, Salem, MA

May 7, 2014

First half surge helps Masconomet girls down Hamilton-Wenham

By Dan Harrison

---- — HAMILTON — The Masconomet girls lacrosse team has let its offensive play slip in the last couple of weeks.

On the road against Hamilton-Wenham yesterday, the Chieftains regained their offensive prowess. Masco scored nine unanswered goals to end the first half in a 16-7 win over the Generals.

“I really liked the way our offense was moving the ball around,” said Masco (9-3-1) head coach Alan McCarthy. “We’ve worked on having good ball movement, off the ball movement and freeing up cutters.”

The Chieftains had too many weapons for the Generals to handle led by Kathleen Gillespie (six goals) and Molly Gillespie (four goals, one assist) who combined for seven first half goals.

Masco had been struggling with shot selection but yesterday, the Gillespies combined to score 10 goals on just 11 shots. Kathleen Gillespie also performed extremely well taking faceoffs, pulling down six draw controls on her own

“Kathleen and Molly really took control today,” noted McCarthy. “Our shot selection hasn’t been great but today Kathleen scored (six) goals on seven shots and Molly scored four goals on four shots. And having Kathleen on draws is a luxury.”

The Chieftains led 2-1 with 17 minutes left in the first half after Kendell Santin scored for the Generals (5-5). Mistakes helped Masco dominate possession and score nine straight goals to lead 11-1 at the half.

The Generals put the ball on the turf too many times when trying to clear and offensively, didn’t show the poise or patience the Chieftains showed in the first half.

A talented team like Masco knows how to take advantage of miscues.

“They capitalized on all of our mistakes. We’d make a mistake in transition or go down and make a silly mistake like dropping the ball,” said H-W skipper Amanda Chase. “They’re fast. We had trouble in the midfield.”

A big part of H-W’s midfield trouble was due to Masco’s Meg Collins, by far the fastest player on the field yesterday. On many occasions, Masco simply got the ball in Collins’ stick and the speedster did the rest. She finished with two goals and was instrumental in the victory.

“It’s nice to watch her (Collins) go end-to-end. She’s another player that is a luxury to have because transition is such a big part of the game,” said McCarthy. “She’s the best athlete I’ve ever coached.”

Grace Fahey, Catie Valzonia, Sammy Dindo and Caroline Chipman all had a goal each for the Chieftains as Masco took its foot off the gas early in the second half.

The Generals meanwhile kept after it and when Masco let its guard down H-W made a push in the second half. Santin (two goals) and Sophie Frain (goal, assist) really elevated their games.

Molly Eagar (goal), Mazey Loomis (goal) and Grace Monahan (goal) all scored in the second half for H-W.