There’s no doubt that the many young players on the Marblehead High girls lacrosse team (2-6 in the NEC Dunn Division, 6-7 in the NEC, 6-13 overall) have grown up considerably as varsity players while experiencing all aspects of the sport on this level. But they will never forget their first state tournament game against Division 2 host Ashland in a preliminary round game.
It took two days and two long bus rides to the central part of the state to complete the game that was interrupted by Mother Nature’s thunder and lightning followed by torrential rain. The Magicians might have lost the game, 10-5, but their coach Annie Madden could not have been prouder of them.
“Playing an opponent on back-to-back days in the state tournament (is certainly rare), and it definitely wasn’t easy, but we still played the same way we did all season long with both determination and heart,” Madden said.
Madden added, “We fought to the last whistle all season long, and nothing changed on that Friday and Saturday night (June 2 and 3). This is what the coaching staff and I are most proud of, and will always remember about our 2023 season.”
Madden credited the seniors for keeping the team focused.
“They were always driving us to get better in order to make sure that we reached our last goal of making and competing in the state tournament,” Madden said. “Some of our best practices were toward the end of the season, and that showed that our captains — Saylor Caruso (five ground balls) and Sydney Langton (50 goals, 12 assists, 13 ground balls in 19 games) — as well as our other senior leaders — Isabelle Ferrante (11 goals, 7 assists), Tamia Johnson (1 goal), goalie Kate Santesanio (387 minutes, 0.5 goals against average) and Lucy Wales (34 goals, 12 assists in 19 games) — were all-in from Day 1.”
Losing is never easy, Madden noted.
“But knowing that we were losing against strong teams and still finished up as the 22nd best team in the final Division 2 power rankings (at the end of the regular season) kept us moving forward,” she said. “And now our younger players can take away from our seniors that it’s not just one game that makes us great, but it’s all the small moments from March to June that make us who we are.”
Sophomores Ramona Gillett (33 goals, five assists, 18 ground balls in 19 games) and Maddie Forbes (21 goals, 14 assists, 19 ground balls in 19 games) were the third and fourth top scorers on the team this year. Their classmate Caitlyn Ryan collected eight goals and two assists in just 16 games. Junior Caroline Scroope had eight goals and 10 assists in 19 games. Sophomore Gretchen Smith contributed eight goals and three assists in 17 games.
There will be 16 players — now with varsity experience — returning next year, looking to take what they had learned this year from the graduating seniors to make that jump in the power rankings to possibly host a postseason game or two while also avoiding that long bus trip to play in a state tournament game.