Melrose earns 9th victory, undefeated in league

Published in the May 6, 2016 edition

THE MELROSE Red Raider lacrosse team punched their ticket to playoffs and remain undefeated in the M.L. Freedom league. (Donna Larsson photo)

THE MELROSE Red Raider lacrosse team punched their ticket to playoffs and remain undefeated in the M.L. Freedom league. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE — The good times continue to roll for the Melrose Red Raider lacrosse team who are 9-2 on the season and have clinched a playoff spot with recent wins over Burlington and Wilmington. The team remains undefeated in the Freedom League with only Wakefield (8-1) a candidate to snatch a league title from Melrose. That showdown happens on Friday, May 13 in Melrose in what could be the game of the season. Until then, Melrose will face the likes of Winchester and Woburn, fine tuning their skill with one eye on an extended playoff run.

“Right now everyone is scoring,” says head coach Matt James. “We’re not seeing players piling on goals to improve stats. The amount of assists from some of our top scorers has been impressive. There is just a great chemistry on the team, they genuinely love playing together.”

On Friday, April 29 Melrose enjoyed a 19-7 league win over Burlington (3-4). Jack Seibert and Jack Mandracchia both had 5 goals, while Mike Pedrini came up big with 6 assists, helping Melrose take a 3-1 edge after the first and a 13-3 lead at the half. Melrose goalie Connor Locke held steady at the net to limit the Red Devils to 4 second half goals. James points to the bonus of having Melrose senior Ryan McDermott back in the lineup after he’d been out for a few weeks. “He does so much for us. He’s huge and having him back is advantage.”

Prior to the win Melrose beat Wilmington (0-8) on April 26 by a score of 15-3. The game was an opportunity for Melrose to test out freshman goalie Matt Rocha, who passed with flying colors. “Matt cleared the ball well and got some nice saves,” said his coach, who also credits the work of Lou Izzi, a sophomore who plays on an advanced level. “He’s a great player,” he says.

Defensively, Melrose has been hot, with Tom Calvert among those taking out competition. “He’s almost unbeatable right now containing the best players on opposing teams. He’s just a great leader.”

The team enters a challenging stretch to the schedule with games against Winchester (7-3) and Wakefield (8-1) on the horizon. “Our goal is still to take the league title and the Wakefield game will determine that,” says James.

For fans who want to catch local action, Melrose hosts Woburn under the  lights of Fred Green Field this Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m.

Remaining regular season games

Fri. 5/6 vs. Woburn, 7

Tue 5/10 @ Winchester, 4

Thu. 5/12 vs. Wakefield, 7

Tue 5/17 vs. Watertown, 4

Thu 5/19 vs. Beverly 6:30 (Senior Night)

Fri 5/20 @ Stoneham, 4