GLOUCESTER — As the regular season turns the corner into the second half, the significance of certain matchups begins to diminish.
By a season’s midpoint, the hierarchy of any given conference is generally pretty close to hashed out, often rendering games between teams in the lower levels of the standings irrelevant.
While yesterday’s boys lacrosse game between Gloucester and Swampscott, two teams that had combined for just five wins on the year entering yesterday’s game at O’Maley Middle School, was just that type of game, the product on the field didn’t feature the lack of intensity some may have expected.
It did, however, feature some of the expected sloppiness. For Swampscott, though, none of that mattered in the end as the Big Blue (3-9) pulled away from the Fishermen in the second half, blanking Gloucester in the fourth quarter, to get their first conference win of the season, 7-4.
“I told them, the first thing I said to these guys is ‘I’m so proud for you, not of you,’” Swampscott coach Josh Field said. “I just felt like these guys have worked so hard, even with our record. These guys come out every day to work hard and obviously there’s a lot of things that we need to do better, but this is just a special group of kids and I’m happy to see them get a win.”
Early on, it seemed as though yesterday’s game would be a shootout. With each team struggling with penalties in the first quarter, they traded lengthy possessions and scoring chances — and goals.
Swampscott struck first with the first of midfielder Griffin Hunt’s two goals on the game’s first possession, taking a lead the Big Blue would never surrender. Gloucester quickly responded, though, with an extra-man goal from Jason Latoff to knot the game.