MARBLEHEAD — The Marblehead girls lacrosse team opened up its 2019 season in style Friday afternoon, taking down Woburn, 12-7, in a non-conference game at a rainy Piper Field. The Magicians had to hold off two separate Woburn rallies in the win, and they were able to do so behind the strong play of their senior leaders.
“It was a great opening game for us,” said Marblehead coach Annie Madden. “We showed that we have a lot of speed in the midfield and we can go on nice runs, but we also showed that we still have some work to do.”
Grace Arthur led the way for Marblehead with four goals and four assists, while Lydia Bongiorno scored four goals. Maddie Erskine added two goals and one assist, while Sara Campbell and Brigette Gable each scored once. Goalie Elizabeth Driscoll had eight saves.
“We have some great leaders out on the field, and our senior captains really came to play today,” said Madden. “Grace and Lydia did a great job in the midfield, Sara was great at attack and Amanda (Schillinger) was solid on defense. So when you have leaders who set the tone like that, the rest of the team tends to play well around them.”
It was a back-and-forth game through the first 10 minutes of action, with Woburn striking first on a goal from Lexi Palmisano less than two minutes in. It didn’t take long for Marblehead to respond with a goal from Bongiorno to tie it at 1-1, but Palmisano quickly found the back of the net to retake a 2-1 lead. Then, with just under 16 minutes left in the first half, Campbell scored on an assist from Arthur and the momentum began to shift to the Magicians’ side.
Campbell’s goal kicked off a string of four straight goals in a 10-minute span for Marblehead, with Arthur, Bongiorno and Erskine each finding the back of the net to stretch the lead to 5-2 Marblehead as the first half started to wind down. Woburn did get one back on a goal from Courtney Cronin to make it 5-3, but Arthur scored with 14 seconds left to give Marblehead a 6-3 lead going into the break.
Just like in the first half, Woburn scored very early in the second half when Palmisano found the back of the net with 23:24 remaining. Arthur scored for Marblehead to make it 7-4 Marblehead, but then Woburn responded with two goals in a five-minute stretch (one from Palmisano, one from Rachel McLaughlin) to make it a 7-6 game with 14 minutes to play.
But once again, Marblehead responded. The Magicians went on a run of five straight goals over the next 10 minutes of play to blow the score open at 12-6. Bongiorno scored twice in the stretch, while Arthur, Gable and Erskine each scored once. Palmisano added one more goal for Woburn with 1:33 left, but it wasn’t enough for a comeback and Marblehead ran out the clock for the win.
While Madden saw a number of positive things in the season opener, she said the Magicians still have plenty to work on as they start to settle into the new season.
“We’re still working on being aware of some of the new rules in place this year and trying to use them to our advantage,” Madden said. “Other than that, our goal is to include everyone in the offense and not have to rely on just one person.”
Marblehead hosts Lexington Wednesday (4:30).
St. John’s 15, Wakefield 3
The Eagles looked to be in midseason form with a big win in their season opener. St. John’s featured 10 different goal scorers. Pat Keefe led the offense with three goals and one assist. Brian Souza and Jake Surette each scored a goal with three assists. Michael Kelly scored three goals, while Michael Ott scored two goals and logged one assist.
Josiah Brown, Nick Hayman, Wes Rockett, Ben Grunes and Luke Brennan each scored one goal.
Alex Kreher (seven saves) and Liam Stacy (three saves) teamed up in goal.
Craig Yannone went 17-of-19 on face-offs.
Next up for St. John’s (1-0) is another non-conference tilt at Lincoln-Sudbury Monday (4).