By Dan Harrison
---- — MARBLEHEAD — When Jordan Rawding is on his game at the face off X and the Beverly attack are taking high quality shots, the Panthers are a tough team to hang with.
Beverly defeated Marblehead 13-10 yesterday and while the Magicians were able to make it somewhat close at the end, the Panthers held a 9-2 halftime lead thanks to a 12-1 faceoff advantage in the first two quarters.
For the game, Rawding won 11 of his 13 draws and also scored a goal.
“When you can make-it, take-it in lacrosse, you’re in good shape,” explained Beverly (9-4) head coach John Pynchon. “We did a really good job shooting in the first half and I couldn’t have asked for more especially because we haven’t been shooting the ball well lately.”
A big part of the Panthers improved shooting was the full return of Nick Albano who had played, one half last week against Acton-Boxborough fighting through an injury.
It was a much different story in the opening 24 minutes as Albano found the back of the net five times and assisted on another goal. He finished with five goals and three assists.
Albano and Hunter Spencer (two goals, two assists) handled the Marblehead (7-6) defense when it was in man-to-man. Either Albano or Spencer would run isolation from the X and the other would stand on the crease. The Magician defenders couldn’t handle the isolation one-on-one and when the slide came it left the crease open.
“Nick and Hunter are both dynamic dodgers so they’re tough to cover,” noted Pynchon. “We saw a couple of things we could attack and they did a great job running the two-man game and keeping their heads up.”
Marblehead started winning more faceoffs in the second half as head coach John Wilkens had long pole Ryan Jones take the draws.
The one area Marblehead really took advantage of was transition offense as midfielder Brooks Tyrrell pushed the tempo and found the open man on the break. He finished with two goals and four assists while Dean Fader and Ben Anderson scored two each.
The first half deficit was too much to overcome for the Magicians, who trailed 10-2 early in the second half. While their zone defense was effective, there just wasn’t enough time to make the comeback.
“We dug ourselves a big whole. You can’t expect to play yourself out of it against a team like Beverly,” said Marblehead coach John Wilkens. “The zone was OK but when you need the ball you can’t really run it. In the first half we shot poorly and we made the goalie (Kevin Lally) look good by shooting right at his feet.”
Pynchon meanwhile felt that while his team did have some lapses in the second half, it was only a matter of time before the Magicians started putting points on the scoreboard.
“We had some mental breakdowns and they scored on a few breaks we gave them,” noted Pynchon. “Marblehead’s a good team, they’re going to score. We didn’t expect to hold them to two goals. We’ll watch the film and clean it up.”
Sam Abate, Ian Butler, Tyler Martz and Matt Page were the other Panther goal scorers while Liam Banks, Sam Paquette, Harrison Young and Brad Knittle had a goal each for Marblehead.