MARBLEHEAD — A relentless Manchester-Essex offense was too much for the Marblehead girls lacrosse team to handle in a 14-6 loss at Piper Field Monday.
The Magicians were only trailing by one goal heading into the second half before the Hornets took over. Several Marblehead turnovers helped Manchester-Essex outscore Marblehead 8-1 to end the game.
“We’re still working out some of the jitters to begin the season,” Marblehead coach Annie Madden said. “I think we showed some of our youth today. We really just showed that composure and confidence with the ball is key moving forward, especially when you play against talented teams like Manchester-Essex.
“We have to clean up our passing,” Madden said. “We need to have more confidence with the ball and make sure that we’re communicating across the field all game.”
Brigette Gable had a pair of goals for Marblehead while Maddie Erskine, Callie O’Neill, Carter Murray and Grace Arthur each scored one goal.
Magicians goalie Elizabeth Driscoll had 11 saves.
The Magicians got off to a quick start in the first half. A pair of faceoff wins helped Marblehead control possession right from the start before Arthur dished an assist to Erskine to give the Magicians a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the game.
Less than three minutes later, Gable made a nice move to set up an open shot and found the back of the net to stretch Marblehead’s lead to 2-0.
The Hornets got their first goal thanks to a corner opportunity with 20:18 remaining in the first half. Abby Lantz ripped a low shot to cut the Marblehead lead to 2-1.
The Magicians responded a few minutes later with a goal from O’Neill but Marblehead’s offense had trouble getting anything else going midway through the first half.
Back-to-back goals from Lily Athanas and Molly Brady got the Hornets right back into the thick of things at 3-3. Manchester-Essex didn’t let up from there, scoring three more goals in less than five minutes to build a 6-3 lead.
Marblehead finally got some offense going before halftime. Murray scored to snap the Hornets’ streak and Gable took advantage of a corner opportunity with a low shot that found the back of the net to cut the Manchester-Essex lead to 6-5 before the break.
But any momentum the Magicians built vanished in the second half. The Hornets took advantage of a few early turnovers and Lantz added her third goal of the game to get Manchester-Essex back on the board.
The Hornets controlled possession for the first several minutes of the second half and added three more goals to push their lead to 10-5 before a Marblehead timeout.
Arthur followed through on a late corner and scored with several minutes remaining but Marblehead couldn’t build any rhythm. Drew Charlton took over the Hornets offense late in the second half, adding three goals over the next seven minutes to stretch the Manchester-Essex lead to 13-6 with four minutes remaining and erase any hope of a Marblehead comeback.
Now on a two-game slide, the Magicians (2-2) will hope to get back in the win column Friday (4:30) when they host Wayland.
“Every team has their ups and downs and (Monday) wasn’t our day,” Madden said. “Hats off to Manchester-Essex for a great game and we’re looking forward to coming back against Wayland on Friday.”