Marblehead girls take down ranked Lexington lacrosse team

Hadley Carlton, right, had seven goals and one assist to lead the Marblehead offense to a win over Lexington on Monday.

MARBLEHEAD — The Marblehead girls lacrosse team continued to make its case as one of the top teams in Massachusetts on Monday afternoon, dominating time of possession and taking down Lexington, the No. 14 team in the state, 18-12 at Piper Field. According to Marblehead coach Annie Madden, the Magicians simply put it all together on Monday.

“This is the kind of game we’ve been working toward playing the whole year, and it all came together out there today,” Madden said. “We just focused on the little things and what we could control, and everything else came from that.”

Hadley Carlton led the way for Marblehead with seven goals and one assist, while Lydia Bongiorno had three goals and five assists. Grace Arthur and Caroline Driscoll each had two goals and two assists, Maddie Erskine had two goals and Sara Campbell and Annie Ronan each had one goal.

But for all the goals and assists, it was the more under-the-radar stats like ground balls and draw controls that helped Marblehead win this game.

“I’ve said it before, but ground balls and draw controls win games,” said Madden. “Grace (nine draw controls, one ground ball) and Lydia (six draw controls, three ground balls) really took control in that aspect of the game for us.”

It was a back-and-forth affair for most of the first half, but Lexington jumped right out to an early lead. L#15 scored the first goal just 45 seconds into the game, but Marblehead answered about 30 seconds later when Bongiorno found the back of the net. Lexington scored again to retake the lead 20 seconds after that, and once again Marblehead was able to tie it up, this time on a goal from Campbell. Then, about a minute later, Ronan gave the Magicians their first lead, 3-2, when she scored. But again, just a minute later Lexington’s L#9 scored her first goal to tie the score up again.

From there, Marblehead gained a little bit of control by netting three straight goals over the next minute and a half. It started with a tally from Erskine, then Driscoll scored two goals in 45 seconds to stretch the lead to 6-3. The Minutemen broke up the streak with a goal to make it 6-4, then Carlton moved the lead back to three goals after she scored with 15:41 remaining in the first half.

But Lexington didn’t quit, as the Minutemen scored three straight goals over the next two and a half minutes to tie the score at 7-7 with just over 12 minutes to go in the half.

That’s when Marblehead kicked things into high gear. The Magicians scored four goals over the next seven minutes, one from Grace Arthur, two from Carlton and one from Erskine, to stretch the lead back out to 11-7. After Lexington scored a goal just before the buzzer, Marblehead took an 11-8 lead into halftime.

Marblehead came out firing in the second half, getting two quick goals from Erskine and Bongiorno to give the Magicians their biggest lead of the game. The Minutemen responded a few minutes later to give Lexington some life, but then Marblehead rattled off five consecutive goals to blow the game open and take an 18-9 lead. Three of those goals came from Carlton, while Grace Arthur and Bongiorno added one each in the run. Lexington was able to score the final three goals of the game, but the time ran out on the Minutemen and Marblehead walked away with the victory.

“In the second half we were really just able to continue to focus on doing all of the little things it would take to win the game,” said Madden. “Luckily for us, that led to some goals and allowed us to stretch out the lead so we could play a little more comfortably.”

Marblehead (7-3) has a pair of NEC games coming up this week against Beverly and Medford, with the latter coming up first on Wednesday afternoon.

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