Pelham senior Kevin DeAngelo likes to play lacrosse with a chip on his shoulder.
“Because I’m usually the shortest one out on the field,” DeAngelo said.
DeAngelo, who also wrestles, said he is “5 foot 5 on a tall day.”
“It’s just weird because my dad’s 5-10 and my brother is 6-1,” DeAngelo said. “It’s not really harder. It’s just that people usually underestimate me when they’re looking at me.”
But they don’t underestimate DeAngelo’s ability as a lacrosse player after watching him take faceoffs. The Pelham midfielder was 20 for 23 in faceoffs in a 16-7 win over Milford on Tuesday. He has won approximately 80 percent of his faceoffs this spring.
He said his size helps him on faceoffs most of the time.
“Because when you do a faceoff, you try to get really low to the ground,” he said. “That helps me — a low center of gravity.”
Wrestling also has helped him become better at faceoffs. Wrestling is a nice second sport for lacrosse because there is a great deal of jockeying for position, fighting, shoving, balancing — all things that are helpful with faceoffs.
“A lot of the best faceoff guys in college tend to be wrestlers,” DeAngelo said.
DeAngelo will continue his lacrosse career at Nichols College next year.
“I’m pretty excited about it because I want to go into sports management and apparently they’ve got probably the best sports management program in the entire Northeast,” DeAngelo said. “The coach is wicked cool, all the people seem cool, the campus is great. It just felt right.”
Leah Chittick, who was second in scoring last year for North Andover, leads the team this year. She has 58 goals already this spring.
“She’s very physical, has worked well on low attack and also has worked on defense,” North Andover coach Karen Lahey said about Chittick. “She’s worked well with her left hand to get stronger.”
Senior Jake Diaz has been terrific as Pelham’s goalie. That’s a bit surprising since he didn’t begin lacrosse until his freshman year.
“I was in gym class with (Matt) Regan, the coach of the lacrosse team,” Diaz said. “We were playing some game and he noticed kind of my quick reactions to seeing the ball because I was playing goalie.
“And so he actually asked me to play as a freshman,” Diaz added. “So I decided to try it out. The goalie coach Andrew Keegan has worked with me a lot. He was a former goalie. He pretty much made me the goalie I am today. Him taking shots and teaching me how to position myself and how to handle the stick.”
Diaz had a 17 saves in a 16-7 victory over Milford on Tuesday.
He had 10 saves in a 8-4 win over Trinity in the game before and another 17-save performance in a 9-3 victory over Windham on May 6.
“Jake’s reaction time is like no other,” lone Pelham captain Keston Beauregard said. “I’ve played with hundreds of goalies in my years of playing lacrosse and I’d honestly rank him in the top three that I’ve probably played with. He’s phenomenal at passing. He’s right on the money. His reaction time with the ball coming at him on shots is incredible.”
Another great goalie
Pentucket’s Ben Smith had 12 saves in a 7-6 double-overtime victory for the Sachems over Triton on Tuesday.
“He did great in between the pipes but also makes great decisions, clearing the ball,” Pentucket coach Dan Leary said. “We rely on his decisions late in games.”
Keston vs. old teammate
Pelham captain Keston Beauregard is committed to play at the University of New England.
“I’m extremely excited to play college lacrosse,” he said. “They (University of New England) actually just won their division championship. They just beat Wentworth, which is the team that (former Pelham star) Alec (Paradis) plays for. So it’s going to be competitive playing against Alec — just to know one of my friends is out there and we’ll be battling for a championship on a different team.”
Seven is sweet
Junior Gina D’Alelio scored seven goals Tuesday to lead North Reading 16-14 over Lynnfield. The Hornets also got a strong effort out of goalie Liz Carlson (10 saves).
Pinkerton’s powerful defense
Perennial Division 1 boys power Pinkerton is the team to beat in New Hampshire right now. The Astros are 13-1 with their only loss coming to Western, Mass. power Longmeadow, a 12-11 overtime defeat back on April 13.
Pinkerton has held all but three of its opponents to eight or fewer goals this year. It has held five opponents to three goals or fewer.
BOYS FAB 5
1. Pinkerton 13-1
2. Andover 11-3
3. North Andover 11-4
4. North Reading 13-4
5. Phillips 8-5
Honorable Mention: Whittier 12-4, Pentucket 11-5, Pelham 8-3
1. North Andover 12-4
2. Windham 12-1
3. Londonderry 10-4
4. Pinkerton 11-3
5. Andover 6-5-2
Honorable mention: Methuen (10-3), Phillips 7-3, Brooks 7-4
Records are as of Tuesday night