ME Lax Teams Take Care of Business in Tourney’s First Round


Both the boys' and girls’ lacrosse teams were highly ranked headed into the MIAA Div. 4 Tournament’s first round, and the expectation was that both squads would advance to face greater challenges later on in the their respective brackets.

And as a result, both Hornet lacrosse teams lived up to those lofty, early aspirations on June 5:  The fifth-seeded girls lacrosse team put the clamps on a 28th-ranked Stoneham team that went 5-13 during the regular season with a 13-1 win, while the 10th-seeded boys lacrosse team beat a 23rd-ranked Bourne team that had a .500 record during the regular season with an impressive 17-6 victory.

“This was a fun game to start the tournament,” says Manchester Essex girls lacrosse coach Nan Gorton. “The Stoneham team is filled with really nice competitors, a team of very good sports.  Manchester Essex was the more talented team [that] night, but we were able to use the game to work on what we will need to do hopefully long into the tournament.  Stoneham was a well-coached team and had some very good players.”

Brigid Carovillano allowed only one goal to Stoneham in net, while Mechi O’Neil was a standout in midfield and Charlotte Crocker anchored the defense.

“Both Mechi and Brigid along with our other captains, Hadley Levendusky and Ella Chafe bring leadership,” explains Gorton.  “They help set the tone for the game and we look to them to make sure we are expecting the best from ourselves.”

The boys, meanwhile, took a 7-3 lead into halftime and dominated the remainder of the game after the break.  Quinn Brady had a phenomenal game with five goals and an assist, while Jesse Oliver had four tallies in the win.  In all, ten different players scored goals for the Hornets, who also got a strong performance from goalie Jack Dipasquale (six saves).

“We dominated possession time and found the back of the net often with good quality shots, beating a strong Bourne goaltender on the day,” explains ME boys lacrosse coach Jon Siderewicz.  “Every player on the Hornets roster logged some minutes for us, including some of our freshman which is great for our playing experience across the board.”

Both teams moved on to play in the Sweet Sixteen on June 7, with the boys facing seven-seed Lynnfield on the road (5 p.m.) and the girls slated to take on 12-seed Tahanto (6:30 p.m.)

Lynnfield is a known commodity for the boys’ team.

“They traveled to us earlier this season and we sneaked out a win, which was huge,” says Siderewicz.  “However, this is a real test for us on the road, and with some of our guys banged up.  Lynnfield will no doubt be ready to roll, and so will we.  Both teams should have all their players back for that game which will make it a battle.  Would we have liked to see another team other than a CAL opponent we have faced already?  Absolutely.  But our focus is on Lynnfield now, and of course today at practice.”

Tahanto, meanwhile, is an unfamiliar foe for the girls’ team.

“I really do not know anything about this team but I am excited to get to know another coach and another group of girls who share the love of lacrosse,” says Gorton.

What is known is that the first round of tournament play is done, and that both Hornets teams were able to keep their respective seasons going.

“I always tell the girls there are two seasons in one,” says Gorton.  “The first season ends with the last regular season game and a new season begins.  The stakes are higher, the expectations are higher and I definitely hold them each to a higher standard.  They start to really recognize how to hold each other accountable for effort, attitude and performance and we hopefully raise the level of our game overall.”

Siderewicz echoed those sentiments.

“To get a win at home first round of the tournament meant a lot to this program,” says the coach.  “It has been quite some time since we have accomplished this as a program, so it was a feel-good win.  However, we are not satisfied yet, because we know there is an uphill battle going forward until the very end, which is the state championship.”

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