Jun. 13—MARBLEHEAD — The loudest cheers at Piper Field Saturday night came with 59 seconds to play when sophomore Eddie Johns, a defensive middie, scored his first career goal to cap off Marblehead’s 12-3 victory over Peabody.
A large and lengthy cheer when up from the home team’s fan section and his Magicians teammates, both on the field and later on the sidelines, embraced and celebrated this milestone with the grind-it-out 10th grader.
“Nobody works harder than Eddie,” senior captain Will Shull, who finished with a game-high five goals and an assist, said. The middie now has 114 goals and 45 assists in his MHS career. “He really deserves this.”
Unbeaten on the season (12-0) with just one game left before the state playoffs begin, Marblehead broke open a 3-2 halftime margin by scoring six unanswered goals in the third quarter.
The Magicians, who have outscored their opponents by a whopping 139 goals (179 for, just 40 allowed) actually potted nine consecutive strikes before Peabody’s Anthony Bettencourt responded, giving the Tanners their first goal in 27 minutes 14 seconds of game action.
Still without its best offensive player, injured senior captain Jack Houlden, Peabody’s game plan of gaining possession and playing staunch defensively played out well for two quarters. But Marblehead’s Baxter Jennings won all seven draws in the third quarter, allowing his team to get in transition and start producing goals rapidly.
“We just couldn’t get possessions,” lamented Peabody’s standout LSM Drew Lucas, who as usual was all over the field trying to make an impact, including scoring once and assisting on another.
Peabody senior goaltender Derek Patturelli had eight of his dozen saves in the first half, denying the hosts scoring chances with a quick stick. But then the third quarter deluge changed the entire complexion of the contest.
“We came out flying and the guys were ready to go,” said Peabody head coach Leo Shidler. “They’re just the better team. That third quarter, they broke the game open and scored two man-dpwn goals on us.
“They’re insanely well rounded. Obviously No. 8 (Shull) and No. 22 (sophomore attack Connor Cronin, who had 4 goals and an assist) carry that offense, but all those other guys can also handle the ball, they can all dodge, and they can all move. Plus, their goalie (senior captain J.T. Monahan, who had 10 saves) is unbelievable.”
Matt Thompson added two goals and an assist to the Magicians’ attack while Josh Robertson finished with a pair of helpers. Sophomore defenseman Sam Annese (“a really strong game tonight from Sam,” said Wilkens) added his first career assist with a long pass to Cronin to make it 5-2.
“It wasn’t that we played poorly in the first half, but we didn’t shoot it particularly well or make good decisions,” Marblehead coach John Wilkens said. “To their credit, our guys recognized that, came out and played a much better third quarter. They’re confident in their abilities and a very competitive bunch.”
Peabody got first quarter goals from Tristan Ell and Lucas, tying the game at 1-1 and 2-2, respectively. Luke Buckley and Cam Collins (lauded by Shidler for his strong work all finished with one assist each.
“That No. 7 (Lucas), he’s a horse for them,” said Wilkens. “He’s running all over the field for them, long pole, short stick … he’s all over the place. Really a terrific player.”