Shawsheen Tech’s Devin Sweeney battles with Mystic's Lucia Antonucci

Shawsheen Tech’s Devin Sweeney battles with  Mystic's Lucia Antonucci for the draw during an earlier season Varsity Lacrosse game.

    (photo by JoeBrownphotos.com).

BILLERICA – All season long, the Shawsheen Tech Girls Lacrosse team had responded to every challenge in front of them, rattling off eight straight wins to start the season. On Monday night, however, the Rams finally tasted defeat, dropping an 11-6 decision to CAC rival Essex Tech in a road game to drop their record on the season to 8-1.

Shawsheen trailed 8-2 at the half in this one, and played much better in the second half, but it simply wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit and avoid their first loss of the season.

“It was an off night for our team. Everyone hustled and worked hard but Essex definitely played a more disciplined game,” Shawsheen coach Alex O’Reilly said. “We had a hard time getting our game together and working as a cohesive unit, but that happens sometimes.

“We have to grow from it, work smarter next time, and remember that losing games is part of the process. If we're just winning all the time, we get comfortable and our game gets stale. We have to experience set-backs in order to keep things fresh and to continue advancing. It certainly lights the fire for our rematch next week.”

The Rams were led on offense by three goals from junior midfielder Kerry Brown, while fellow junior midfielder Kiley McFadden of Tewksbury had a pair of goals and senior Abbie Wood added the other Rams tally on the day. Freshman goalie Pieris Fowler had 11 saves on the day for the Rams.

As O’Reilly mentioned, the Rams will get another shot at Essex next week when they host the Hawks on Monday afternoon. While her team was most certainly prepared for their first matchup with the Hawks, she expects them to take their game to an even higher level in Monday’s rematch.

“We had scouted Essex as a team before this game, and Essex played the same game this time,” O’Reilly said. “We know our opponent and I am confident that the girls will use this game as a dress rehearsal for the rematch Monday. We got the jitters out and are moving forward with a different mindset. We aren't focused on winning the entire game next week; our focus is on winning the small battles that happen throughout the game. If we do the small things right, the game's outcome will reflect that.”

Prior to their loss to Essex, the Rams had picked up a big 10-2 win over CAC rival Whittier last Thursday in a road contest. The Rams, who led 7-1 at the half in this one, were led by three goals from senior captain Devin Sweeney as well as two each from Brown and McFadden. They also got solo tallies from Wood, Natalia Portillo-Pita and Desi Mount.

Pieris-Fowler had six saves to earn the victory.

“Whittier's program is growing and their skill level has advanced this year,” O’Reilly said. “It was an exciting match and we were able to get some younger girls out on the field and give them the opportunity to experience varsity-level play.”

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