WILMINGTON – It was not the Senior Night the Wilmington High Boys Lacrosse team was hoping for. On a night when the Wildcats honored their nine senior players on the squad, they had a tough outing, dropping a 15-3 decision to Middlesex League rival Wakefield at Alumni Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start in this one, falling into an early 4-0 hole in the first quarter, and despite their best efforts, they were unable to recover.
“We felt like we could compete with Wakefield, but they put up those four quick goals and that is hard to come back from,” Wilmington coach Zach McDannell said. “We came back well and scored a couple of goals, but they scored a couple of goals in transition to extend their lead again. We tried to fight back, but we were just unable to do it.”
One aspect of the game that McDannell did like was his team’s improved defensive play. While the defense was a weakness of the team early in the season, McDannell has liked was he has seen as of late.
“Our defense is getting better and better every game, and our older players (Kyle Kenyon, Nicholas Leighton) are setting a good example and laying a good foundation for the younger kids for next year,” McDannell said. “One thing I know about this group is that they are always trying to improve.”
Goals scorers for the Wildcats (1-10) in this one were junior attack Zach Kincaid, freshman midfielder Gavin Erickson and senior attack Andrew Sullivan.
In their previous game against Lexington last Friday, the Wildcats squared off against a powerful Lexington squad, and while they put up a good battle for one half, trailing only 11-7, they could not contain Lexington in the second half and wound up losing be a score of 21-7.
“In the first half we were outstanding,” McDannell said. “The kids played so well, and we were competing well with them. Going into the half I felt like we could compete with them, but in the second half we just fell off and they just capitalized on every mistake we made.”
The Wildcats got four goals from senior attack Ben Wright, while Erickson added two goals and Sullivan had one.
Prior to the game, the Wildcats honored their ten senior players. This year’s Wildcats seniors were, Connor Benoit, Adam Bishop, Nolan Fitzgerald, Jared Homola, Andrew Sullivan, Kyle Kenyon, Nick Leighton, Alan Morris, Ryan Murphy and Ben Wright.
McDannell is in just his first year as coach of the varsity team, but he coached many of these same players when he was coaching the junior varsity program and he will miss what they have brought to the Wilmington program.
“A lot of these kids are kids who really cared about lacrosse, and when you bring that kind of dedication to the team it will resonate throughout the program, McDannell said. “It is a group of guys I have gotten to know very well. It is awesome to see them graduating, but at the same time I wish I had one more year with them.”
The Wildcats will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Stoneham High School, before hitting the road again next Tuesday against Watertown.