4-1 Everett win is a senior special for Melrose
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—It was the perfect night for the Melrose High field hockey team, who celebrated Senior Night at home under the lights at Fred Green Field prior to the start of their game against Everett on Monday Oct. 24. And it was a special win as Melrose soared to a 4-1 victory over Everett in a well-rounded offensive battle.
The night was a chance to honor their hardworking seniors Layla Szymczak and Megan Jancaitis.
“We are so sad to see MJ and Layla take their home field for the last time with us,” says Melrose head coach, Claire Grogan. And there was no better gift to the hardworking duo than rallying up a 4-1 win against the Crimson Tide.
Their win came courtesy of goals from Melrose’s Anna Sullivan in the first, Alex Zaino in the second, Mary Atkinson in the third and Sophia Sullivan in the third. And of course, Szymczak in the net. “Layla played a great game letting in just one goal in the first quarter,” confirms Grogan.
Defensively, Melrose has seen recent efforts from Callie Bolduc to keep them looking sharp and help Szymczak at the net. “Callie’s become a consistent starter on defense and a steady stick for us,” says Grogan.
But Melrose hasn’t been shy finding the net in recent efforts, including in Freedom League games against Burlington and Wakefield. In those games (albeit losses) Melrose saw Anna Sullivan put one away early against the Warriors and days later, Melrose’s Megan Jancaitis scored on a corner in the second quarter.
Despite a modest record, Melrose is still is alive in power rankings, tallying in at #34 on the newest rankings released on Tuesday. When playing in as tough a league as Melrose, it’s worth noting that Melrose plays perennial state champ Watertown twice in one season, plus historically tough ML Large teams. When you factor it together, it seems the MIAA ranking committee has taken note of their strength of schedule.
“I definitely feel our record is deceiving, yes,” says Grogan. “We have held leads for almost an entire half against a few of our teams now, Wakefield most recently.”
And one thing is for sure, as this team stares down the end of their regular season, they have plenty of game left in them. After a road bout with Wilmington, they will travel to Stoneham on Thursday (post deadline) where they look to pick up a league win. Should they beat both Wilmington and Stoneham, they could state a case for playoff inclusion.
With that in mind, stay tuned.
“We are continuing to keep our focus this week on playing for each other,” says the coach about their final stretch. “We do this by taking fast restarts, moving early and often for each other and communicating what we see open on the field. Our JV team has had an amazing season. We are so proud of the heart they play with each game, their ability to finish and the talent that exists.”