SAUGUS — The Winthrop boys lacrosse team got off to a fast start against Saugus Friday afternoon and never looked back, notching an 11-4 win over the Sachems at Stackpole Field. The Vikings won the game thanks to strong performances in the first and third quarter.
“We came out fast, which is exactly what we wanted to do, but then I think we let up a bit in the second which led to some issues,” said Winthrop coach Brian Donnelly. “But then I was happy with the way we responded in the second half when we started flying around and making plays again. It was a good win, but there’s still things we can work on.”
Pat Sennott led Winthrop with three goals and two assists, while Luke Evangelista had three goals and one assist and Matt Hurley had three goals.
For Saugus, Joe Cross and Nick Sanderson had two goals each. Drew Worthley had two assists, while Nick Aiken and Kevin Cucuzza each had one assist.
“It was a tough game all-around for us,” said Saugus coach Rob Scuzzarella. “We didn’t come out with enough energy on both sides and I think that showed. We had that one good quarter in the second, but that’s not enough against good teams.”
The Vikings got off to a fast start with a goal from Sennott just 30 seconds in. Sennott then assisted on a goal to make it 2-0, and Hurley found the back of the net as the first quarter wound to a close to give Winthrop a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter, however, belonged to Saugus. It took over five minutes for a goal to be scored but the Sachems broke through when Cross scored on an assist from Aiken. Winthrop responded with goals from Hurley and Sennott over the next two minutes to stretch the lead to 5-1, but Saugus roared back with two goals of its own in the final three minutes (one each from Sanderson and Cross) to make it 5-3 Winthrop at the half.
The Vikings made their adjustments for the third quarter, and it showed. Not only did Winthrop score four goals in the quarter (two from Evangelista and one each from Sennott and Hurley), but the Vikings shut the door on Saugus with stifling defense. At the end of the third, Winthrop held a 9-3 lead.
Saugus got one back with a goal from Cross to open the fourth, but Winthrop quickly answered with two more goals to walk away with the win.
Despite the loss, Saugus (8-8) finishes up the regular season ready to play in the upcoming state tournament. The Sachems know their record will earn them a lower seed, meaning a tough game to open the tournament.
“It was good to get in, especially the way we got in with a come-from behind win,” said Scuzzarella. “But we know what’s ahead for us, we’re going to get a tough tournament game. We’ll get a little bit of time off here, so we’ll rest up a bit and get ready for our first opponent.”
As for Winthrop (12-6), the Vikings still have one more game before closing out the winningest regular season in the history of the program. The young Vikings are eager to get a taste of the tournament, and hopefully make some noise.
“It’s a good bunch of kids who want to get after it, so we’re hoping to make some noise in the tournament,” Donnelly said. “With this last game, we’re going to use it to get a feel for where we’re at going into the tournament and what adjustments we need to make so we can be successful when it matters.”
Winthrop battles Pope John in a makeup game next Thursday (4).