TOPSFIELD — Two evenly matched teams squared off on Saturday when the Marblehead boys lacrosse team visited Masconomet.
The Magicians proved a little bit hungrier than the Chieftains and cashed in on a few transition opportunities to claim a 6-4 road victory.
“They’re (Masco) good so it’s nice to get a win against a higher echelon team,” explained Marblehead coach John Wilkens, his team now 7-3. “The guys dug deep. It was pure heart. I’m very proud. It was a huge team effort.”
The two teams were tied 3-3 headed into the fourth quarter, but a goal in transition by Brad Knittle on an assist from Alex Conn gave the Magicians a one goal lead. Minutes later, Zac Cuzner made a face dodge at the top of the box and beat Masco goalie Tighe Van Lenten with a bounce shot that proved to be the game-winner.
After Chieftain Harry Cwik scored with a shot from the outside to cut the lead to one with just over a minute left, Knittle scored again this time on an assist from Brooks Tyrrell, who used his speed to beat a double-team on the wing.
“Brad’s been struggling so we told him the ball will drop for him,” said Wilkens. “He had two big goals for us. And Cuzner is a kid who does the dirty things. You want to see a kid like that score a goal because he woks so hard.”
The Magicians ran a zone defense throughout the contest and the Masco shooters were left with attempts from the outside. Almost every Chieftain shot went low and Marblehead keeper Nathan Maselik (12 saves) smothered the large majority of them. Long poles Liam Gillis and Will Hughes were particularly effective and stayed disciplined on the outside of the zone.
Van Lenten was equally impressive with 14 saves but the Magicians were able to take advantage of some unsettled opportunities when Marblehead had the numbers advantage in transition.