THE MELROSE High girls’ lacrosse team has some key Freedom League games ahead that could determine their fate for post season. (Photo by Raj Das www.edphotos.com)
Melrose can clinch playoffs with more wins
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—In an otherwise challenging season, the Melrose High girls lacrosse is now hitting all the right notes, taking an overwhelming 17-2 win over Revere at home on Monday May 16, despite grappling with injuries in some key spots.
At 6-7, and with five regular season games left on the docket, Melrose has plenty of opportunity to officially punch their ticket to a post season should they prevail over opponents such as Stoneham, Wilmington and Malden in the coming two weeks.
They made this job easier with a 17-2 lashing over Revere at Fred Green Field. It was a game that saw Melrose enjoy a host of different scorers from across the roster, and the team cooked up a true defensive gem. According to Melrose head coach Matt Galusi, it was a chance for all players, especially new players, to step it up. Newcomers such as Jill Frawley and Alexandra Leeman recorded their first varsity goals. “Between this game, and our prior game against Wakefield and Arlington, these two players came in and made an impact.”
Although Melrose was previously bested in 10-8 and 15-10 losses to Arlington and Wakefield, there was much to learn. “We’re better than our record indicates,” says the coach. “We were in these games the whole time and sometimes one key error tends to cause a butterfly effect. But that’s sometime we’re going to work on as we work to qualify for playoffs.”
It was clean play against Revere and Melrose saw 4 goals from junior Meghan Maher. A slew of players added to the scoring onslaught including Sofia Pitcher who had two goals, and Olivia Galusi, Jill Frawley and Alison Doherty who all had two goals as well. More scoring came from Ali Maguire, Megan Casey and Lucy Clark.
Galusi points to the major contribution from all his seniors, in particular Rory Kirby, Jenna Maguire and Kate Hubbard for their particularly strong defense. And of late, he’s happy with the work from Megan Casey, Ali Maguire, Olivia Galusi and Sofia Pitcher.
At the net, it was lights out work from goalie Sophia Hitchman, and her sub Gabby Hill. Says Galusi, “They did a great job against Revere. Sofia has been so rock solid, and its unfortunate that we ran out of gas offensively during our recent losses.” He contends that losing a senior mainstay of the team has hurt. “Having lost Kailey Donovan to injury has changed the direction of the season. With her in the lineup, a few of those narrow losses might have been wins.”
But the odds are good that Melrose will punch a ticket to a post season at the end of the month. It will take consistency focus and care. Notes the coach, “We need to protect the ball better. We start from there and we will find wins.”
Some critical games are on the horizon. Melrose will host Wilmington and Stoneham this week at home (post deadline) before traveling to Burlington next Wednesday.