After press time: Lynnfield defeats Hamlton-Wenham 18-6 (April 3)



KELAN CARDINAL, a CAL All-Star last year, started his 2024 season with a goal and 3 assists in Lynnfield’s season-opening 8-7 loss to Swampscott on Monday. (File Photo)



LYNNFIELD — Last season, the Lynnfield High boys’ lacrosse team reached the MIAA Division 4 quarterfinals before losing to Sandwich, 13-4, to end the year at 12-9. They defeated Hamilton–Wenham in the first round and Manchester-Essex in the second round before losing to Sandwich.

In the Cape Ann League, the Pioneers went 5-7 as they came in third place in the Baker Division.

Five seniors from that roster graduated including Cape Ann League First-Team All-Stars, Steve Dreher (defenseman) and Drew Damiani (attacker). They also lost Jack Calichman who is the team’s all-time points and assists leader.

When practice opened on March 18, fourth-year head coach Pat Lamusta had 14 veterans return.

Four of the veterans back are this year’s captains. Three of them are seniors while the other one is a junior.

The three senior captains are Jake Connell (defenseman), A.J. Chiaradonna (defenseman- long stick midfielder) and Owen White (defense- midfielder).

Kelan Cardinal is the junior captain as the midfielder led the team in points last year with 88. He scored 37 goals to go with 51 assists as he made the CAL Second-Team All-Stars.

The other 12th-graders back are Nicolo Antidormi (defenseman), Alex Baldini (defense- midfielder), Evan Rocha (attacker) and Dhimitri Dono (midfielder).

Along with Cardinal, the other juniors returning are Ben Pimentel (goalie), Aidan Norton (defense), Mike Murphy (midfielder), Owen Doherty (midfielder), Owen Considine (attacker) and Norton’s twin brother Will (attacker).

“We will miss Dreher, Calichman and Damiani but we do return a lot of experience on offense,” said Lamusta. “I am optimistic on what we can do this year.”

Lynnfield will play an 18-game regular season scheduled with 13 league games. They will play the Baker Division teams twice and the Kinney Division teams once including newcomer Essex Tech.

The Pioneers will play five non-league contests as they will face Swampscott, Bishop Fenwick, Dracut, Winthrop and Melrose.

According the Lamusta, Ipswich will be the team to beat in the Baker Division this spring. The Tigers tied Manchester-Essex for the CAL Baker title last year.

It was a heartbreaking season opener for the Pioneers on Monday afternoon as they were edged by host Swampscott, 8-7, in a non-league game.

The Pioneers never led as they were down, 4-1, after the first quarter.

“It was a disappointing start,” admitted Lamusta. “We had a lot of early turnovers and we struggled with our transition defense.”

Lynnfield was able to right the ship in the second quarter outscoring the Big Blue, 3-2, in the second quarter to cut the lead to two at halftime.

Trailing 8-6, Cardinal scored to cut the lead to one with just under two minutes left. The Pioneers then had a couple of late chances even though they were a man down but their final attempt was wide and the hosts were able to hold on.

Considine led the team in goals with three and he also had one assist. Cardinal was the team leader in assists with three along with the one tally. Will Norton scored twice while Rocha had the other goal to go with one assist.

Pimentel had a busy day in net as he made 17 saves.

“Ben gave us a chance with the way he played,” stated Lamusta.

Lynnfield will be on the road for their next two games as they go to Hamilton-Wenham on April 3 and Amesbury on April 5.

On April 9, the Pioneers host Triton. All three games will start at 4 p.m.