By Greg Phipps
With his team showing significant improvement and riding a modest two-game winning streak, Peabody boys’ lacrosse head coach Greg Welch saw his Tanners suffer a misstep in Tuesday’s 12-4 road loss to the Ipswich Tigers. The Tanners scored an exciting 12-11 overtime victory against Danvers last Wednesday, April 11, and followed that up with a convincing 13-4 rout of Swampscott last Saturday. On Tuesday, the first half proved to be the difference, as Ipswich dominated ball possession and built a commanding 8-0 lead by halftime. The second half was far more competitive, as the Tanners tallied four times and played the hosts even at 4-4.
Goals by Ryan Fera, Jack Houlden, Nick Patturelli and Stephen Ell ensured the Tanners would be represented on the scoresheet.
“If you come out flat against a good team like Ipswich, that’s a tough hole to climb out of,” Welch said after Tuesday’s contest. “We needed our best effort. Unfortunately, it wasn’t there today. Not in the first half anyway.”
Asked what he said at the half to get the players to step up their game (trailing by eight goals), Welch said he challenged his squad to be mentally strong under the circumstances. “I told them it’s not about 8-0, it’s about 0-0. It’s not about hanging your head and feeling sorry for yourselves. In the second half we showed we have the will and capacity to compete. We need to put together a full-game effort.”
Tuesday’s loss left Peabody at 2-3 on the season. Welch said this was just another learning curve for his young team. “You’re always looking to get better, and you’re going to have setbacks along the way. Today was a setback. We’ll just have to grow from this,” he pointed out. “Right now we’re making some unforced errors, but these are things we can fix. We played much better in the second half. You’ve got to take positives out of every situation and move ahead.”
Houlden’s goal in the extra session lifted the Tanners to their OT win over Danvers last week. Ell poured in six goals, Colby Therrien had three, Houlden finished with two and Patturelli added the other score. Defensively, John Najjar and Andrew Lucas put forth strong performances, as did goalie Austin Leggett, who made 14 saves.
Ell delivered three more goals in the victory over Swampscott. Patturelli collected two tallies, and Pat Russo won 14 of 20 face-offs.
Girls’ lacrosse perfect thus far
The youth-laden Peabody girls’ lacrosse team continued to defy traditional thinking, as they improved to 5-0 on the season with two convincing victories: a 14-2 rout of Quincy last week and a 17-7 defeat of Medford on Tuesday.
The team’s lone senior, Sarah Buckley, scored three times while Colleen Crotty, Olivia Kiricoples and Amber Kiricoples each scored twice against Quincy. Goalies Olivia Lavalle and Sydney Nagle teamed up to make nine saves. Olivia Kiricoples added five more tallies in the win over Medford, and Hailee Lomasney finished with three scores. Lavalle stopped 11 shots.
Defensively, the Tanners continued to get top efforts from Catherine Manning, Aja Alimonti, Hailey Baker, Alyssa Saraceni and Jordyn Collins.