Published May 15, 2019
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
WEST NEWBURY — On Monday afternoon, the Lynnfield High girls’ lacrosse team won 13-10 at Pentucket. With that win, the Pioneers improved to 6-6 overall and 3-6 in the Cape Ann League. They now need to go at least 3-3 in the final six games in order to qualify for the Division 2 state tournament.
This game was tied at six at halftime but the Pioneers outscored the Sachems 7-4 in the second half.
“We really had a bunch of players play big-time games,” said Pioneers head coach Ethan Blanchette. “Sophia (Ellis) was tremendous defensively, causing a season-high six turnovers and collecting four ground balls. We’re glad to have her back as she missed the first six games of the season with an injury and we really missed her play-making ability.”
Ashley Barrett scored six goals and caused a pair of turnovers, while Olivia Sarni scored three goals, won two draws and also won four ground-balls. Jen Flynn scoring a pair of goals, dished out three assists, while winning five draws and seven ground balls.
The unsung hero of the game, according to Blanchette, was definitely Maddie Burke, who was tasked with face-guarding Pentucket’s leading scorer.
“We’ve talked about face-guarding and we’ve practiced it a little, but this was the first game we actually used it,” said Blanchette. “Maddie did a great job as she really frustrated the player she was defending and at one point they even pulled her out of the game. I don’t think she was used to that defense, Maddie deserves a lot of credit.”
Can’t tame Tigers
The news was not as good last Friday afternoon as the Pioneers fell to Ipswich 11-1 at home.
“We knew this would be a tough test,” said Blanchette. “Ipswich is always strong and, this year, they’re one of the best teams on the north shore. We played fantastic defense for the first 22 minutes, but you’re never going to keep a team as talented as the Tigers down for the whole game.”
The Tigers scored four times in the final three minutes of the first half to go up 6-1 at halftime.
Sarni, a senior, scored the only goal for Lynnfield about 12 minutes into the first half. Barrett added four ground balls and won two draws to pace Lynnfield.
Goalie Grace Magno, who had seven saves in the Pentucket win, made nine saves against Ipswich.
Clipped by Newburyport
On May 7, the Pioneers lost 12-7 at Newburyport. The Clippers led this game 6-0 at the half as Lynnfield outscored them 7-6 in the second stanza.
Flynn won seven draws on the day while scoring two goals and collecting five ground balls. Sarni and Barrett each scored two goals.
“Two areas that have plagued us against strong opponents are struggling to win the draw and turning the ball over in transition,” said Blanchette. “ We made it a point to focus on those areas and we executed as well as we have all season. That’s what enabled us to keep the game relatively close.”
Mango made eight saves.
Edged by Generals
On April 30, the Pioneers were edged 14-12 at Hamilton-Wenham. The Generals won 22 of the 28 draws. Sarni led the attack by scoring four goals while Barrett scored three, won three draws and collected four ground balls for an all-around strong performance.
The Pioneers’ Senior Night is on Wednesday (May 15) at 6:45 p.m. as they host Winthrop. They visit Mystic Valley on Friday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. and then go to Revere on Saturday with that game starting at noon.
On May 20, they host Swampscott at 4 p.m. in another non-league contest.