior Pat Leary.
Wakefield will be looking for another outstanding performance from goalie senior Alex Flynn if they’re to advance to the Div. 2 North finals.
In front of Flynn’s goal, senior defenders Steve Marino and Dylan Brady, along with Alex Joly will be laying it all on the line to stop the Magicians from lighting up the scoreboard.
Wakefield’s chances may ride upon the success that senior center James McAuliffe has at the face-off X. If he dominates, as he is prone to do, Wakefield will have more of a chance to possess the ball and build up an attack on the Marblehead goal.
In the few games Wakefield has struggled this season, the teams giving it problems had a player that could match McAuliffe at the face-off X.
Not allowing the possession domination that Wakefield executes so effectively when McAuliffe is successful at winning the draw is about the only way to slow down the deadly potent Warriors’ attack.
In lacrosse, possession is 9/10 of the game. If your team has the ball, they can score and control the clock.
One of Wakefield’s biggest strengths is the ability to win the possession battle and score on command or milk time off the clock when appropriate.
The number two seeded Warriors set up a date with the third-seeded Magicians with a rousing 17-3 win over Shawsheen Tech in the previous round.
In that game Grinnell managed to net seven goals, Ferretti added three of his own and Urbano added a pair of goals to secure advancement over Shawsheen.
Marblehead had to dispatch Wakefield’s Freedom Division rival Burlington. With a 12-7 win over the Red Devils, Marblehead advanced to face Wakefield in the semifinal round.
Wakefield will be up against some tough competition, as the Magicians were able to bring down Burlington with a potent offensive attack that features three or four players with the ability to score the ball any time they touch it.
Marblehead’s standout player is senior Brooks Tyrell, who is committed to play in college next season at Notre Dame. Tyrell notched a pair of goals for Marblehead in the win against Burlington.
The Magicians were helped by a trio of sophomores in their win over Burlington, getting four goals apiece from Manning Sears and Andrew McGurrin.
Fellow sophomore Sam Paquette also had a pair of goals in the game versus Burlington.
Marblehead goalie Nick Maselek had 15 saves in the cage during the Burlington game. He’ll need another stalwart performance if Marblehead is to upset Wakefield on its home turf.
Playing Marblehead will be one of the toughest tests for the Warriors all season. No doubt, with the crowd creating a festive atmosphere, there won’t be a higher stakes lacrosse game played at Landrigan Field the rest of the year.
This is the moment this team has been preparing for all year and all their previous seasons playing lacrosse. Under the tutelage of Coach Lavalle, these student-athletes are prepared for battle and they’re going to lay it all on the line later this evening.
The MIAA will be charging admission to the game at Landrigan Field, $7 for adults and $5 for students. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. with tickets available at the main gate at 4 p.m.