Mallards Top Lowell, 9-7

BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s men’s varsity lacrosse team’s midseason tour against teams from all over the mid-Atlantic region stopped at home on Tuesday when the Mallards defeated visiting Lowell of Massachusetts, 9-7, in a tight, well-played game by both sides.

Worcester ramped up its schedule this season in an effort to raise the level of the competition it plays and gain valuable exposure for its players. The most recent leg of the journey included a home game against Sidwell Friends of Washington, D.C., a road game against Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County, and a road game in Dover against Tower Hill last Friday.

The Mallards returned home on Tuesday for a game against Lowell, a Massachusetts high school team with a rich tradition, and took care of the visiting Red Raiders, 9-7. Both teams exchanged goals in the first quarter, which ended with Worcester leading 3-2. Early in the second quarter, the Mallards patiently worked the ball around the offensive end, setting up a nice goal on a move from behind the net by Max DiFilippo to extend the lead to 4-2.

Lowell answered with 3:20 left with a goal on a nice assist on the crease to cut the lead to 4-3. Worcester came right back with a goal by Justin Butler, who made a great fake to get in front of the Red Raider net to extend the lead to 5-3 with 2:49 remaining, which is how the first half ended.

Lowell scored the first goal of the third quarter to make it 5-4. The Red Raiders then became very deliberate on offense as they moved the ball around the Worcester defensive end. Their patience was rewarded with a goal at the 5:45 mark in the third quarter to tie the game at 5-5 with a lot of time left. However, Worcester went on a mini scoring binge near the end of the third to gain some separation from Lowell.

Mallard defender scooped up a ball deep in the Lowell end and started a fast break that ended with a goal by Christian Payne on an assist by Will Regan to retake the lead at 6-5 with 1:19 left in the third. The same scenario played out about 20 seconds later when Regan hit Payne for another goal to extend the lead to 7-5. With a full quarter to play, however, the outcome was still very much undecided.

Trailing by two early in the fourth quarter, Lowell again worked the ball around the Worcester net waiting for an opening against the Mallards’ stingy defense. The Red Raiders scored at the 8:28 mark to cut the lead to 7-6. On the ensuing face-off, however, Worcester’s Chase Humphrey dug out a loose ball and found a wide open Justin Butler on the crease. Butler converted the opportunity to make it 8-6 with 8:12 remaining.

With around six minutes left in the game, Worcester’s Hank Fisher scored the Mallards’ final goal of the game to make it 9-6. Lowell cut the lead to 9-7 on an unsettled situation in front of the Worcester net at the 4:21 mark, but that was as close as they would get. Butler finished with four goals and Payne added two. Regan, Fisher and DiFilippo each scored single goals.