Marblehead laxmen complete perfect regular season

Last year, the Marblehead High boys lacrosse team wrapped up the regular season with a 15-3 record. This spring, they are a perfect 18-0 overall, and 12-0 in the Northeastern Conference.

The Magicians ended up 10th in the Division 2 power rankings last year. Right now, they are seventh, but that was before they dominated Melrose to the tune of 18-7 on May 26.

The final rankings were scheduled to be announced on May 30, the day before the state tournament pairings are set to be released, and a home game or two at Piper Field is certainly in the cards for the Magicians.

Coach John Wilkens and his Marblehead High School lacrosse team completed the regular season a perfect 18-0 and are now waiting to learn their opponent in the Division 2 state tournament. CURRENT PHOTO/NICOLE GOODHUE BOYD

The last time the team went undefeated was in 2021 during the COVID season, when it finished with a 13-0 record while playing only against conference foes. 

The Marblehead boys lost to host Minnechaug in a Round of 16 game last year, 8-5, after beating Hopkinton in the Round of 32, 15-3.

The team has improved by three wins — and by three spots in the rankings so far — in just 12 months. If it continues to follow that script, it might be celebrating a state title in a couple of weeks. 

“They worked really hard for this undefeated record and are remaining focused in order to take that next step in the state tournament,” said coach John Wilkens. “These players are a confident bunch, but certainly not cocky. We had a great regular season, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you move forward.”  

Carter Laramie (five goals, one assist) and Connor Cronin (five goals, three assists) paced the offensive attack against the Red Raiders. Baxter Jennings collected a hat trick while assisting on two other tallies. Gio Garibotto also netted three markers. Cam Waldman chipped in with two scores. 

The Marblehead boys were leading at halftime, 7-3, before an explosive third quarter put the game out of reach for the Middlesex League club. The Magicians scored five times during that sequence. 

Goalie Finn Maniaci accounted for nine saves to help prevent Melrose from making any comeback attempt. 

Three days earlier, the Magicians opened up the week with a 9-4 win over the visiting Newburyport Clippers. The host team only held a slim 3-2 lead at halftime, but once again the third quarter was the difference maker.

Captain Cronin was the scoring leader against the Clippers with six goals. Charlie Grenier was credited with two scores and one assist. Jennings, who according to Wilkens was solid on faceoffs in this game, also had a goal. Drew Nelson and Garibotto each setup one tally.

Maniaci came up with a season-high 17 saves that secured the win.

“(Maniaci) was fantastic playing against the No. 3 team in Division 3,” Wilkens said.

Wilkens also credits his defense for the perfect season to date. J.J. Pollender, Sam Annese and Eliot Pluss are the backline defenders that helped stop many offensive chances by the opposition so far this season.

Wilkens also singled out long-stick middies Eddie Johns and Zander Danforth and short-stick middle Hogan Sedky for their defensive prowess, along with junior Wilson Bullard, who was particularly skillful in shorthanded situations. 

On the offensive end, Cronin wrapped up the regular season with 107 points, now only four away from tying Brooks Tyrrell’s single-season school record.

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