Malden High's Boys Lacrosse team. Photo taken by David Cartledge.
On May 4th, Malden High’s Boys Lacrosse team played against Matignon, coming out on top with a score of 9-3. Despite winning the game, the team did not show a great performance as described by coach Copithorne, who mentioned that they “did not play their best game,” adding that they had “the ability to play better.” He continues saying that even though they won against Matignon, they “would not have won against any other team in the league.”
Copithorne felt disappointed in the overall drive and effort of the team, saying that their “sense of urgency was poor” and that “whenever there is a team [one] should beat, there is always a tendency to not try as hard, which often ends up being the team’s downfall.” With the team getting a big lead early on in the game, there were opportunities for teams to try new things and find any weaknesses that they could capitalize on. But, Copithorne mentioned how the team exhibited “some laziness, unfocused behaviours, and unfocused actions” that made it so the team had to “scratch and claw” to keep the game going.
Matignon, who only have 11 players total on their team, leaving only one substitute, had a rough season this year. With a record of 0-8 at the time of the Malden game, they did not have much to lose. That accompanied with the fact that fatigue and anger was building up from having such a poor season, the team was bound to play aggressive and not worry too much about a win. The game would end with another 48 seconds remaining, with the Matignon coach asking coach Copithorne if they could end early because the game was as heated as it was. The deciding factor in the early game was a fight that broke out between the two teams. However, Copithorne mentioned how the team “handled the situation well with all things considered,” keeping their cool for most of the game until Matignon became too aggressive. In the end of the day, Copithorne felt that “Malden Lacrosse was demonstrated in that game.”
Malden had a pretty poor start to the game, with Malden having control of the ball, but never making anything of it. During one play, Malden lost the ball, and Copithorne described how “[Matignon] took the ball and went right down the field and scored” which placed them on top at the start with a score of 1-0. Although this score didn’t last long, Copithorne was still disappointed in their lack of effort and overall confidence in the fact that they would win the game, wanting them to fight until the very end, while still keeping their heads held high.
The team has a record of 4-7, still needing to play another seven games. With the team making States last season, they want to try and do the same this year, and it seems like they might be able to pull it off with enough dedication and focus. Copithorne mentioned how if they win five out of their seven remaining games, they will make States. While five may seem like a lot, the teams they are playing are teams that they have already played against this season. The next six games that they are playing are Arlington Catholic, Lynn Classical, Everett, Salem, Winthrop, and Revere. Some of those schools the team has already played and has won against, which makes States feel a lot more doable than before. A few of those games though will be really challenging for the team, like Arlington Catholic, who beat the Malden team in the season opener with a score of 6-2.
With the team coming out on top against both Matignon and Saugus in a two day span, the team has shown some serious progress since the start of the season. Copithorne says how every season has a “feeling out” process, where the team needs to find out what works for them. He also mentioned how the team has “established their roles and people continue to work hard at practice,” but mentioned how the team “still has a long way to go, but will continue to improve.”