LYNNFIELD– Early mistakes committed by the Lynnfield boys lacrosse team during Friday’s Cape Ann League game against Triton left the Pioneers wondering “what if?” Lynnfield fell into a six-goal deficit at halftime before rallying back to tie the game in the closing stages. But the late rally wasn’t enough in a 12-11 loss to the Vikings at Pioneer Stadium.
“We were down 10-4 at the half,” Lynnfield coach Joe Papagni said. “We couldn’t control the ball offensively. We did nothing defensively. The transition game hurt us. They had fastbreaks every single time. That did us in.
“It’s very disappointing in the way we come out,” Papagni said. “Sometimes we think we can just come out and win. We knew we were better than them. I think we were better than them, we just didn’t execute.”
GianLuca Alfe and Mitch McKay each scored three goals to lead Lynnfield’s offense. John Briggs and Jackson Hammersley scored two goals apiece. Hammersley also dished three assists, while McKay logged one.
Defensively, Harrison Drislane played a solid game for the Pioneers. Drislane played a key role in containing Triton junior attacker Drew Bouley.
“Harrison did a pretty good job,” Papagni said. “We put him on No. 14 (Bouley) and he kind of quieted him down because he had a great first half.”
Bouley scored the first two goals of the game, handing his Vikings a swift 2-0 lead three minutes into the opening quarter. Triton extended its lead to 3-0 before the Pioneers found their way on the scoreboard thanks to Briggs’ goal. Hammersley fired a shot into the back of the net, sandwiched between a pair of Vikings’ goals, and the Pioneers trailed 5-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Back-to-back Triton goals put the Pioneers in a 7-2 hole early in the second quarter. McKay scored to get Lynnfield back on track with 7:14 to play until halftime and it was back-and-forth from there. Triton bumped its lead to 8-3 just a few seconds later and McKay followed with his second goal of the period. Down 8-4, things worsened for Lynnfield when Triton closed the half with a pair of tallies from Bouley.
“At halftime I still thought we were better,” Papagni said. “It was 10-4 but I still thought we could tie it up. We only let up two goals in the second half. It was entirely different because we played the way we’re capable of playing. We just need to learn how to win. We need to learn how to win with young kids.”
The Pioneers were a much different team in the second half. Lynnfield scored three goals in the third quarter and tightened up defensively to keep Triton away from the net. Heading into the fourth Lynnfield was back in the thick of things, down 11-7.
McKay opened the final period with a quick goal, closing the gap to 11-8. Alfe followed with back-to-back scores (with 9:13 and 3:16 remaining), bringing the Pioneers to within one at 11-10. With 1:51 remaining, Hammersley found the back of the net to knot things up at 11-11. But Lynnfield couldn’t complete the comeback. The Vikings reclaimed the lead, 12-11, with 1:16 to go. Lynnfield appeared to have tied the game at 12-12 with 5.1 seconds on the clock but the Pioneers’ goal was waived off by the referees and Triton escaped with the win.
“We had the resolve to keep battling,” Papagni said. “We had the resolve to come back but we didn’t have the killer instinct to win it. We have to find some leadership.”
The Pioneers dropped to 1-3 and hope to bounce back into the win column Wednesday morning (10) when they host Tyngsboro in a non-conference tilt.