Published in the April 20, 2016 edition

THE girls’ lacrosse team’s defense enabled the Pioneers to pound North Reading 13-3 April 14. (Mark Grant Photo)

THE girls’ lacrosse team’s defense enabled the Pioneers to pound North Reading 13-3 April 14. (Mark Grant Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The girls’ lacrosse team has opened the season with a 4-1 record.

The Pioneers defeated North Reading 13-3 April 14.

Lynnfield jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and had a 9-2 lead at halftime.

“Lynnfield did a great job of winning the draws to build their lead, led by senior captain Meryl Braconnier and junior midfielder Caroline Buckley,” said Pioneers head coach Ethan Blanchette.

North Reading controlled the first three draws in the beginning of the second half, but the Pioneers’ defense and pressure in transition helped keep the Hornets’ offense at bay. The Pioneers scored four goals during the second half to pull out the 13-3 victory.

Buckley led the Pioneers with five goals and six draw controls. Braconnier scored a goal, had three assists and did a good job controlling the draw. Elise Murphy scored two goals and recovered four ground balls. Junior Lilli Patterson scored a goal and recovered four ground balls. Sophomore Liv Smyrnios scored two goals and forced three turnovers.

Blanchette commended the Pioneers’ defense against the Hornets.

“The defense, anchored by Lila Alaka, Rachel DiTullio, Gracie Sperling and Hannah Filipe, played strong and limited North Reading’s chances,” said Blanchette. “Goalie Lauren Vaccaro made five saves in the win.”

Conquers Generals

The Pioneers defeated Hamilton-Wenham 8-6 April 11.

The Generals took an early 1-0 lead three minutes into the game. The Pioneers quickly bounced back after scoring the next three goals, giving the locals a 3-1 lead.

Hamilton-Wenham went on a 4-0 run to close out the first half and had a 5-3 lead at the break.

Lynnfield scored three early goals in the second half, giving Lynnfield a 6-5 lead. The lead was short-lived, as the Generals came back and tied it.

The Pioneers scored its seventh goal a few minutes later. The locals added an insurance goal with three minutes remaining in the game and hung on for the 8-6 victory.

“Lynnfield controlled the draws to earn the victory, winning 11 of the 16 draws in the game,” said Blanchette.

Smyrnios scored three goals. Murphy scored two goals. Patterson scored two goals. Braconnier scored a goal and won four draws. Sperling played an excellent defensive game and forced three turnovers.

Vacarro recorded five saves in the victory.

Clipped by Newburyport

The Pioneers fell 13-7 to Newburyport April 12.

The Clippers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but the Pioneers kept the game close and trailed 6-3 at halftime.

The Pioneers won several draws in the second half but the locals struggled generating an offensive attack. Newburyport went on the attack and scored four goals to take a 10-4 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Lynnfield continued battling and scored three late goals but the Clippers managed to hang on for the 13-7 victory.

Smyrnios scored four goals against Newburyport. Murphy scored three goals. Braconnier collected seven of the Pioneers’ 13 draw controls and recovered four ground balls.

Defeats Stoneham

The Pioneers pounded Stoneham 13-1 April 9.

Lynnfield jumped out to an 8-0 lead halfway through the first half. The Pioneers maintained its offensive and defensive pressure, which enabled the locals to take a 10-1 lead at halftime.

The Pioneers scored three goals during the second half enroute to a 13-1 victory.

Smyrnios led the Pioneers with four goals. Braconnier registered a hat trick and finished with three assists. Buckley also finished with a hat trick, recovered four ground balls and won three draws.

Vaccaro tallied two saves in net.

“Once again, the Pioneers were strong on the draws, winning 11 of 15 draw controls on the day,” said Blanchette.

Flushes Royals

The Pioneers crushed Georgetown 11-3 in a torrential downpour April 7.

The beginning of the game was sloppy due to the weather, which resulted in the game being scoreless for the first 11 minutes. Braconnier broke the stalemate after finding the back of the net.

The Pioneers scored four goals over the course of the final 10 minutes of the first half to take a 5-1 lead at the break.

Lynnfield won virtually every draw in the second half as the locals coasted to the 11-3 victory.

Buckley and Smyrnios scored three goals apiece against the Royals. Buckley, Braconnier and Patterson combined to win nine draws. Alaka and DiTullio registered two turnovers apiece.

Upcoming games

Lynnfield travels to Pentucket on Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 3:45 p.m. The Pioneers travel to Arlington on Wednesday, April 27, beginning at 4 p.m. The locals host Masconomet on Friday, April 29, beginning at 3:45 p.m.