Playoffs end after 15-4 opening round loss

THE MHS Lady Raider lacrosse team fell in the opening round of playoffs 15-4 on Monday. (Donna Larsson photo)

THE MHS Lady Raider lacrosse team fell in the opening round of playoffs 15-4 on Monday. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider lacrosse team saw their playoff journey end on Tuesday, June 2 in the opening round of the MIAA Div. 2 North tournament with a 15-4 loss to Pentucket at Trinity Stadium in Haverhill. Sachem attackers Erin Mikson and Sarah Niles kept Melrose busy with four goals each, helping to lead an 11-3 first half onslaught Melrose couldn’t bounce back from. Melrose ends their season at 8-9-1, concluding their first back-to-back playoff run in the history of the program.

“Obvious we’re disappointed, there is a sting walking off the field. We could have played a lot better” says Melrose head coach Cate Arkins. “We were down some key players. To Pentucket’s credit, they were well sized, athletic opponents who played quality lacrosse from start to finish.”

The Sachems were first on the board with Samantha Fiore scoring past Melrose goalie Cat Torpey, stepping in for the injured Sarah Foote, less than a minute into the game. It was a 2-0 game when Mikson struck four minutes later.

Melrose was shorthanded on Tuesday with Foote at the net, along with standouts Katey Baraw (injury) and Anna Steele (college travel) on the field. “We definitely had a disadvantage without them. Anna is the catalyst of our offense, just controls so many of our drives, Katie is our best middie defender and Sarah had a strong season at goal. We appreciate Cat stepping in on short notice, she played a good game and stepped into a new role. We’re proud of her sportsmanship.”

Defensively Melrose couldn’t keep up with the sharp shooting Sachems. “They were blowing by our defense in the beginning but we contained them more in the second half,” comments Arkins. ‘Overall we didn’t limit their opportunities in scoring.”

Meanwhile, wrangling hat tricks is nothing new for Melrose’s Haley Maté, and sure enough her three goals gave Melrose most of their scoring in the contest. The red-hot attacker struck three times in the game, twice before halftime when Melrose was down 11-3, with Melrose’s Leonora Ivers also hitting the net with four minutes before the half.

“Haley is such a physical presence on the field, and I think the key is she is so committed to strength and conditioning training in the offseason. It makes her fitter and faster on the field. Players should emulate that.”

As the second half commenced, Pentucket piled on the goals behind the efforts of Sarah Niles, Brooke Chambers, Caroline Cloutier, and Grace Dore. The result was a disappointing 15-4 end to a season that can only be considered another success for the fairly new program at Melrose High.

“We have a lot to be proud of this season,” says Arkins. “We made tournament and some quality teams this season.”

Departing this year are seniors Anna Steele, Brittany Parker, Kayla Mattucci and Breana Porcello. With over 15 underclassmen on the roster, look for Melrose to continue their success next season. Returning are goalies Sarah Foote and Cat Torpey, attackers Haley Mate, Katey Baraw and Haley Rodriguez.

“That’s the beauty of this team, we have a lot of talent coming back, and our new players now have tournament experience,” says Arkins. “It should be a good year.”