The Beverly and Marblehead boys lacrosse teams that will be playing at the end of the spring will, in all likelihood, look quite a bit different than the ones that square off today.
That doesn’t mean this early-season Northeastern Conference showdown lacks intrigue.
The way it is these days, every Beverly-Marblehead lacrosse contest carries long-term importance and seems to add to what is becoming one of the best rivalries on the North Shore.
“They always have a good team and they’re always ready to play,” Marblehead (2-2) coach John Wilkens said. “You really gotta get up for it; everybody circles it on the schedule.”
Marblehead and Beverly split their meetings last year and shared the NEC crown.
This game obviously has league championship implications — even if that title won’t be decided for another month or so — and Beverly and Marblehead have become two of the best teams in all of Division 2 North.
“It’s early season and there’s a little less game planning and scheming, at least from our end. We control what we can control and want to play our best possible game,” Beverly (3-1) coach John Pynchon said. “I’m excited about it. This is a huge game not only for the NEC but also for seeding and us and Marblehead are kind of at the top of that group with Winchester. There are a lot of implications beyond the NEC.”
Marblehead and Beverly have played a combined eight games and they’re both still finding their way.
The Magicians have been playing without junior midfielder Brooks Tyrrell, who has already committed to Notre Dame.
Beverly, meanwhile, has had a few players in and out of its own lineup, in particular junior defender Brian Flaherty and sophomore midfielder Jordan Rawding.
Whether he’s healthy or not, Pynchon is preparing for Tyrrell to be in the lineup.