Hyde School: 7 Berwick Academy: 22
Boys Varsity Lacrosse headed down to the turf on Friday to play the visiting Berwick Academy Bulldogs for the first game of the 2017 campaign, looking to improve on a 2016 season that saw them fight to a 12-5 season and berth in both the MAISAD Championship and the New England Small School Tournament. The Phoenix were in for a tough matchup against the team that handed them an overtime loss in that very same NE Tournament. The game was played in cold and overcast weather.
The early going saw a lot of back-and-forth action as the boys tried to gain their bearings, limited to only a handful of outdoor practices prior to the game. Berwick struck first, and after the equalizer from newcomer Stratton Karangelan ‘19 (2g), would rattle off three more goals to make it a 4-1 game early. While Hyde struggled to win the fight for ground balls, they made the most of the opportunities the Berwick defense gave them in the first half, capitalizing on multiple extra-man opportunities en route to a 8-5 disadvantage with a handful of minutes left in the opening frame.
It was here where the struggles began for an inexperienced Hyde team. Handed myriad penalties, including a 3-minute locked-in man down for an illegal body check, Berwick began to strike with consistency and ease thanks to fantastic dodging and ball movement from their talented midfield. Ultimately, the Bulldogs carried a 11-5 advantage into the break, one that Hyde would never recover from. Berwick came out from the intermission and capitalized on sloppy play by the Hyde team, effectively putting the game away in the third quarter.
Leading the way in points for the Phoenix was Captain Reese Norton ‘17 (team-high 4g, 1a), Karangelan, and Captain Greg Kidger ‘17 (1g, 1a). While the defense struggled at times to stay on the field and clear the ball, the coaches were impressed by the play of recent defensive-converts Jason Filios ‘17, and Keith Scafe ‘17. Other noteworthy play in the midfield came from Brandon Nelson ‘17 and Michael Lanzarone ‘19, while the game ball goes to goalie Eli Widener ‘19 (8 saves) who kept his head up and made some fantastic doorstop saves late in his first varsity start.
While it was a tough loss, the Phoenix learned a lesson about hard nosed play and the value of attitude over talent. Looking forward, the boys will look for their first win of the season on Monday, April 3rd against visiting Fryeburg Academy at 3:30pm on the Hyde turf.