Published May 1, 2019
By JAMES CRANNEY
GEORGETOWN – Almost at the halfway mark of the season sitting at 1-5, the Lynnfield boys’ lacrosse program hoped to get its season back on track last week. For the Pioneers to do so, they would have to go on the road for two challenging away games. The first game would be a rematch against a familiar 2-3 Georgetown team, followed by an always tough 3-2 Masco squad.
Pioneers respond to Royals
It is never easy playing after a physical and grueling defeat. What’s even more difficult is having to play that same team which just handed you the loss. Last Tuesday afternoon, the Pioneers did just that traveling to Georgetown fresh off their 19-14 loss to the Royals the week prior.
After the first quarter, Lynnfield found themselves trailing 5-3 but it could have been worse. Junior Peter Razzaboni dominated in the faceoff circle giving the Pioneers plenty of offensive opportunities. Razzaboni would finish the game winning 38 out of 40 faceoffs for Lynnfield.
The second quarter is where the Pioneers would turn the tide. With continuous success from the faceoff circle, the Lynnfield offense finally found its groove. The Pioneers stormed the net getting great contributions from Jackson Hammersly (6 goals, 1 assist), Gianluca Alfe (4 goals), Mitch McKay (2 goals, 4 assists), and freshman Janssen Sperling (2 goals). Lynnfield would go into the locker room feeling good with an 11-7 lead.
The offense would cool down a little for the Pioneers in the second half, but the defense remained red hot. Lead by sophomore goalie Nik Marotta (11 saves), the Lynnfield defense did their job only allowing three second half goals. After the final whistle, the Pioneers would get their revenge on Georgetown completing a 15-10 victory.
“We played so inconsistently,” claimed Lynnfield head coach Joe Papagni after the game. Despite some of the transitional mistakes and other sloppy play, coach Papagni knows this was a big win that his team needed. “It was brutally difficult, but a win is a win.”
Chieftains too much for Lynnfield
Now with two wins under their belt, Lynnfield had win number three on their minds last Thursday when they traveled north to battle the Chieftains of Masco. Despite having just tasted victory, the Pioneers’ game still had plenty of mistakes that needed to be addressed. If Lynnfield wanted to leave Boxford with another tally in the win column, these faults needed to be cleaned up against a tough Masco opponent.
Things were not looking good early when Masco snagged two quick goals to start the game. The Pioneers struggled with their transition game and when they had possession could not generate much on the offensive side of the ball.
Mitch Mckay fed Sperling with a great pass crashing towards the crease but could not find the back of the net. Following a Masco turnover, Lynnfield would not be denied this time. Alfe took the ball up the gut of the defense and ripped it through the top corner of the cage. Despite cutting the deficit in half, the rest of the first half would belong to the Chieftains. The Pioneers would not be able to put another one by the goalie and Masco went into the locker room leading 5-1.
The first goal of the second half belonged to Masco but after some successful ball movement, Alfe would once again fire one by the Chieftains netminder making it 6-2. Masco would add two more but following a great Lynnfield clear, Mitch Mckay worked his way around the Masco defense before delivering a perfect bounce shot over the goalie’s shoulder.
Trailing 8-3 entering the fourth quarter, it was looking bleak for the Pioneers but they showed no quit. With stellar play from the defense including great saves from Marotta, Lynnfield would not give up another goal for the remainder of the game.
The Pioneers scored twice to cut the deficit to three, but in the end it would not be enough. Lynnfield dropped to 2-6 on the season after the 8-5 final.
It is never easy accepting defeat, but coach Papagni knows there are still positives to be taken away.
“Overall I’m very pleased,” commented coach Papagni following the game. “We had a few guys out with the flu but hung in there most of the game…I was pleased with the effort of the defense and goalie Nik Marotta, just need more offensive possessions and attacking ability.”