ME Lax Teams Earn Sweet 16 Double Header With Nipmuc


Heading into the first round of the Div. 4 tournament, it didn’t take a great amount of analysis to surmise that the Manchester Essex lacrosse teams were heavy favorites in both of their contests: The MERHS girls lacrosse team finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and earned the sixth overall seed in the tourney and was slated to begin postseason play against 27-seed Lunenberg, while the boys team finished 14-4 to earn the eight seed in their tournament bracket with a first-round game against 25th-ranked Bourne.

In short, these are games that both Hornet squads were expected to win, but neither team seemed to be taking anything for granted after the boys’ team beat Bourne by a 17-6 score and the girls team beat Lunenberg 16-4 on June 3.

“We knew that it was supposed to be a game that we could win, but those games always make me a little nervous as a coach,” explains girls lacrosse coach Nan Gorton.  “Anything can happen in sport, and especially in girls’ lacrosse.  We wanted to come out strong and command the field, practicing exactly how we would be coming out in all the games that would hopefully follow.  And we were able to do that.  We played very strong team lacrosse.”

The notion of, “anything can happen” was surely on the minds of those playing for the boys’ lacrosse team during the first three quarters of their win over
Bourne, just before the Hornets exploded on offense in the final stanza.

“The game was much closer for three quarters, [with us] only leading, 9-5, after three quarters,” explains boys lacrosse coach Jon Siderewicz.  “But the fourth was a dominant one by our offense primarily, scoring eight goals in the final 12 minutes.”

Six starters scored at least four points each, including Hudson Wood, Mac Edgerton, Henry Thurlow, Stephen Martin and Quinn Brady, while Charlie Thurlow had a goal and an assist while drawing penalties from the opposition, helping to give the boys’ lacrosse team an extra advantage.

For the girls’ team, Sylvie McCavanagh led the girls in scoring with an impressive five goals and four assists, while Lucy O’Flynn (three goals), Mechi O’Neil (9 draw controls), Abby Kent (6 draw controls) and Charlotte Crocker all scored twice, while Ella Chafe and Laila Mears scored one goal apiece.  Brigid Carovillano made five saves in goal.

“Everyone on the team got a good amount of playing time,” says Gorton.  “We saw some great anticipation from our defense, causing multiple turnovers all over the field.  Our draw control was unstoppable thanks to Mechi O’Neil, Abby Kenyattas, Charlotte Crocker and Shields Edgerton.  That will certainly be key as we move further along in the tournament.”

Moving forward, both teams were scheduled to play another playoff double-header at home on June 5, with the boys facing nine-seed Nipmuc Regional at 4:30 p.m., and in an odd coincidence the girls will follow with a 6:30 p.m. start time against 11th-ranked Nipmuc Regional.

“We don’t know much about them other than they can also put up big numbers on the offensive side of the field,” Siderewicz says of the Nipmuc boys team.  “We’ll have our hands full.”

The girls have some familiarity with Nipmuc after facing them during tournament play in 2023.

“We played them last year in the tournament as well,” says Gorton.  “They are a young team, if I remember, and we should be ready for a good fight.”