SAUGUS — The Saugus boys lacrosse team got off to a solid start and never looked back in a 12-2 win over Northeastern Conference rival Lynn Tuesday at Stackpole Field.
“We battle hard,” Saugus coach Rob Scuzzarella said. “We have a lot of guys who are new to the game. The effort has been great and that’s one of those things you can’t teach. I have a lot of older guys that are spreading their work ethic around the field. We were ready to play.”
Saugus shot the ball well from start to finish, with nine different goal scorers. Mario Desimone led the way with three goals while Joe Cross had two goals, each in the first quarter, to get Saugus started. Dom Paolo also added a pair of goals while Brendan McCabe, Nick DiVola, Ryan Pugh, Richie Mauro and Mekhi Coburn each had one goal.
Goalkeeper Derek Martineau had four saves.
“The game plan wasn’t really to just shoot,” Scuzzarella said. “But we do have a couple of good shooters. We had two scrimmages early in the year and we struggled to score goals. We had seven against Stoneham Thursday (8-7 loss) and it was nice to get a bunch today.”
The Jets couldn’t get anything working on offense, but there were still a few things that an inexperienced Lynn team can build on, including Jack Gallant’s 11 faceoff wins.
“My seniors, Brian Clougherty, Jack Gallant, who’s never took a faceoff before, Owen Downey, who’s never been a goalie before, they all worked so hard,” Lynn coach Peter Pappagianopoulos said. “It’s tough. We have just a few returning guys after a big graduating class and some guys who chose not to come back. At this point it is about building from here.”
Kenny Perez added a goal for the Jets in the first quarter. Downey had nine saves and went end-to-end in the fourth quarter before scoring Lynn’s second goal.
“We’re young,” Pappagianopoulos said. “We played a lot of guys today that this is their first lacrosse game they’ve ever played in. So there’s a learning curve. But we worked hard. Whatever our guys don’t have in skill they have in a desire to play. We’ll get there.”
It didn’t take long for Cross to get things started. Cross scored on two shots from the top of the Lynn box to put Saugus ahead 2-0. A few minutes later McCabe capitalized on a Lynn turnover to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Despite winning the first three faceoffs Lynn couldn’t get much going until midway through the first quarter. Brian Clougherty had a low shot saved before Perez saw an open shot and found the back of the net to cut Saugus’ lead to 3-1.
The rest of the half belonged to Saugus. Cross got the Sachems back on track with an assist on a goal from Desimone and DiVola added a goal a few minutes later to put Saugus ahead by four.
Saugus defenseman Jake Moragante made a nice play to force a turnover late in the first and Paolo added a goal on the next Sachems’ possession to stretch the lead to 6-1. Desimone added another goal before the end of the first to put Saugus ahead 7-1.
Gallant won both faceoffs for Lynn in the second quarter but once again Lynn had nothing to show for it. Pugh and Paolo each added goals to put the Sachems ahead 9-1 before halftime.
The third quarter was much of the same. Mauro added a pair of faceoff wins and a goal while Coburn scored for Saugus and Desimone added his third goal of the game to put the Sachems in front 12-1.
Downey made a nice effort play in the fourth quarter. The first-year goalie scooped up a save and then carried the ball end-to-end, beating several Sachem defenders, before ripping a shot that found the back of the net to put the Jets back on the board before the final whistle.
Both teams will have a quick turn around with another NEC game Thursday. Saugus hosts Malden (4), while the Jets visit Winthrop (7:30).