In 2018, the Swampscott Big Blue girls’ lacrosse team (16-3) took on Newburyport (15-4, third seed) in the Division 2 North playoffs, and lost, 19-3. But this year was much different. The Swampscott girls, the second seed, were able to take Newburyport to overtime, before losing, 14-13 in the semifinal round.
Swampscott was clinging to a two-goal lead late in the game, but the Clippers tied it up to force overtime. Swampscott finishes the year at 16-3.
Coach Al Eaton said he was incredibly proud of his team, and added that specifically his four seniors – goalie Sara Hamada-Mohamed, Jackie Frisoli, Nikki Rosa and Grace DiGrande – will be difficult to replace, because they each made a lasting impact. But Eaton is optimistic he has the young talent to compensate for the losses.
Hamada-Mohamed stepped into the net as a junior with no prior experience, and helped backstop the Big Blue to 16 wins this year.
"This season was the best in program history. We improved so much since my freshman year," Hamada-Mohamed said. "I was put in goal my junior year, and it was a tough transition from being a field player. I knew I had to be there for my team, and did the best I could in net for the past two years. This season this team showed that we could play at an elite level with the top teams in the area, and I couldn’t be prouder of my team."
Eaton took over the program four years ago, when his four seniors were freshmen, ands he said the way they grew as players and as people is just outstanding.
Grace DiGrande, the team’s leading scorer, said it was a big thrill for her to be a part of a Swampscott team that did so many great things.
"We had a team full of athletes this season. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished, and to get blown out by Newburyport last year and lose by one in overtime this year is insane for us, but it just shows how much we wanted it," DiGrande said.
"Even though we came up short, we were in it the whole game and played for each other. This season, we had great chemistry on and off the field, along with a great coaching staff, which led to a season with an amazing record."
Emerson Laundry scored six times in the North semifinal contst, followed by three goals and two assists from Harper Clopton. DiGrande hit the back of the net three times. Elizabeth Green scored once, and Reese Robertson had an assist.
The game went back and forth. There were a total of 21 ties or lead changes between the two teams in Tuesday’s match.
Eaton concluded by saying that it will be a long time before people forget this year’s squad.
"Grace, that’s our leading scorer, Sara’s our goalie and our two rock-solid defensive players, Nikki and Jackie, are some great players we’re losing. They’ll be missed a lot, that’s for sure," Eaton added. "They’ve all made huge contributions to this program over the past few years, and it’s going to be tough moving on without them. They always gave it their all, and left it all on the field. I’m incredibly proud of them and this team as a whole."
Members of the 2019 Big Blue girls’ lacrosse team included: Sara Hamada-Mohamed, Paige Quagrello, Sasha Divall, Jackie Frisoli, Reese Robertson, Emerson Laundry, Elizabeth Green, Jordan Waters, Sophie Marston, Scarlett Ciciotti, Alice Michigan, Lilli D’Agostino, Aubrey Bliss, Nikki Rosa, Grace DiGrande, Sydney Bray, Mackenzie Kearney, Harper Clopton, Brooke Matela and Myra Diaz.