Sophomore Zaki Greige running past a player. Photo by David Cartledge.
Check out the photo gallery from the game here.
On Monday, April 8th, the MHS Boys lacrosse team played their home opener game against Medford, which is one of the stronger teams in the league. The game ended in a 13-10 win for Medford, but resulted in a tough game for them because of the effort that was put in by the Malden players. The game was back and forth the whole time, with the end of each period ending with only a few points apart. While the team unfortunately lost the game, it really showed their strengths and weaknesses, with coach Copithorne mentioning that “[They] could have won the game, but inexperience really showed.”
The Saturday prior to the Medford game the team played Arlington Catholic, which is also one of the stronger teams in the league. Arlington Catholic came out on top in that game, with a score of 6-2. That game was pretty rough, with some players giving a few penalties and with it being the first game of the season. However, coach Copithorne mentioned how “[Their] defense played very well” and that their goalie, Junior Kevin Ivany, “has had great games.”
This year is Ivany’s first time playing for varsity, and seems to have really proven himself, with coach Copithorne commenting about how the “defense and goalie had a great game,” even though the defense has seen a lack of experience due to positions being moved around to account for the loss of players at last years graduation. One of those defensive players is Sophomore Zaki Greige, who is one of the players that coach Copithorne feels “can be a serious problem for other teams.”
Although the team lost the first two games of the season, Copithorne still “Feel[s]encouraged” about the future, mentioning how the team will see “more depth” and that there have been “small mistakes that can be taught with [the players] effort.” Since the team lost the number of players they did, it can be difficult for a team to come back from that and reach the level they had before, but Copithorne feels that the team has a “much sharper curve to improve than other teams.”
In the two games that have already been played, mistakes and weaknesses have made themselves clear. In the Arlington Catholic game, Copithorne felt that the team “needed to get a bit more focused” and that they “needed to control the ball a bit more.” Between the Arlington Catholic and Medford games, the team was unable to get any practices in, which could pose a problem. However, the team pushed through and played a great game.
The Medford game was very back and forth, with Medford scoring a goal then Malden coming back and doing the same. Each period saw only a few goals apart, with the final period seeing the most action among the two teams. Malden scored three goals in the final period, and although Medford only scored one, they played to the same standard they had the whole game. With the final score of the game coming out to 13-10, Malden beat the average scores they would get against Medford. Coach Copithorne mentioned from all of the time he has coached for the Malden team, they have never beaten Medford, with this year and last year being the two most promising.
With the team swapping positions and not having practice between the Arlington Catholic and Medford games, the team was bound to have a few mistakes and weaknesses during the game. One of the major difficulties in the game was inexperience with new positions, which was a result of players changing their positions to accomodate for the loss of players. Coach Copithorne mentioned how “Any team with inexperience could be unpredictable” and that the team has “a lot of things they have never had to deal with before.”He believes that putting them where he thinks they play at their best will benefit the team the most. Copithorne also mentioned that “moving without the ball, who to cover, identifying and recognizing plays, and helping out teammates,” have all been an issue, but feels “If they can smooth those out they could walk out with a win.”
Although the team has seen losses in their first two games, the season still seems promising. Players are still trying to figure out their new positions and have had a limited amount of time to practice, but have still given their opponents so far a run for their money. Later on in the season, Malden will be playing both Arlington Catholic and Medford again, in which time they should have their positions figured out.