Girls’ lax continues to improve in challenging season

Jun 9, 2021 by

Published on June 9, 2021

By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI

LYNNFIELD — Two years ago, the Lynnfield High girls’ lacrosse team finished at 11-8 as they lost in the first round of the Division 2 North state tournament to Tyngsboro. The roster from that team and this year’s team is almost completely turned over as only three players, the tri-captains, Jen Flynn, Maddy Murphy and Molly Murphy are back.

Five seniors graduated from the 2019 team while seven seniors did not get to play last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With such an inexperienced roster, the team has really struggled this spring.

THE GIRLS’ lacrosse seniors are officially graduates of Lynnfield High. Pictured are Jen Flynn, Ella Gaudette, Kyara Glinski, Paige Leuci, Maddy Murphy, Molly Murphy, Ava O’Brien, Erin Sharkey and Caroline Sprince. (LHS Girls’ Lacrosse Photo)

On June 3, the Pioneers lost at Triton 13-5 as it was their fifth-straight road game. With that defeat, Lynnfield fell to 0-9 with three games remaining.

“Our defense has been under tremendous pressure all season as we have spent an uncustomary large amount of time defending,” explained Lynnfield head coach Ethan Blanchette. “We are playing well enough, strictly on defense, to be competitive and offensively we are able to score goals when we have the ball. The problem this season has been that we haven’t had the ball nearly enough. We’ve been beaten on the draws and have turned the ball over quite a bit in transition, which has led to us defending for the majority of every game. I do give the defense a lot of credit for playing strong under challenging circumstances.”

Flynn and Maddy Murphy both scored twice against the Vikings, who swept the season series, while Molly Murphy had the other tally.

On June 1, the Pioneers lost at Ipswich by a final of 16-3.

Flynn had two goals while Maddy Murphy had the other one.

Lynnfield fell to host Newburyport 18-5 back on May 28.

Flynn and Maddy Murphy scored two goals each while Molly Murphy scored one goal and had an assist.

On May 26, the Pioneers were edged at Georgetown 11-9.

Along with Flynn and the two Murphy’s, Anna Kaminski also scored for the locals.

On May 24, the Pioneers lost at Pentucket 21-8. Goalie Ava O’Brien, who has been tested all season, recorded 10 saves.

Flynn and the Murphy’s scored all of the Pioneers goals in that game.

At home on May 21, the Pioneers lost to Newburyport, 21-1.

“That is a to a state-championship-caliber team,” said Blanchette, about the Clippers.

Maddy Murphy scored in the first quarter for our only goal of that game.

At Hamilton-Wenham on May 18, the Pioneers lost 18-7. Flynn scored all seven goals for the team that day which is a career-high for her.

“Playing only league games has not allowed us to have any confidence-building games as the CAL is an extremely good girls’ lacrosse conference,” said Blanchette. “There are no weak teams and the best teams in the North division of the state are perennially from the CAL. The promising signs are that I see improvement from the team as a whole. We are continuing to improve. We have several players on the varsity who play big minutes, but do not have a lot of lacrosse experience and they are growing and developing. The in-game experience is very valuable and I give credit to the players for staying engaged and continuing to work hard.” On Thursday afternoon, June 10 at 4:30 p.m., the Pioneers host Manchester-Essex. They wrap up the season on June 15 as they welcome Pentucket at 3:45 p.m.

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