After their best season to date, team aims higher this spring
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—After their best season in the history, the Melrose High School Lady Raider lacrosse team looks to come out swinging as they open their spring 2015 campaign next week.
Melrose is slated to open their season on the road on April 2 at Winchester but will arrive to play a home opener at Fred Green Field in Melrose on Monday, April 6. Whether or not there are mounds of snow on the perimeters of the turf doesn’t matter to coach Cate Arkins and her Lady Raiders, who compiled a 9-5-3 record in 2014 and earned their first ever playoff spot for Melrose last spring.
Leading the team as captains this season are senior Anna Steele, junior Katey Baraw and junior Haley Rodriguez.
Longtime coach Cate Arkins only likes what she sees in the preseason. “We’re lookingn to build on last year’s success,” she says. “This year we are focusing on transition and sort of piecing together our defense. We lost our goalie and Maddie Sullivan who was so tough with defense. But what I see so far on the field is speed and athleticism.”
One of those athletes is junior Haley Mate. “Haley will figure prominently,” says Arkins, who will rely on the midfielder to help with that transition, among other things. Arkins also points to the talent of Lenora Ivers. “She’ll have a big role this season.”
At the net this year is Sarah Foote, who will be counted on to fend off some of the league’s best shooters.
On offense, Melrose returns with most of their top attackers including senior captain Anna Steele and junior captain Haley Rodriguez. Fans should also look out of for contributions for Cat Torpey, Kayla Mattucci and Annie MacFarland. “We are pretty set on offense. I expect us to have balanced scoring, we won’t be counting on just one player,” says the coach.
With a roster that looks like a rather seamless transition, might this be the year Melrose makes a crack at the league title?
“We’re shooting for it,” says Arkins. “One of the strengths of this team is that they are a close-knit group, they’re team-orientated and they really know their roles. We’re looking forward to starting.”
2015 Season Schedule
Thu 4/02 3:45pm @ Winchester
Sat 4/04 3:00pm vs Malden – Mayor’s Cup (Pine Banks)
Mon 4/06 4:00pm @ Lynnfield
Wed 4/08 3:45pm vs Belmont
Fri 4/10 3:45pm vs Arlington
Sat 4/11 12:00am @ Malden – Mayor’s Cup (Pine Banks)
Fri 4/17 4:00pm @ Wilmington
Fri 4/24 6:00pm vs Arlington Catholic
Wed 4/29 3:45pm @ Lexington
Fri 5/01 4:00pm @ Reading
Mon 5/04 3:45pm @ Tewksbury
Wed 5/06 3:45pm vs Woburn
Thu 5/07 4:00pm @ Stoneham
Mon 5/11 4:00pm @ Burlington
Wed 5/13 7:00pm vs Wakefield
Fri 5/15 4:00pm vs Watertown
Mon 5/18 3:45pm vs Triton Regional