The Ipswich High Tigers boys lacrosse team began their quest for back-to-back Division 3 state championships with a 19-3 victory on June 4 over the Essex Tech Hawks.
This game was all Tigers right from the opening whistle. Junior midfielder Ben Yanakakis scored his first of four goals on the night 48 seconds into the game. That was just the beginning, as two more Tigers – senior captains Pat Gillis and Kevin Swenson, would put together four goal games as well.
"Kevin and Pat are very steady in what they do. Obviously they can both shoot and they have good stick skills," said veteran head coach Glenn Foster, when asked about the play from his captains.
Foster also cited other players that he was impressed with in the game.
"Blake Emerson is huge on faceoffs. He gets us possession all the time. On the other end, Alex Bruhm and Jack Sotiropoulos have been playing extremely well defensively," Foster added. " And the middies – Ben [Yanakakis] has become a scoring threat and [Matt] Rugo is just a very good defensive middie."
The other senior captain, goalie Aidan McAdams, had a good night as well, although he didn’t get challenged nearly as much as he usually does. He only allowed three goals and made a few key saves early in the game before it was put away by the offense.
Even after a 19-3 victory, Foster still wants to see his team be more consistent.
"We’ve been working the last few weeks trying to get the consistency up so we play all the way through the game and not make those mistakes," he said.
The Tigers will play the winner of the June 5 Bishop Fenwick-St. Mary’s game in the next round. When asked about looking ahead in the tournament, Foster said that the road to a North title will likely go through Hamilton-Wenham. The game is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. Watch the site miaa.ezstream.net for updates.
"Obviously, if we win [the next] game, I suspect down the road will be the [Hamilton-Wenham] Generals," Foster added. "But I think they have a test against Manchester Essex. As we know from the past, there are know gimmes in this. Anybody can show up and beat anybody else."
The Tigers will absolutely have some serious momentum going into their next game after a big win like that, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against some tougher opponents.