Categories: Sports

WHS Sports Roundup

Boys Lacrosse Tops Tyngsborough in Tourney

It often is said that revenge is a dish best served cold.

But in the world of high school athletics, it is even better when revenge is achieved in the state tourney.

Such was the case for the Winthrop High boys lacrosse team, which defeated Tyngsborough, 16-9, before a vocal home crowd at Miller Field in the Round of 32 in the Division 4 state tournament, avenging a 15-14 loss at the hands of the Tigers in the regular season on May 2.

The Vikings entered the D-4 tourney as the 16th seed with an 11-7 record, while Tyngsborough was seeded 17th with a 15-3 mark.

“We were confident coming into the game against Tyngsborough, despite an earlier loss in the year against them,” said WHS head coach Brian Donnelly. “We had played them earlier in the year and we just didn’t have everything clicking yet. We threw the ball away a lot, couldn’t find the net, and just didn’t have our defensive slide packages where they needed to be. We worked a lot in practice on tightening up these issues.

“This was a huge team win with goal-scoring from six different players,” Donnelly said. “Seth Sacco continues to dominate on the field and in finding the net. He had six goals this game, including the first two to start us up. He has the ability to get open and luckily we have some great feeders on the team.

“CJ Cifuni also had a nice goal this game, but CJ’s ability to find other players has been his biggest strength this year. He had four assists in this game alone and has the most assists on the team this year with 33. He is shifty behind the net and is able to thread some amazing passes, creating opportunities that are hard to cover.

“Ace Daigneault had some issues finding the net early on, but was crucial in creating opportunities early, and also had four assists in the game,” Donnelly continued. “But in the second half, Ace turned it on when it mattered the most and ended with a hat trick.”

“It was also great to see junior Luke Githinji with some key goals,” Donnelly noted. “He scored a couple in heavy traffic in the third when our offense had stalled a bit that gave us the final push.

“Our defense also played excellently,” Donnelly added. “Goalie Hunter Fife has been on another level in the last couple of games. He had some huge saves all game. They have four guys who can really shoot the ball and Hunter stuck in goal and dug a lot of them out. He has been a beast in net all year and has only been getting better and playing more confidently than ever. He also had a beautiful assist on a far clear in the fourth which was great to see. We played 7:30 with a man down this game, which is not ideal, but our defense was able to kill a bunch of those penalties and it made the difference.

“Our four long pole defensemen did a great job of communicating this game, only allowing nine goals compared to the 15 when we first saw these guys,” Donnelly said. “Sean Dolan, Paul Ferrara, Dan Thomai, and Donovan Cassidy make up such a strong core. They also won the ground ball battle on our defensive end, giving our offense more possessions. We also have some great short stick guys playing excellent defense. Mike Holgerson, who is a double threat, has been playing some shut-down defense. We also have Colin O’Leary back from an injury and now playing some short-stick defense. Colin is a great, heads-up player who is able to put himself and others in a  position to make plays.

“Overall, we are very happy with the way we have progressed as a team and are playing some of the best lacrosse I have seen here in Winthrop,” Donnelly concluded. “This is a special group of guys who in the words of our amazing offensive coach, Rich Cifuni, are ‘Peaking at the right time’.”

The win enabled the Vikings to advance to the Sweet 16 where they were scheduled to travel to #1 seed Nantucket yesterday (Wednesday). The Whalers compiled a 16-1 record in the regular season and routed #32 Littleton, 19-3, in the Round of 32.

If the Vikings were successful in their match with Nantucket last night, they would advance to the Elite Eight to take on the winner of last night’s match between #9 Nipmuc Regional and #8 Manchester-Essex.

Daigneault, Sacco Named NEC All-Conference; Two More Named All Stars

Two members of the Winthrop High boys lacrosse team were named to the Northeastern Conference’s All-Conference team by a vote of the NEC’s coaches.

The duo are sophomore attack Ace Daignault, who finished the regular season with 57 goals and 25 assists, and sophomore midfielder Seth Sacco, who scored 57 goals and earned 19 assists.

Two teammates were named All-Stars, senior captain and goalie, Hunter Fife, who averaged 12 saves per game, earned two assists, and was an outstanding leader for the 2024 Vikings, and sophomore defenseman Sean Dolan, who was a ground ball machine and an excellent close-man defenseman.

WHS Softball Wraps Up Season With Win; Cash Named NEC Star

The Winthrop High softball team concluded its 2024 season in superb fashion with a 16-4 victory over Lynn Classical.

Lady Viking pitcher Makayla Herdt allowed only two earned runs and struck out six Lady Ram hitters in her five innings iof work. (The contest was called after five frames because of the mercy rule.)

Senior captain Carolina Gonzalez tallied four hits (a triple, a double, and two singles) with two RBI. Carolina’s sister, freshman Sofia Gonzalez, accounted for four RBI with a double and a triple.

The Lady Viking junior varsity squad earned a big win over Malden, 14-1, that same night behind a powerful pitching performance by JV starter Lucy Boncore, who fanned 14 enemy hitters.

 “Overall, with one conference win in the toughest conference and continued improvement throughout the season, both in the field and especially at the plate, it was a year of great growth for the team,” said WHS head coach Erin Vercruysse. “I greatly look forward to what our program achieves next year.”

Vercruysse also noted that the WHS softball team will be hosting their annual Summer Softball Camp for girls ages 6-12 on June 26, 27, and 28. The camp will be held in two sessions: ages 6-9 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM and ages 10-12 from 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM. All camp events will be held at the Little League Field (A Field).

Players can register at https://bit.ly/WHSSoftballCamp24.

Transcript Staff

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