ME Girls Lacrosse Wraps Up Successful Season


The Manchester Essex girls’ lacrosse team made it to the state finals for the first time since 2019, a remarkable accomplishment untarnished by their 10-7 loss to Dover-Sherborn in the Div. 4 State Final on June 21 at Babson College.

The Hornets lost to Cohasset by a 13-4 score in that contest three years ago, but things are different this time around.  In 2019, Manchester Essex was the upstart going up against the blue, while the ME girls were favored throughout the 2022 tournament as the top seed in Div. 4.  

“This time we have a bit more pressure, as we have been the number one seed for most of the season,” explained ME girls lacrosse coach Nan Gorton.  “It’s a bit harder to prepare in ways. We expect more from ourselves. But we like the challenge and are ready to work for the win [for] as long as we can.”

With the local baseball team winning the state title over the weekend, the girls lacrosse team was looking to make ME sports teams 2-for-2 heading into Tuesday’s matchup with Dover Sherborn.

“We are thrilled for the baseball team, who just brought home a state final of their own and [we] are hoping we can join them,” says Gorton.  “My biggest message to the girls is to enjoy it and live in the excitement of being a part of this special moment.  I am hoping they do not get overwhelmed with the energy, making it less fun, and more nerve-racking.  The point is, we have done our job this year, and if we put it all together, we will be just fine.”

The Hornets have done a good job of putting it all together this year, going 19-2 during the regular season, then continuing the momentum in the playoffs.  To get here, Manchester Essex defeated Stoneham, Nipmuc, Mount Greylock and most recently Nantucket in the Div. 4 Final Four.  The Hornets pulled out a 10-6 win against the Whalers on June 17 at Scituate High School, propelling them to the final game.

“We started off playing strong defense and taking advantage of our opportunities on offense once we settled into our short passing game,” explains Gorton.  “They had some amazing opportunities and players, and we were able to frustrate them just enough to gain a lead before half time.”

In the second half, one of Nantucket’s top players was ejected after earning her second yellow card, which temporarily interrupted the Hornets’ control of the game.

“I think this actually threw us off,” Gorton says of the ejection.  “We had a letdown, and their players rose to the challenge and started playing even better.  It took having Nantucket getting within one goal of us for us to figure out what we needed to do to regain control of the game.  Mainly, we needed to get back into team play.  We needed to slow it down and regain composure.”

The Hornets did just that and found a scoring balance once they did: Hadley Levendusky, Ella Chafe, Emma Fitzgerald and Sylvie McCavanagh each scored two goals apiece.  The defense also tightened up and returned to its first-half form.

“I told my defense at halftime that we could put on a clinic for Maryland because of how amazing they were playing,” explains Gorton.  “Nantucket had the ball on our side a lot.  And our defense worked magic to keep them outside the eight.  I credit Wrede Charlton for playing her best defense of the year and of course all those around her – Amelia Donnellan, Charlotte Crocker and Helaina Davis – for consistent, clean, strong defense.”

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