Martha’s Vineyard Youth Lacrosse teams had a full complement of games last weekend, highlighted by two extraordinary contests featuring the Under-15 girls and Under-15 boys teams at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
The U-15 girls (1-4) eventually fell to Dartmouth (5-1) by a 6-5 score, after overcoming an early 4-1 deficit and briefly taking a 5-4 lead before two late Dartmouth goals ended their run.
In a subsequent matchup, the U-15 Shoremen (league-leading 5-1) upended the Pembroke Titans (3-2), scoring two goals in a rock-’em-sock-’em affair in which the teams traded one-goal leads most of the way.
As youth lacrosse is played on the Island, records are less important than growth and development. and MV U-15 girls coach, Jared Meader, was pumped despite losing. “We played so well today, I’m excited for these kids. Dartmouth is a very good team and they beat us, like 12-4, earlier in the season. The improvements the kids have made this season is enormous,” he said, referring to goalkeeper Elizabeth Robinson, and first year lacrosse players Catharine (Kat) DeSorcy and Josie Chivers, who both logged major time in the game.
Both Elizabeth and Molly Rio, her Dartmouth counterpoint, were steady and often brilliant between the pipes, each coming up with big saves after their team had scored, to keep momentum rolling.
It did not look like Coach Meader would have much to cheer about early on. Dartmouth bolted out to a 2-0 lead before MV’s indefatigable Braedyn Clark buried a shot on a nifty weaving effort to make it 2-1. Dartmouth would add two more scores, making it 4-1 at halftime.
Dartmouth’s first-half strategy had been to use long outlet passes, sending several offensive players downfield ahead of MV defenders for a numbers advantage near the goal. MV paid attention and used the same strategy, complemented by improved passing and success in winning ground balls, to claw back in the second half. The Vineyard girls eventually took a 5-4 lead after Kat DeSorcy won an extended battle for a ground ball at midfield, then launched a 30-yard strike to Caroline Kelleher, who took it the rest of the way and buried a low shot in the right corner. Dartmouth responded with two goals in 20 seconds late in the contest to snatch the victory.
MV scorers included Braedyn and Caroline, Lila Mikos, Ali Dyke, and Anabelle Diggs. An unofficial count had Elizabeth Moore with more than a dozen saves.
In the nightcap, the league-leading U-15 boys (5-1), under Coach Brian Hall, took on the Pembroke Titans in a physical affair that began with Pembroke scoring in the first minute with a win off the draw and a quick strike from in close.
MV tied it 1-1, and nearly took the lead, coming a nanosecond after the first-quarter whistle blew. The Shoremen added two second-period scores, and led 3-1 at halftime. Pembroke dominated draws throughout this one, and scored at 12:24 of the fourth quarter to make it 3-2. The Shoremen struggled with the draws, but were dynamite competing for ground balls, and used it to expand their lead to 4-2 with 5:32 left, adding an insurance goal with 30 ticks left for the 5-2 win.
Many lacrosse players also play hockey, and the boys were banging all day in a game that featured ferocious bodychecking and stickwork. As a featured MV offensive player, Oliver Lively went to the bench several times to recover from the physical attention meted out by the Titans.
Edward Cherry led scorers with two goals. Cam Geary, Jesse Yacudian, and Lively had singletons for the MV squad to hand Pembroke its second season loss, both to the Shoremen. The Shoreman have qualified for playoff play, which begins within two weeks.
But as Vineyard U-13 boys Coach MacAleer Schilcher put it after his squad took an 8-2 beating from Pembroke, you take away the positives in program building. “Yeah, they jumped out on us for a 6-0 halftime lead, but we played them even in the second half. [Aiden Conley had both MV scores.] We only have 13 kids on the team [11 players are on the field during a game] right now, but we’re building a program here.”
Island Youth Lacrosse is now under the wing of Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey, which will hold its 30th annual golf tournament on June 2 at Edgartown Golf Club, complete with lunch, silent auction, and prizes. The event is youth hockey’s largest annual fundraiser, vice president Rose Walsh said on Sunday.