Drops first two games against Revere, Peabody

Published April 10, 2019


REVERE – Coming off a 6-11 record from the last year, the 2019 Lynnfield boys’ lacrosse team looked to turn the tide this season by going on the road for their first two games.

The season opener came against Revere, a team that had not beaten Lynnfield since 2013 and was certainly champing at the bit to end the streak. In the second game, the Pioneers would do battle with an unfamiliar Peabody program of which no Pioneers had ever played against.

Revere snaps skid against Lynnfield

There was a crisp breeze in the air when the Lynnfield boys’ lacrosse team opened the 2019 campaign against the Patriots of Revere on April 3. Given that Lynnfield had won the last six meetings with Revere, the Pioneers hoped to get off to that hot start by making it seven.

Revere had other intentions though as the Patriots got off to the quick start snagging the first two goals. Lynnfield would have plenty of chances to get on the board but continued missing opportunities.

With just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Pioneer senior attackman GianLuca Alfe rang a whistling fastball off the pipe keeping the Pioneers scoreless.

GIANLUCA ALFE returns to lead the boys’ lax attack in 2019.
(Dan Pawlowski File Photo)

Lynnfield would eventually settle into the game following a terrific save from sophomore goalie Nik Marotta in the final minutes of the quarter. With only 20 seconds left in the quarter, Alfe would have another shot and would not be denied this time, giving the Pioneers their first goal of the season.

“We were too hyped up,” claimed Lynnfield head coach Joe Papagni on the first quarter performance. “We just needed to settle down. It’s not the seventh game of the Stanley Cup, it’s the first game of the season.”

The second quarter would bring out a more composed Pioneer team. With great play from their goaltender Marotta, including a save from point blank range, Lynnfield would even the game, 2-2 when junior Jackson Hammersley went five-hole trickling one by the Patriot goalie.

The next two goals would belong to Revere, but another Alfe goal coming off a faceoff would cut Revere’s lead making it 4-3. With only 11 seconds left in the first half, a Patriot breakaway would give Revere a 5-3 advantage heading into the locker room.

After an early Patriot turnover, sophomore attackman Myles McKay took it from midfield all the way to the net untouched cutting Revere’s lead to only one. The Patriots would take the next goal but a power play goal from Pioneer sophomore John Briggs would bring the deficit back to one.

That would be all the magic Lynnfield could produce on offense that night as Revere would end up pulling away for a 10-6 victory. It was a tough way to start the campaign but coach Papagni knows the season is young.

“We have to get more disciplined and focus on the things we can do and that’s it,” said Papagni. “We can’t do things we’re not capable of doing.”

Hot start for Peabody too much for Pioneers to overcome

After a tough opening loss, things would not get easier for the Pioneers having to go up against a challenging Division One Peabody opponent. Trailing 7-0 early to the Tanners would also make things a bit more difficult for the young Lynnfield squad. However, the Pioneers would not go down without a fight.

After making some personnel changes on defense and creating more ball movement on offense, the Pioneers started to play with some rhythm. Following a spectacular save from Marotta, senior defenseman Hunter Allain made a great clearing pass which ended in a Hammersley goal.

Following a man-up goal from Alfe, a Peter Razzaboni faceoff win would result in a McKay goal cutting the seven-goal deficit to four.

In the end, Lynnfield would drop to 0-2 on the season falling to the Tanners 14-5.

Although it was not the start the Pioneers were looking for, coach Papagni knows there is still plenty of time to turn things around.

“I am most optimistic with how we responded in a varsity tough manner,” said Papagni. “Despite the 0-2 start we have some positives to build on for next week as our league play begins.”

Lynnfield hosts Manchester-Essex on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. and Triton on Friday, April 12 at 3:45 p.m.