The Salem News
---- — Lax Lowdown
To achieve what Marblehead’s Kiley Fischer accomplished yesterday a lacrosse player has to be efficient, consistent and explosive.
Fischer’s statistics prove her on-field performance is all of those things.
Scoring off a feed from teammate Pam Gregory in the first quarter of yesterday’s battle with Wilmington, Fischer crossed the 400-point mark for her career.
Fischer ended up with five goals and two assists in the 19-12 victory and now stands at 405 points (237 goals, 168 assists). She has been an amazingly consistent scorer for the Magicians, and the 92 goals and 61 assists she produced as a sophomore were off-the-charts good.
”I would say it’s a lot of movement and having good stick skills,” said Fischer, explaining what it takes to be a good scorer. “Definitely playing with strong players and a strong program helps. It’s not just one person; everybody gets better together and really helps.”
Marblehead coach Annie Pugh has watched Fischer become a more complete player over the years.
”Her assists have become more accurate and precise. She’s getting better and better at feeding behind the net,” Pugh said. “She’s working on her speed and fakes and that crease roll coming around the goal circle, that’s her move.”
Fischer began playing lacrosse when she was in the fourth grade and her career won’t end after this season. She will continue playing at Babson College next year.
Fischer is part of an excellent senior class, a class that has several capable scorers. Meggie Collins is right behind Fischer in points this season and for her career.
”We had seven different people scoring and when you have somebody who is able to feed to six different people and take it 1-on-1 behind the net, that’s really hard to defend,” Pugh said. “That makes the attack very strong, and a challenge to defend.”
Marblehead has now won 12 in a row and stands at 12-1. With the scoring milestone behind her, Fischer and her teammates can continue to focus on team goals.
”I think individually I want to enjoy it. This is my last time playing with the girls I played with growing up,” Fischer said. “As a team, I think we have a great chance to go far and coach Pugh believes that can happen. I think that’s a good goal to have.”
It’s been a great turnaround year for the Salem girls lacrosse team this spring. The Witches managed only six wins a year ago and haven’t been to the state tournament since 2008. So far, through eight games, they’ve already matched their win total from a year ago and seem destined to reach the postseason once again.
”The girls have played together and played hard on offense and defense,” said Salem coach Jessica Trioli, now in her third year. “We’ve been great on defense and we finish on offense. We’ve been great as a whole this year.”
Salem is 4-0 in the Northeastern Conference South and is in good position to capture the league title.
The Witches are led by a trio of captains that pitches in on all facets of the game. Junior midfielder Lydia Grasberger has been on varsity for three years and she’s joined by seniors Xhulia Kanani on attack and Courtney Shearstone on defense.
”The captains have been leading everywhere on the field and keeping the girls together,” Trioli said. “They’ve been wanting this for awhile.”
Goalie Danielle Pynn has been excellent in net and junior center Alexa Gilbert has been crucial in Salem’s success. Gilbert and sophomore Emily Coelho are the team’s leading scorers. Coelho scored eight goals in a game last week.
Trioli feels the program is back on the rise and she believes the addition of new junior varsity coach Rosie Theberge has contributed to the turnaround.
”We have a nice, solid program right now. We won’t lose too many seniors. It’s been a complete turnaround,” Trioli said. “All the girls have been playing for two, three, maybe four years and you can see that. We’ve been building the program and it’s starting to come together and hopefully will continue to get stronger.”
St. John’s Prep picked up an impressive win over the weekend, defeating Needham 13-8. Needham came into the game 11-1 and the Eagles, who are now 10-3, actually led 13-3 at one point.
The Eagles have already entered their brutal finishing stretch. They play B.C. High today before facing Westford Academy, Lincoln-Sudbury, Duxbury and Medfield to close the regular season.
The Bishop Fenwick girls are riding a hot streak having won their last five games and the timing is perfect. The Crusaders face a big showdown tomorrow against Catholic Central League foe Austin Prep.
The Cougars defeated Fenwick, 22-20, in overtime earlier this year and the two teams are currently tied in the loss column in the CCL standings. Fenwick only has two remaining league games, while Austin Prep has three remaining. A win for Fenwick would put the Crusaders in great position to grab the league title.
Fenwick — which is led by high scorers Anna Moulton, Grace Celona and Annette Ruggiero — last won the title in 2011.
Lax Lowdown, a column on North Shore high school lacrosse, runs each Tuesday during the spring sports season in The Salem News. Contact staff writer Matt Jenkins at 978-338-2648, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @MattJenkins_SN.