Wins over Stoneham, Malden seal the deal

Published in the May 25, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE High girls' lacrosse team qualified for a post season after two wins over Stoneham and Malden this week. (courtesy photo, Rob Cunningham) 

THE MELROSE High girls’ lacrosse team qualified for a post season after two wins over Stoneham and Malden this week. (courtesy photo, Rob Cunningham)


MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider lacrosse team are playoff-bound after back-to-back wins over Stoneham and Malden last week. The team outscored both opponents, 38-10 in their two contests and improved to 8-8, good enough for a post season in the Div. 2 North playoffs.

According to Melrose coach Cate Arkins, a spread out offense helped contribute to victory, particularly in their 22-9 road win over Stoneham on May 19.

“We had about 9 different girls scoring in our game against Stoneham, and 17 of them were assisted, which we want to see,” she said. “The assists are important because it shows the team is creating opportunity.”

Generating offense in recent games has been Lily and Abby Cunningham, Shannon Jones, Rachel DiFraia, Stephanie Overlan, Leonora Ivers and Peri MacDonald. Arkins also points out recent offensive measures from freshmen Emma Randolph and Katie Wright.

Melrose showed airtight defense in their 16-1 victory over Malden on May 20. Coming up big on defense was Julia Symond and Chloe Halligan. Meanwhile, Lauren Pedrini and Grace Mercer have evolved into full field players. “We’re taking advantage of their speed, and allowing them to go full force down the field.” Arkins also is impressed with the efforts of freshmen Lauren Carlino, Jenna Thorpe and Julia Deeble.

Sharing goalie duties has been Linnea Kelley and newcomer Marie Maher. “Both are playing strong. Marie has really come into her own. And I expect both to see time in the tournament.”

Overall, Arkins feels good about the team as they enter postseason (brackets will be released Friday). She maintains the team needs to maintain focus and consistency. “We brought great intensity in our game against Wakefield, while against Watertown, we lacked energy. If we bring our ‘A game’ we will do well.”

Senior Night action

On Wednesday, May 18 the team honored their outgoing seniors during Senior Day at the start of their game against Watertown. Those saluted included: Olivia Ingemi, Leonora Ivers, Shannon Jones and Julia Symonds. Melrose, however, could not stay a step ahead of Watertown during the afternoon scorcher at Fred Green Field and Watertown outscored the Lady Raiders, 13-11. Watertown was able to snatch that win when their shooters racked up points late in the game, coming from behind after the Raiders possessed the lead at halftime.

In the first half, Melrose was set up frequently in enemy territory and sent an absolute cannonade of shots in the direction of the Watertown net-minder. Abby Cunningham torched a shot over the goalies left shoulder for one particularly good looking goal, while Leonora Ivers immediately followed that score up by sending another comet of a shot down the left alley and into the back of the net. The back and forth action was prevalent all first half and Melrose was starting to pile the goals on. With the score at Melrose 6, Watertown 4, Melrose’s Lily Cunningham lobbed a pass over about four Watertown defenders to Abby Cunningham, who caught the gift-wrapped pass in stride and chucked it past the Watertown goalies ear-hole for Melrose’s seventh goal. As the half drew to a close Watertown netted two unanswered goals to bring them within one of Melrose by halftime with the score at Melrose 7, Watertown 6. As the second half began to wind down, the Lady Raiders exceptional gameplay was starting to become affected by fatigue. The passes weren’t connecting as often and the hot weather was taking its toll on the shallow Melrose bench, most off whom played the entire game. A deep Watertown bench can be cited for their comeback, as they simply had more personnel and Melrose couldn’t keep up. This game could have went either way considering the back and forth action that ensued for the whole game. But, by the end of the matchup the score had been rerouted from a Melrose lead to the final score of Watertown 13, Melrose 11.