By Joe Mitchell
The Lynnfield High School girls’ lacrosse team opened up the season on the road against a formidable Melrose team on a cold, rainy New England spring day, only to lose in a close encounter, 9-7. The Pioneers jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Red Raiders came back to score the next three to take a 4-3 halftime lead. Melrose then tacked on two more goals before the Lynnfield girls closed the gap to one, 7-6, midway through the second-half.
Gracie Sperling and Tori Morelli did an excellent job around the center circle, according to coach Ethan Blanchette. They each won five draws to lead the team in that department. Overall, the Pioneers were credited with winning 13 of 18 draws. But the difference in this game was the Melrose goalie, who made big save after big save to stymie the Pioneers’ attack, said Blanchette.
Ashley Barrett did manage to score three goals, while also contributing a pair of assists to keep things close for her teammates. Senior Liv Smyrnios netted two to round out the Lynnfield offense. Smyrnios and Morelli each picked up five groundballs to lead the team in that category, as well.
The Pioneers then traveled to Malden to take on the upstart Mystic Valley Eagles on another cold and windy day, only this time the visitors enjoyed a satisfying bounce-back win, 17-7. Lynnfield scored early and often to take a 10-4 halftime lead. Junior Olivia Sarni paced the offensive attack with six goals, most of them well-placed shots past the Mystic Valley goalie.
The Lynnfield girls controlled the draws, once again. In this game, Sperling and Smyrnios collected five draws apiece to lead their teammates in that department. The Pioneers had won 15 draws overall.
Sperling also led the team with seven groundballs, while Smyrnios scored four goals to go along with an assist. Sperling was credited with three goals to help lead the attack, along with Barrett, and Smyrnios forced three turnovers during the re-defend in transition, according to Blanchette.