SWAMPSCOTT — The Swampscott girls lacrosse team had to battle the elements on Wednesday afternoon, and the Big Blue fought through the driving rain to notch a 14-7 win over Tewksbury at Blocksidge Field. The weather forced Swampscott to change up its offensive approach slightly but the Big Blue showed no signs of slowing down.
“We had to change some things up simply because it was so hard to pass the ball,” said Swampscott coach Al Eaton. “But the offense we were able to switch to is one that we’ve been working on for a bit, so there luckily wasn’t much of a drop-off for us.”
Emerson Laundry and Grace DiGrande each had three goals to lead the way for Swampscott, while Reese Robertson had one goal and two assists. Ocean Crawley-Sweeney and Mary Miles each had two goals, while Harper Clopton, Elizabeth Green and Nikki Rosa each had one goal.
The Big Blue jumped out to an early lead in this one, scoring less than five minutes into the first half. After taking over the ball at midfield, Clopton raced up the field with the ball and sent a perfect pass across the goal to Green, who buried it in the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Big Blue, that early goal seemed to spark something in Tewksbury. The Redmen rattled off three straight goals over the next three minutes, two of which came from Erin McIntyre (three goals). After Erin McIntyre scored two goals in a minute and a half to give Tewksbury a 2-1 lead, Lauren McIntyre netted a goal to stretch the lead to two goals.
From there, Swampscott was able to take control. Laundry got the scoring started with a tally on a free position shot, then went on to score two more goals over the next five minutes to retake the lead, 4-3. But the play that really helped Swampscott fully retake the momentum came from Robertson with about seven and a half minutes left in the first half. The Tewksbury goalkeeper made a save and was attempting to send a clearing pass to her teammate, when Robertson jumped the passing lane, stole the puck and fired a shot into the back of the net to take a 5-3 lead. After Crawley-Sweeney added a goal to make it 6-3, Tewksbury finally got one back on a goal from Kelly Golini.
But again, the Tewksbury goal kicked Swampscott into high gear. The Big Blue scored five straight goals in the final five minutes of the first half, blowing the game open at 11-4. Swampscott’s goals came from Clopton, Crawley-Sweeney, Miles (2) and DiGrande.
While the offensive outburst will get the headlines, it was Swampscott’s defensive effort to close the first half that really helped the Big Blue take control.
“Tewksbury had possession of the ball a little more than we’d have liked, but they’re a good offensive team,” Eaton said. “They stretched us out a bit early, but we were able to work around it and make the adjustments.”
Although Tewksbury did open the second half with two straight goals in the first five minutes, Swampscott never really lost control of the game. The Big Blue responded with two straight goals of their own, both from DiGrande, and later added one goal from Rosa to round out the scoring.
Next up for Swampscott (4-2) is a tough NEC test in the Danvers Falcons. While Eaton doesn’t know too much about this year’s Danvers squad, he’s sure they’ll be just as tough a test as they usually are.
“It will be a challenging matchup for both teams I’m sure,” Eaton said. “They just beat Gloucester by the same score we beat them by and they match up well with us against similar opponents. It’ll just come down to who’s more ready to go that day.”
Swampscott and Danvers will face off on Saturday afternoon.