Boys’ lax team tops OA for season’s first winBy Jay Turner
After falling to nonleague Westwood in last Monday’s season opener, the CHS boys’ varsity lacrosse team bounced right back two days later with a 12-7 victory over Oliver Ames.
Wednesday’s win over the Tigers was also the first career win for junior goalie Rich Nee, who has excelled in net for the school’s hockey team but is brand-new to the lacrosse cage.
The decision to start Nee also allowed head coach Bill Bendell to move junior Pat Ward back to his natural position up front. Ward, who played well in net against Westwood and finished with 14 saves, is expected to be a key offensive cog this season for the Bulldogs.
On Wednesday against OA, Ward was one of six Canton players who got on the scoreboard, led by senior captain Matt Malloy, who finished with four goals and four assists. Junior JC Marcone also netted four in the home victory, and three others finished with one goal and one assist: sophomore attackman Ben Lodge and junior midfielders Matt Lennon and Nick O’Connor.
The Bulldogs also got a strong defensive effort in the absence of junior captain and defensive anchor Conor O’Brien, who is currently out with an injury. Top performers included sophomore Matt Bagley and long stick midfielder Eric Wong. Junior defenseman Andrew Mansfield also played well, as did sophomore Trevor Ruane, who has been a “pleasant surprise” filling in for O’Brien, according to Bendell.
The defense also played well in Monday’s home opener versus Westwood; however, the offense struggled to find the net, resulting in an eventual 9-4 loss.
Bendell described the Wolverines as a “very good team” and also one that is similar to Canton in size and skill. “It was one of those games where we knew it was going to be a challenge, and it was,” he said.
Malloy paced the offense, finishing with a team-high three goals, and Marcone added a goal and an assist. O’Connor and fellow junior Kurt Leavitt — another top midfielder — each had an assist.
Now 1-1, the team is hoping to build on its recent victory over OA, and they faced an immediate test this week with a road game against Davenport favorite Foxboro. The Bulldogs will next travel to Sharon this afternoon, followed by an away game Monday versus nonleague Medway and a home game next Wednesday against Mansfield.
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