MARBLEHEAD — It was a close game throughout most of the first half, but the Marblehead boys lacrosse team was able to take control late in the second quarter and roll to a 12-3 win over Swampscott at Piper Field Thursday afternoon.
“I thought we were a little sloppy in the first half for the most part,” said Marblehead coach John Wilkens. “Swampscott’s goalie played a great game to keep them in it, but once we were able to clean up our fundamentals in the second half we were able to get something going.”
The Magicians were led by Sam Thompson, who notched three goals and three assists in the win. Sam Cioffi added four goals and one assist, Will Shull had two goals and two assists and Loch Sheridan had two goals. Luke Anderson scored one goal, while Tom Quigley and Charlie Driscoll each had one assist.
For Swampscott, it was Kyle Fitzgerald who led the way with one goal and two assists. Christian Pierro and Justin DeSalvo each had one goal, while Vincent Palmer had one assist.
“For a young team like us to go up against a really strong Marblehead squad and keep it close for a half, that was encouraging to see,” said Swampscott coach Todd Pierce. “It’s not like we’re leaving this game scratching our heads wondering what went wrong, we’re actually leaving the game with a lot of positives.”
Marblehead got things started right away, scoring less than two minutes into the first quarter. The Magicians took possession of the ball in their own zone and ran up the field before Quigley found Thompson in front of the net for a quick goal.
But Swampscott kept itself in the game for the remainder of the first quarter, eventually evening the score at 1-1 with just over three minutes to go. The Big Blue were finally able to get some ball possession in the offensive zone and got the ball to one of their playmakers in Fitzgerald. From there, he surveyed the field and found Pierro cutting in front of the net to tie the game.
The momentum didn’t stay on Swampscott’s side for long, however, as Marblehead rebounded to get a goal from Cioffi with just 48 seconds left in the first.
The Marblehead momentum carried into the start of the second, as Cioffi found the back of the net once again just seven seconds into the quarter. That 3-1 score stood tall for the majority of the second period, but once again Marblehead was able to steal away any possible momentum for Swampscott by scoring two more goals over the final four minutes of the half. After the goals by Sheridan and Cioffi, respectively, Marblehead took a 5-1 lead into the half.
The score may have been even more lopsided had it not been for Swampscott goalie Tim Perlin, who notched almost 20 saves on the day and made multiple big stops to keep the Big Blue in the game.
“If it wasn’t for him, there’s no way we would have even had a chance in the second half,” Pierce said. “He’s been huge for us all year and he’s one of the main reasons we can stay in a lot of the games we’ve played.”
The second half is where Marblehead really found its footing on both sides of the ball. Within the first four minutes of the quarter, Cioffi scored his third goal and Anderson whipped a shot into the net to stretch the lead out even further at 7-1. After Sheridan scored his second and Shull scored his first, the Magicians took a commanding 9-1 lead into the final quarter.
“Things settled down for us in the second half, which was good to see,” said Wilkens. “There’s still a lot we have to work on as a young team, and we’ve got to keep trying to get better every day.”
Marblehead continued that solid play into the first part of the fourth quarter, scoring three more goals (one from Shull and two from Thompson) over the first four minutes. Swampscott was able to get a couple back before the end of the game, getting goals from DeSalvo and Fitzgerald, but the lead was too much for the Big Blue to overcome.
Both teams have Peabody next on their schedule. Marblehead (2-1) battles the Tanners Monday, while Swampscott visits Peabody Saturday morning (10).