MARBLEHEAD — After battling to a tie in the first quarter Monday, it looked as though the Marblehead boys lacrosse team might have had a tough test on its hands with Beverly at Piper Field.
The Magicians had other plans.
Marblehead scored the next six goals and controlled the game the rest of the way en route to a 15-6 rout.
“I thought we were sloppy at the start,” Marblehead coach John Wilkens said. “We had about seven or eight turnovers in the first half. I think we corrected that in the second half. We were kind of all over the map early in the game but we settled down. It was good to see.”
Will Shull and Christian Penkrat led the offense with four goals each. Sam Thompson and Loch Sheridan each added two goals. Thomas Quigley, Paul Heffernan and Adam Zamansky each scored one goal.
“Early on we were just making some bad mistakes,” Wilkens said. “But certain guys stepped up for us. We settled it down a little bit on offense the rest of the way out. I think we just played better ball. It’s a game of runs and when you get momentum going on your side things start to work.”
Wilkens was happy to see Marblehead’s defense buckle down after the first quarter in front of goalkeeper JT Monahan (10 saves).
“We played really well,” Wilkens said of the defense. “We held them to six goals. I thought our goalie made some nice saves. Guys like Charlie McGurran, Heffernan, they all played good, tenacious defense.”
Marblehead’s Jacob Garfield won the opening faceoff but a quick turnover put Beverly on the offensive. The Panthers capitalized with a quick goal to take a 1-0 lead.
After a nice save by Monahan, the Magicians responded on offense. Sheridan swung a nice pass to Penkrat who scored to tie the game at 1-1.
From there Marblehead piled on three more goals in a one-minute span. Thompson made a nice move to the front of the net and scored to give the Magicians a 2-1 lead. Marblehead then capitalized on two straight faceoff wins by Garfield with goals from Shull and Thompson to stretch its lead to 4-1 midway through the first quarter.
But Beverly wasn’t ready to give up. The Panthers capitalized on more than one uncharacteristic turnover from Marblehead, controlling possession for the final seven minutes and adding three straight goals to tie the game at 4-4.
The Panthers had another chance early in the second quarter on a man advantage after a Marblehead cross check but Monahan made a save and the Marblehead defense held strong. Shull willed the offense in the second quarter, scoring two goals in a just over a minute to give Marblehead a 6-4 lead before the half.
The second half belonged to Marblehead, with the Magicians starting the third quarter on a 4-0 run. Sheridan started things off, ripping a shot from the top of the box that bounced and just crossed the goal line to put the Magicians ahead 7-4. Shull followed with an assist to Penkrat for a goal and Heffernan scored after a faceoff win 17 seconds later to put Marblehead ahead 9-4. Shull capped the run with a goal of his own to give the Magicians a 10-4 lead.
The Panthers added a quick goal after a timeout but it did nothing to slow down Marblehead’s momentum. Sheridan and Quigley each scored a goal in the final minute of the third quarter to put the Magicians ahead 12-5.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, with the Magicians eating away a big chunk of the clock. Penkrat and Zamansky each added a goal in the fourth before Beverly scored its final goal to cut the lead to 14-6. Thompson added a late goal to round out the scoring for Marblehead.
The Magicians (11-2) have a day of rest before hosting Ispwich Wednesday (4:30).