THE MELROSE High girls’ lacrosse team returns to their spring season with a road game against Billerica on Friday. Pictured is senior captain Megan Casey. (photo by Raj Das edphotos.com)
Youthful team shows lots of potential in 2023
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ lacrosse team returns after a successful 2022 run, looking to replicate their playoff season last year when they advanced to quarterfinals in the Div. 2 field.
It’s that playoff experience that Melrose head coach Matt Galusi and his team will hope to draw upon as they kick off their season this Friday on the road against Billerica.
“It will be a good test out of the gate,” says Galusi. “Billerica is a great program.”
Last season, Melrose advanced to the second round of playoffs after a 16-12 win over Norwood before falling to eventual state champ Notre Dame of Hingham. But after securing a post season win, Melrose should have know how to pull together a successful season.
Much of that could come at the hands of their experienced seniors: captain Megan Casey, Meghan Maher, Sofia Pitcher, Lindsay Teeven and Sophia Galusi.
Says Melrose head coach Matt Galusi. “Our seniors are a group that have competed together since they were kids. There is a great chemistry there and that’s a huge advantage. This is a group we’re leaning on.”
Joining Megan Casey as captain is junior goalie Sophia Hitchman. “So far she’s been fantastic,” says the coach of the goalie, who will be backed up by Ruby Hanson and Jaxson Costello as goalies and a defense led by Lindsey Teeven, Sophia Galusi and Alex Leeman, a versatile player who will really make her minutes count, notes the coach.
They’ll be counting on an offense led by experienced players such as Pitcher, Casey and Jill Frawley. Watch out for the work from midfielder junior Emily Lucien, who is really shining. “She’s playing excellent, we expect big things of her. We’re really impressed,” says Galusi.
He’s also excited to see second line work from Nadia Santos and Leeman and a solid core of attackers like Meghan Maher, Lucy Clark, Hannah Willis, Allison Doherty and a very promising freshman in Cailyn MacDonald, who came up big in Melrose pre-season rout over Gloucester over last weekend. “Watch out of Cailyn, she scored a lot of goals in our scrimmage and has excellent stick skills. She’s a player to watch,” notes the coach.
Overall there are 25 freshmen in the program between junior varsity and varsity and they will certainly be in the mix to keep Melrose competitive this spring. “These freshmen not afraid to jump right into the mix and challenge others for play time,” says Galusi.
The Middlesex League is always competitive and unpredictable. Burlington remains Melrose’s #1 rival while Wakefield had some very strong individual players that kept things interesting in 2022.
And this year, the coach and the team want to rise to the top. “We’d like to get our hands on the Freedom League title and obviously make playoffs again. We have some All Star players on this team and it’s going to show.”
Melrose’s home opener is Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m.