THE MELROSE High girls’ lacrosse team took out Stoneham and Wilmington last week to extend their winning streak to five. (photo by Raj Das edphotos.com)
Melrose power ranked high on eve of playoffs
Update post publication:
Melrose defeats Shawsheen 17-7 on Senior Night (May 24)
Melrose falls to Burlington 10-7 in matchup to decide Freedom league title (May 29)
Published May 26, 2023
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High girls lacrosse team is riding a five-game winning streak as they finish their regular season with a current winning 7-6 record and a strong #17 power ranking in Div. 2 as they eye playoff seedings that will happen early next week.
Melrose took out two Freedom League rivals last week to improve their record and extend their streak. First up was a convincing 13-7 win over Wilmington on the road on May 17. In the game Melrose’s Jill Frawley led with 6 goals and 2 assists. Alison Doherty had 3 goals and 1 assist, while Cailyn MacDonald, Meghan Maher, Megan Casey all had a goal and an assist and Melrose’s Lucy Clark and Emily Lucien also chipped in with a goal.
At the net, Sophia Hitchman had 9 saves for Melrose.
Just two days later on May 19, Melrose hosted Stoneham and took a big 13-2 win. It was an equitable scoring effort with senior Sofia Pitcher notching two goals and two assists, Ella Daniels with 2, Meghan Maher with 2 goals and an assist, Cailan MacDonald with 2 goals and a goal each from Lucy Clark, Alison Doherty, Emily Lucien, Megan Casey and Alex Leeman.
It was a true defensive gem, led by Melrose goalie Sophia Hitchman with a whopping 17 saves.
Defensively, Emily Lucien, Lindsay Teeven, Sophia Galusi, Alex Leeman and Kiera Brophy really paved the way for Melrose. Lucien also saw extensive time at midfield and contributed with three caused turnovers and four ground balls as well.
“That group played great and really shut down any scoring opportunities Stoneham had,” said Melrose head coach Matt Galusi. “In the midfield Meg Casey and Sofia Pitcher stepped up and controlled the draw circle, winning a majority of the draws for the entire game and defensively they combined to cause 6 turnovers.”
He credited his hard working goalie. “Defensively it all starts at the net with Sophia. She has made some big saves as of late and that fires up our defense and gets everyone flying to the ball. They have really worked with their slides and communication and are finally gelling as a unit. Alex Leeman has been a spark as of late causing turnovers and dominating on ground ball control.”
On Wednesday (post deadline) Melrose was set to celebrate their seniors, Meghan Maher, Sofia Pitcher, Sophia Galusi, Lindsay Teeven and captain Meghan Casey, on Senior Night. But there is plenty of season left. Melrose is all but assured of a playoff spot with a high seeding and current winning record, thanks in part to a second season surge.
“We really haven’t changed anything in the second half of the season, personally I think it just took us a long time to develop chemistry and work out a lot of kinks,” says coach Galusi. “The more these girls are able to play together and battle together through tough situations has helped us out heading into a potential postseason bid.”
Melrose will battle Burlington for the league title on Monday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m., which could prove to be the game of the season.
Fans are encouraged to root on the girls in red and white in person at Fred Green Field.