The Marblehead High boys lacrosse team (12-0 in the Northeastern Conference, 16-0 overall) is 12th in the latest Division 2 state tournament power rankings on May 19. But that was before they took on host Lexington amid a steady rain the very next day.
Despite the weather, they were still able to double up the Division 1 Minutemen, 14-7. Lexington is ranked 24th with a 10-5 record in the competitive Middlesex League.
It was the type of game that could have positive residual effects when the postseason begins next week, according to the team’s coach.
“We played with a lot of energy and tenacity against a team that plays a tough Division 1 schedule,” said John Wilkens. “Playing teams like this can only help us in the state tournament, where we will face many quality clubs.”
Connor Cronin paced the offensive in the Lexington game with seven goals and two assists. Charlie Grenier chipped in with two goals and three assists. Carter Laramie scored twice. Cam Waldman had two goals and one assist. Baxter Jennings chipped in with one goal and one assist.
Goalie Finn Maniaci did his part in this most satisfying win by coming up with 10 critical saves.
“(Finn) was particularly solid near the end of the game, when he came up with several nice stops,” said Wilkens.
Maniaci also had help from his defenders. J.J. Pollender, Sam Annese and Eliot Pluss did their jobs clearing the ball out of the defensive zone on many occasions to prevent sustained Lexington threats.
Prior to the Lexington contest, the Magicians defeated both Masco, 13-6 on May 16, and Winthrop, 17-10 May 18, to maintain their unbeaten ways heading into the final week of the regular season.
Laramie and Waldman were the top scorers against the Chieftains with three goals apiece. Cronin chipped in with two tallies and one assist, while Jennings accounted for two goals.
Grenier was the assist leader with seven to go along with one marker. Reece Moore and Gio Garibotto each netted a goal.
Maniaci made 12 saves in this game to frustrate Masco from getting any closer on the scoreboard.
Against Winthrop, Cronin was back on top among the top scorers with six goals and three assists. Grenier was next in line with four goals and three assists. Jennings contributed four goals to the winning cause. Laramie had two scores, and Moore tallied once. Maniaci came up with eight saves against the Vikings.
The Marblehead boys were set to start the final week of the regular season by taking on host Newburyport on May 23. They will then wrap up the schedule on Friday night at home against Melrose, starting at 6 p.m.
Both of these games are against teams that have been perennial postseason contenders, and playing them now should give these surging Magicians the prep work necessary to begin the state tournament next week.
The Division 2 pairings are scheduled to be released this weekend.