NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

April 4, 2013

A defensive pairing with chemistry

Mombello, Buckley hope to give Newburyport strength in front of net

Alex Buckley and Nick Mombello are about to embark upon their final sports season together after serving as teammates on the ice or field since they were 5 years old.

“Our chemistry is pretty good, I would say,” said Mombello, who, like Buckey, is a senior long-pole defenseman in lacrosse. “Just knowing that he has my back is a good thing to have.”

The Newburyport lacrosse team will open its season Wednesday at Ipswich. Buckley and Mombello are expected to serve as two of the three starting defensemen.

The two friends have gone to school together since the Bresnahan Elementary. They both started playing hockey at the age of 5 and really came into their own as co-captains in hockey this past season when Mombello, a center, was named a CAL All-Star, and Buckley, a goalie, was named CAL MVP as well as the Newburyport MVP.

“Goalie, conditioning wise, is based on wasting as much energy as possible in a short amount of time, and then building stamina up in a short amount of time,” said Buckley. “And because we have both sides of the ball (in lacrosse), it (translates well) into being successful playing defense.”

As a goalie, Buckley always knew he could count on Mombello.

“There is a trust there,” Buckley said. “He was the penalty-kill specialist, and you really can’t do anything well (as a goalie) unless you have good penalty-killers in front of you. That bond is a big thing.”

Clippers coach Ed Gaudiano enjoys watching the bond at work.

“I like the fact that they’ve been playing together for so long that they know each other’s styles,” said Gaudiano. “They know what to expect from each other. They are comfortable with each other. It helps in the team aspect of the defensive end.”

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