, Salem, MA

April 9, 2014

Back on Track: Marblehead girls top Peabody to end skid

By Jean DePlacido

---- — MARBLEHEAD ­— Yellow cards can be the difference in a close game, and the Peabody girls lacrosse team found that out the hard way. The Tanners had two yellow cards in the second half, and the Magicians capitalized, scoring four times while a man-up. That was the difference in the 16-12 Marblehead win yesterday on the turf at Piper Field.

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Peabody, but wet field conditions forced the change. It was only the second game for the Tanners while Marblehead had already played four times.

“We should have already played three games, but we’ve only been on our field once,” said Peabody coach Dennis Desroches, his team now 0-2. “At this point we’ll play in a parking lot. Marblehead was well prepared and having played a few games showed. I’m very pleased with the effort and happy we showed we could stay with them.”

Marblehead improved to 2-3 on the year and snapped a three-game losing streak by scoring four man-up goals.

“Those two yellow cards were the difference. They were able to score four goals while we were shorthanded, and that cost us the game. Take away those four, and it would have been tied. Who knows what might have happened,” said Desroches. “You can’t go man-down for four minutes; good teams will take advantage of that. We made some mistakes that resulted from not having much time on the field, but those are things we will fix. We have a fairly new roster, and we’re still learning to work together.”

The game was tied four times in the first half, and at intermission knotted at 7-7. Peabody jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Aly Bortone (four goals) and Sarah Napolitano (two goals), but the Magicians stormed back to tie it at 3-3 on a goal by Corinne Mayle, who had four goals and an assist.

Lucie Poulin (four goals) and freshman Amanda Gregory (two goals and an assist) put Marblehead on top, 5-3 before Courtney Smith (four goals) and Bortone scored to tie it up. Poulin gave her team the lead, but Lauren Wolff answered with two in a row to put the Tanners ahead, 7-6 with just over a minute remaining in the half. Just 18 seconds later Mayle tied it up.

“We were coming off three tough losses last week, but we learned from each one,” said Marblehead coach Annie Pugh. “We focused on our offense in practice last night under the lights, and we battled aggressively with strong offense and defense. The ability to play smart lacrosse allowed us to win, and we really needed a win for confidence.

“We lost seven senior starters to graduation, and we have four freshmen on the field now. We’re improving with each game and moving forward, but we’re still learning how to play with each other. We have a tough schedule so we’ve got to come together quickly. This was a good start.”

The Magicians never trailed in the second half. Poulin, Adrienne Ciccone (four goals and an assist), and Mayle gave them a 10-7 lead. Two of those goals came with Peabody a man-down after a yellow card. Smith scored a great goal, falling as she cut across the crease to close the gap to 10-8 before Emily Freedland and Poulin struck for two unanswered goals to give Marblehead a 12-8 cushion.

The Tanners cut it to 12-10 on goals by Smith and Bortone, but the Magicians answered with four in a row by Mayle, Ciccone, Gregory, and Sydney Cayen, who also did a great job on draws.

“Ciccone has worked incredibly hard the last four years and really stepped up,” said Pugh. “Gregory had a nice game, and our three senior captains Sydney Cayen, Emily Freedland, and Caroline Helmes lead us both on and off the field.”

Desroches praised goalie Allison Hennigan, who came up with some huge saves to keep the Tanners in the game, especially in the second half.

“Allie was great, and our whole defensive effort was good,” said Desroches. “Offensively Napolitano, Wolff, and Smith had strong games.”

Sarah Godschall had an assist for the Tanners while Kelsey Detels picked up two helpers for Marblehead while Freedland had one.