By Matt Jenkins
---- — TOPSFIELD — Masconomet boys lacrosse coach Tom Cobb is keeping his expectations reasonable for now.
The Chieftains, like many teams in the area, have been outside for less than a week, but their progress has been steady and impressive. That progress has yet to produce a win, however, in two games.
Masco started slow yesterday and made things interesting in the second half before succumbing to Catholic Conference power B.C. High, 10-6.
“We’re using the space and being confident, our sticks are better after four days outside practicing. I think everything has improved a lot in five days, but there’s still a lot of growth (to go),” Cobb said. “We’re hoping to grow all season and surprise somebody at the end.”
Expectations probably shouldn’t be that high for Masco, considering all it has to replace this spring.
Two-time All-American Kurt Hunziker is now playing at Division 1 UMass Amherst and standout classmates Tim Towler, Wes Shrewsbury, Jake Gillespie, and Julian Bandereck have also moved on.
Win or lose, a lot of Masco’s early season games could look the similar to this one.
“Honestly, even with the slow start we played better than we played Monday (in a loss to Acton-Boxboro), but we were just missing a couple steps,” Cobb said. “We were just missing that second slide and those (B.C. High) kids have great sticks. They’re all very talented; you leave kids like that open on the second and they can kind of dunk it if it’s not there.”
B.C. High scored the game’s first three goals and led 4-1 after the first quarter.
Masco started to put things together in the second quarter, playing the visitors even. Henry Behrens, Trevor Surette and Max Craig each scored to keep the Chieftains within striking distance at the half.
The Chieftains trimmed the deficit to just one, 7-6, after the third, outscoring the Eagles 2-0 in the frame. Ben Hoesley and Harry Cwik each found the net and senior goalie Tighe Van Lenten was sharp in net. Through 36 minutes the Chieftains found themselves in a game.
“The third quarter was great,” Cobb said. “If we can play quarters like that all the time, even though we’re young, we’ll be able to surprise some people and hang with teams.”
B.C. High wouldn’t let Masco complete its comeback, however.
Billy Breen, Alex O’Brien and Sam Friedman scored goals for the Eagles in the fourth.
“Part of it was just settling down. We were man-down a lot in the second and third quarters and, as a result, they put goals on us,” B.C. High (1-1) coach Tim Kelly said. “I think we were losing 3-1 when it came to man-down at the half, then it became 4-1 in the third quarter. Finally we started to get a couple penalties on our side and we put a couple balls away. Part of it was just getting those opportunities, but we just had to settle.”
Cwik finished with two goals for Masco and Surette had one goal and two assists. Behrens and Craig each had one goal and one assist while Hoesley finished with one tally.
O’Brien led B.C. High with four goals.
“I think our attack was better. Cam Jung, Max and Ben were moving the ball,” Cobb said. “I think our faceoff was great. Dylan Mann did an excellent job and Corey Tines did a great job tying the ball up. We went into (our first game) hoping to do that earlier and we did it today. We had improvements everywhere.”