Girls’ lacrosse continues strong play with 2-1 weekBy Jay Turner
Although it ended with a tough loss against King Philip, the Canton High girls’ lacrosse team turned in another solid week overall, highlighted by a one-goal victory over nonleague Norwood and a blowout win over North Attleboro.
Now 6-3 at the halfway point of the season, the Bulldogs have put themselves in an excellent position to make the postseason and repeat as Davenport Division champions. And they have been every bit as good as their record would indicate, fueled by an offense that is among the most dangerous in the league and getting better every game.
Last week, the girls combined for a whopping 45 goals in three games, yet no one player had more than four in a single contest, which, to head coach Chris Murtagh, is an indication of the team’s depth as well as the unselfishness of its two stars, junior Meghan Lennon and senior captain Michelle McNeil.
Lennon, the team’s leading scorer, finished the week with eight total goals, while McNeil topped the Bulldogs with ten.
“We’re lucky enough to have Meghan and Michelle as our top two scorers,” said Murtagh. “Both can shoot and do everything on the field, but they also look to pass and set up scoring chances for their teammates.”
And that willingness to spread the wealth was evident all week, beginning Monday at Norwood, where the Bulldogs had five players tally multiple goals in a 14-13 win. McNeil led the way with four goals, and Kaitlin Phillips added three of her own in a game that came down to the final few possessions. Lennon, Jen Martin, and Mary McNeil each scored two goals apiece, and Shannon Proctor chipped in with one to round out the scoring.
Murtagh, who last faced Norwood four years ago in his first season as the Bulldogs’ coach, was impressed with his team’s performance, both offensively and defensively.
“It seems like, after the Mansfield game, many of our girls have started building confidence in themselves,” said Murtagh. “We talked about riding a wave and sticking with it, and they seem to be doing just that.”
On Wednesday the team traveled to North Attleboro, and while the game was never in doubt, Murtagh praised the Red Rocketeers for playing hard and refusing to quit. “They’re not a team that sits down,” he said. “They were double- and triple-teaming us all over the field all game.”
Despite NA’s determination, the Bulldogs still managed to score a boatload of goals in an eventual 17-6 win. Phillips led the team with four goals, while Martin and Mary McNeil each had two apiece. Sam Sullivan and Jackie Merrigan both added a goal in the victory, as did Becca Wysocki — her first of the season.
Canton’s lone defeat last week came on Friday against a tough King Philip team, although the hosts clearly showed up to play as evidenced by the 17-14 final score.
The Bulldogs got off to a fast start and led by one at the half. And while the Warriors managed to overcome the deficit and steal the win, Murtagh and his players were hardly discouraged.
“They are a real strong team, a very good team,” he said of the Warriors. “It was a true, hard-fought battle the whole game. It was just two teams going at each other and playing real good lacrosse.”
Michelle McNeil and Lennon both had big games for the Bulldogs, as did Merrigan, who finished with three goals. Sullivan added two, and Martin and Mary McNeil both had one apiece.
This week the girls were due to host North Attleboro on Monday and Franklin on Wednesday. They will next travel to nonleague Apponequet on Monday, May 7, followed by a home game May 9 versus Oliver Ames.
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