Having that home field advantage could be important for the Tanners, according to coach Dennis Desroches.
“Securing home field for the first round was a huge accomplishment for our team because the last four years we’ve had to travel, regardless of our record,” Desroches said. “Central Catholic is from the Merrimack Valley Conference and they play an extremely tough schedule. Every game is like a tournament atmosphere and they’ll be well prepared. They’re strong in all phases of the game.”
The same could be said about Peabody, a balanced team that finished 12-4 this season.
Sisters Nicole and Sarah Napolitano give Peabody a dangerous duo, and Aly Bortone has come on strong lately. Courtney Smith has also been consistently good on offense for the Tanners.
Kristine Feudo, Christa Trombley, Victoria Digiacomo and Madison Doherty have been exceptional on defense this season, and Bianca Muscato is a two-way standout for Peabody.
“This lacrosse bracket, if you look from top to bottom and even in the middle, Lincoln-Sudbury and Concord-Carlisle, you’re talking about some of the best teams in the state,” Desroches said. “Their records are deceiving because their losses come against each other and they’re playing the best teams. Central Catholic, playing in the MVC, they probably are the toughest opponent we’ve faced all year just based on their schedule.”
Also on the same side of the North Division 1 bracket sits 19th-seeded Salem. The Witches finished the regular season 11-7 and captured the Northeastern Conference South title. The Witches play at No. 14 Methuen on Monday (2 p.m.) in a preliminary round game.
Beverly (9-9), which won its final two games to qualify for the postseason, drew the 18th seed and will travel to play No. 15 Lexington on Monday (6 p.m.) in the prelims.
Marblehead, powered by a balanced attack and the leadership of captains Cassie Rodgers and Meggie Collins, finished 15-5-1 this season and picked up the No. 2 seed in Division 2 North.