By Mac Cerullo
---- — BYFIELD — Playing without one of their best players, the shorthanded Triton girls lacrosse team got handled by Masconomet yesterday afternoon 16-4.
Triton (4-4-1, 1-3 CAL) got off to a strong start, taking an early 2-1 lead while keeping Masconomet (7-3-1, 6-0 CAL) off the board for the first 15 minutes of the game despite not having star midfielder Kaitlyn Muldowney, who was forced to sit due to a knee injury.
Before long, however, the Chieftains’ talent and depth proved to be too much for the Vikings, and the Chieftains scored 11 unanswered goals over the next 20 minutes, putting the game well out of reach.
“It’s Masco, they’re a phenomenal team, they have a great youth program and their talent just keeps getting deeper and deeper. They’re just tough to beat,” said Triton head coach Stacey Beaulieu. “Today, our defense played really well, but we don’t have enough sticks, we don’t have enough bodies, we don’t have enough kids who can catch and throw consistently and we just can’t do what a team like them can do.”
The star of the game early on for Triton was undoubtedly goalkeeper Emma Cashman, who made five straight saves to start the game to help hold the Masconomet attack at bay. Junior midfielder Nikki Sullivan scored during that stretch to give Triton an early 1-0 lead, and after Masconomet’s Kathleen Gillespie finally got the Chieftains on the board, junior attacker Sarah Ganzenmuller answered to put Triton ahead 2-1.
That would prove to be the high point for Triton, as the Chieftains rattled off six goals over the final 10 minutes of the half to take a 7-2 lead, and then once the second half began, Masconomet buried five more before junior Megan Muldowney finally ended the Vikings’ drought.
Ganzenmuller would score again before the final horn sounded, but by that point it was too little too late for Triton. Gillespie and Chieftains freshman Grace Fahey finished as the game’s leading scorers, with Gillespie scoring 4 goals and Fahey tallying 2 goals and 2 assists. Caroline Chipman had 3 goals, Sarah Yeakel had 2 goals and an assist, Abby Reblin and Kaitlyn Waystack had 2 goals each and Sammy Dindo had a goal.
Despite the fact that Masconomet controlled the ball on offense for nearly the entire game after the opening minutes, Beaulieu said she was happy with the effort her girls gave, particularly Cashman, who she said played outstanding and helped give her team a chance against one of the best teams on the schedule.
She added that not having Kaitlyn Muldowney hurt, but ultimately the rest of the team needed to step up.
“She’s one of our best players, she’s one of the top players in the league, but what are you going to do, she couldn’t play,” Beaulieu said. “It’s everyone else’s job to step up, and unfortunately today nobody wanted to 100 percent take the call of the bell.”
Muldowney reportedly suffered a sprained knee during a game this past week and watched yesterday’s game from the sideline on crutches. Her timetable for return is unknown at this point, but Beaulieu said her team would have to prepare for Friday’s showdown against Newburyport without her.
“The healthy kids are going to go out there and work as hard as they can,” she said. “You can’t dwell on what you don’t have, you have to focus on what you do have, and what I do have is a great group of girls that wants to fight and wants to play for each other.”
Triton and Newburyport will face off in Byfield on Friday night starting at 6:30.