Published March 21, 2019


NORTH READING — Matt Costello is the new head coach of the North Reading High girls’ lacrosse team this year. He takes over for Samantha Whitney who stepped down after last year.

Costello is in his second year teaching physical education at North Reading High.

“I heard about the vacancy and applied back in December,” recalled Costello, who got hired in January.

Costello grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and was a two-year lacrosse captain at Martha’s Vineyard High School. He then played in college at Ithaca in upstate New York.

Last spring, he was an assistant coach for the Hornet boys’ team and before that he was the boys’ assistant coach at Sandwich High School on the Cape.

The Hornet girls’ team has struggled the past few seasons and last year, they finished at 4-12 overall. The Hornets went 0-10 in the Cape Ann League and 0-4 in the CAL Kinney division.

“We are trying to create a sense of belonging,” said Costello. “I met individually with each player and met several times with the seniors as a whole back in January.”

This is Costello’s first job coaching girls’ lacrosse.

“The biggest difference is the eight-meter shot,” he pointed out, about the different rules in the boys’ and girls’ game. “This is also a non-contact sport where finesse and technique is big.”

He will have two assistant coaches, returner Ali Pepe and newcome, Christine Johnson. Pepe is the Hornets’ junior varsity coach while Johnson will be the team’s defensive coordinator.

“Both of them are going to be very valuable to me,” said Costello.

The Hornets first practice was on Monday as the team will have a little over two weeks to train. They are slated to scrimmage at Wakefield High on March 26 and they visit Austin Prep on March 28 with those games starting at 3:30 p.m.

Opening day for the team will be on April 1 as they visit non-league Essex Tech at 4 p.m. The home and CAL opener will take place on April 4 as they host Georgetown at 3:45 p.m.