By Jean DePlacido
---- — PEABODY — The early part of their schedule doesn’t do a young Bishop Fenwick boys lacrosse team any favors.
Despite five goals from junior Mark Naselik, the Crusaders fell to Catholic Central League rival Arlington Catholic, 16-8, at Donaldson Field yesterday afternoon.
Moving up from midfield to attack, Naselik has scored eight goals in Fenwick’s (0-2) two games. But it wasn’t enough against a strong AC team that kept scoring in waves.
First-year head coach Ralph Ruocco said that many of the things that plagued his Crusaders in their season opening loss hurt them again yesterday.
“We made the same mistakes in this one: too many penalties, especially the locked-in 2-minute ones,” said Ruocco, who teaches at Peabody High School. “When you take penalties like that, the other team can score as many goals as they can without (your) man being released.
“Getting one right after the other is demoralizing; it kills any momentum you might have. We’ll learn from this game. The next time we face them, we’ll be better.”
By the end of the opening quarter the visiting Cougars (now 2-0) had built up a 5-1 lead.
Senior midfielder Andy Haytayan had five goals and two assists while attackers Dylan Morris (3 goals, 2 assists) and Luke Amato (3 goals) also had big games for AC, which spread the ball around continuously in the offensive end to find the open man.
“We stress sharing the ball,” said AC coach Dan Brothers. “Our mentality is that the open guy gets the ball. Haytayan has a real good shot, and he works hard to get in a good position to shoot.
“I thought our man-down defense did a good job. You have to be good on offense, defense, and special teams to win. We were coming off a very big win over Austin Prep the other day; I think they’ve won the league eight of the last 10 years, so beating them was huge for us.”
Jake Mitchell, a sophomore transfer from Georgetown, scored the first Fenwick goal. Senior captain Kyle Russell had a strong game with two goals and two assists, and sophomore Chris Napolitano of Peabody picked up an assist. Coleman Hebert did a nice job on faceoffs for the Crusaders.
At halftime the Cougars were in command, 10-4, after Billy Barrett scored with one second left before intermission.
“We made some unforced errors and threw the ball away. We’d get a ground ball, but then not look where we were passing,” said Ruocco. “A lot of that comes from a lack of varsity experience.”
Fenwick started Nick Finan in goal and switched to junior Dylan Maida in the second half. “I switched goalies at halftime because Finan had seen a lot of shots and I don’t want him to get discouraged,” said the coach.
The Crusader defense is new and at times didn’t give their goalie a lot of support.
“We’re starting some freshmen on defense and two others (up the field),” said Ruocco. “They also have to learn my system, so it’s difficult. We have things to work on (and) also need game experience. We have to come together as a team. We’ve got a tough stretch to start our season, but it will all come together.”