SOFIA PITCHER is among those who will stand out in scoring for the 2022 MHS girls’ lacrosse team. (Raj Das photo)


Last year’s 9-3 team returns with experience




MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider girls lacrosse team is back after one of their most successful seasons to date in 2021 when they compiled a record of 9-3 and qualified for the Div. 1 North playoffs. They kick off their season on March 31 on the road in Medford before opening at home next Wednesday against Woburn at 4:15 p.m.

It’s a new season and Melrose is ready for a full 18-game schedule, a Malden Cup rivalry and a chance to compete again in the MIAA tournament. Melrose will enjoy a collective captainship of Ali Maguire, Kailey Donovan and Olivia Galusi, who will join seniors Jenna McGuire, Kate Hubbard and Rory Kirby.

Melrose’s playmakers are back and they come in the form of leading scorer Ali Maguire and junior Sofia Pitcher, two attackers who will be sure to find the net in 2002. The two have already made noise as they competed last weekend at a pre-season jamboree. Melrose head coach Matt Galusi reports good things. “Sofia is a player who can play defense in college so she is going to help us on defense and we got that from her last weekend. Ali is just so fast and aggressive. It was a great start.”

Expect players like Kailey Donovan, Megan Casey and Meghan Maher to also be mainstays on offense. On defense look for players like Kate Hubbard, Rory Kirby and Sofia Pitcher, with new pieces of defense to might also include Lucy Clark, Sofia Galusi and Lindsay Teevan.

This Melrose roster is tight but talented. “We’re small in numbers but that’s great because that means every girl is playing, especially on our junior varsity level,” reports Galusi. One new element is sophomore goalie Sofia Hitchman who will assume duties at the net. “She’s fearless in there,” says her coach, who expects Gabby Hill to serve as back up.

Overall this team has the right ingredients to make some noise in the Middlesex Freedom League. Says the coach, “If we play sharp on both ends of the ball, we will be a tough out. I hope other teams take us lightly so we can surprise them.”