Enjoying a 4-1 start to the season
Published in the April 15, 2016 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High Red Raider lacrosse team has bolted out of the gate to a 4-1 record in early weeks of play, with victories over Arlington, Belmont, Peabody and Hamilton-Wenham.
They began their season against a historically tough Div. 1 Wellesley team on April 2 and despite a 16-12 loss, they were minutes well spent. “That was a back and forth game,” reports coach Matt James. “In the end we were able to identify areas we needed to clean up and it really helped us prepare the next three victories.”
Offense has been no problem for the Raiders, who have outscored rivals 49-14 in the last three contests. Melrose beat Belmont 13-3 on April 7 thanks to goals from Jack Siebert (4 goals, 3 assists) and they enjoyed a 16-2 victory against a competitive Div. 1 Peabody team on April 9 that was even more lopsided. A handful of Raiders contributed to that win, including Siebert (4 goals) Jack Mandracchia (3 goals), Mike Pedrini (3 goals) and Jack Wells (3 goals). Pedrini remains hot with 5 goals against Belmont and 5 against Arlington whom Melrose beat 19-9 on Tuesday. In the game Corbin White also scored 5 goals and Connor Locke impressed with a dozen saves.
“He was our player of the game. It was his best of the year,” says Melrose head coach Matt James said of Locke.
So far, playing teams in higher divisions is paying dividends. “We’re excited to have these Div. 1 teams on the schedule, and it’s better when we beat them,” says James.
Defensively Melrose remains sharp, and a transition from offense to defense for one player is making a huge difference. “Zac Phipps has been outstanding in defense,” James says. “It was a great switch for him. He’s been lights out.”
Overall the team shows a depth and skill that helps produce wins. “We’re really focusing on pushing the transition, the fast breaks. We have a lot of kids who can play on this team. They know their roles,” says their coach.
Melrose looks to continue their winning ways when they travel Friday to Lexington to face the Minutemen.