LYNN — The St. Mary’s boys lacrosse team got its season started on the right foot Tuesday with a 9-3 win over Hamilton-Wenham at Manning Field.
“I have to give our kids a lot of credit for coming out playing a great opponent and keeping their composure,” Spartans coach Josh Field said. “It got a little chippy at times but I thought the captains displayed some great leadership. We were able to reel it back in against a good team. I respect (Hamilton-Wenham) a lot but that was a great win for our program.”
Field was impressed with how his defense stepped up in the opener, including sophomore goalkeeper Kaden Quirk who had 12 saves.
“Going against Hamilton-Wenham, a team that can score and is known for its offensive strength, I can’t ask for more from my defense,” Field said. “We’re hoping to keep these guys under 10 goals so three is great.
“I just talked to these guys and I think our defense has been our backbone from day one,” Field said. “We have some great leadership with captains back there. Kaden back there with Owen Maguire and Ben Kirby, who both played phenomenal defense today. We were a man down a lot today and our defensive midfielders Matthew Connolly, Christian Moran, Damon Maribito, those guys on defense from the midfield stepped up too.”
On offense the Spartans had four different goal scorers. Brendan Laundry led the way, scoring four goals while Nick Napolitano scored three. Jaiden Moriello and Zach Barden each had one goal.
“We mixed it up well,” Field said. “That’s what we want to do. We want to spread the ball around and move it. I think we have an offensive threat at each position out there. That’s depth for us and we haven’t had that in the past.”
The Generals were able to take the opening faceoff and control possession in the first few minutes before St. Mary’s got on the offensive. Midway through the first, Laundry found a one-on-one matchup and beat a Hamilton-Wenham defender before ripping a low shot that found the back of the net to put the Spartans ahead 1-0.
A few minutes later Joe O’Keefe scooped up a loose ball out front of the Generals net and flicked a pass over to Laundry, who scored an easy goal to stretch the lead to 2-0 before the second quarter.
Early in the second Barden dished a nice assist to Moriello, who found the back of the net to put St. Mary’s ahead 3-0. Barden kept the offense going just a few minutes later, ripping a shot of his own that found the back of the net to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead.
A missed defensive assignment helped the Generals get on the board before the half, but St. Mary’s answered with a goal by Napolitano to get back up by four before the break.
Both teams traded goals to start the third but Napolitano stayed hot with a goal late in the third quarter and another early in the fourth to help the Spartans get ahead 8-2. Late in the fourth quarter, Laundry added his fourth goal to help seal the game for the Spartans.
“We know there are still a lot of improvements and that’s the fun part of it,” Field said. “Offensively we just want to be a little more protective of the ball. We work very hard on defense to gain possession and we don’t want to lose it in the first 15 seconds of a possession. Just being a little bit more patient and slowing it down a little bit down that end.”
With their first win under their belt the Spartans will hope to stay hot with a road game Friday (4) at Matignon.