PEABODY– The first meeting of 2019 between the St. Mary’s and Bishop Fenwick boys lacrosse teams went to the Spartans.
In a battle between undefeated teams Saturday, Zach Barden and Joe O’Keefe scored three goals each in a 12-7 St. Mary’s win at Steven E. Donaldson Field.
“It’s a big one,” Spartans coach Josh Field said. “It’s one game but knowing we can come out and play the teams at the top of our division is big for us. We were happy to get this one.”
Davis Kinne, Brendan Laundry and Jaiden Moriello each scored two goals for the Spartans.
But it was St. Mary’s defense that did the heavy lifting in this one. The Spartans limited Fenwick to just one goal in the first half and carried a 6-1 lead at recess. Spartans goalie Kaden Quirk made nine of his 11 saves in the first half.
“All year for us it’s just been smart, fundamental, basic stuff,” Field said. “Really just how we position, how we approach the ball. Not trying to take the ball away just staying in front of the ball. I think the kids have really bought into that. When you have someone like Kaden Quirk in goal it gives everyone on the team confidence.
“I think Davis had his best game as a St. Mary’s player (Saturday) in his two years,” Field said. “Christian LeBert was a workhorse out there. He doesn’t get a lot of points but we don’t win without him.”
The silver lining for Fenwick was Derek DelVecchio, who grabbed his 100th career point. DelVecchio finished with a goal and an assist.
“I’m incredibly proud of Derek,” Fenwick coach Steve Driscoll said. “He won’t be as happy when I give him his 100th ball because of the result of the game but he’s a kid that has worked hard for four years for us. He’s an absolute consummate Fenwick student-athlete.”
Nico Pasciuto’s four goals led Fenwick’s offense. Diego Alvarez-Segee and Stefano Fabiano each scored once.
Fenwick grabbed a 1-0 lead two minutes in on Pasciuto’s early tally. After that it was all Spartans for the rest of the first half. Goals from Moriello, Laundry and Barden gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Kinne bumped the lead to 4-1 midway through the second quarter. Laundry followed suit with his second goal of the game to give the Spartans a 5-1 lead. Barden found the back of the net in the closing seconds of the half to put St. Mary’s up 6-1 at halftime.
“It was probably our worst game overall and definitely the worst half we’ve played this season,” Driscoll said. “Anytime it’s Fenwick-St. Mary’s the lights get a little brighter. Emotions get into it. These are high school kids. There’s Fenwick-St. Mary’s rivalries all over the place. We’ve had great battles the last four years. St. Mary’s got us. They worked harder.”
Fenwick found its footing in the third quarter, keeping the Spartans off the board and slicing the deficit to 6-3 with goals from Pasciuto and Alvarez-Segee.
A scrum halted the game with 11:12 remaining, with punches being thrown. Two players from each team were handed three-minute major penalties as a result.
When play resumed, St. Mary’s sealed the deal. Pasciuto got Fenwick within 6-4 but back-to-back tallies from O’Keefe gave the Spartans breathing room at 8-4. Pasciuto, Fabiano and DelVecchio scored for Fenwick in between St. Mary’s goals from Moriello, Barden, Kinne and O’Keefe for the 12-7 final.
Both teams are back in action Monday when Fenwick (7-1) visits Arlington Catholic (4) and St. Mary’s (7-0) hosts Austin Prep (7). St. Mary’s and Fenwick will meet again May 13 at Manning Field.