MEDFIELD, Mass. -- No. 4 Wellesley lacrosse relied on its second-half transition, producing eight goals after the half en route to a 13-5 win over Division 2 rival Medfield.
While securing their 10th win of the season on Thursday, the Raiders defeated the Warriors for the second consecutive year in the regular season.
Senior Peter Crane, who paced the Raiders with four tallies, jump started Wellesley’s third-quarter attack with a strike at 9:11, which was followed up by an additional tally from senior netminder Connor Darcey.
“I think it was pretty much a team effort,” Crane said. “Connor makes a lot of saves, and right away he picks his head up, and we get a lot of guys to break open, even poles, and so they’ll break off to the midline and the other team usually won’t be ready for that, so they’ll get the ball. On a good fastbreak, we usually get a lot of fast breaks a game, and we were just executing them today and finishing.”
“[The transitions] were very key,” added Darcey. “In practice, all we work on is shot, save or loose ball, we get it out right away, so it’s just off a ground ball you move it and that’s basically what our team [exhibits].”
The Warriors earned their only lead of the contest at 8:43 in the first frame when senior David Parsons collected a pass from junior Matt Ruzzo before he whipped the ball past Darcey for the score.
The Raiders evened the score a minute later when senior Adam Horelick (2G) rifled a shot past senior goaltender Dougie Nelson on the man-up, which provided Wellesley with all the momentum for the remainder of the contest.
Senior Oliver Saffery (3G) sophomore John Caraviello and Crane each tallied one goal in the second quarter, which gave Wellesley a 5-3 lead at the break, which eventually blossomed into an eight-goal victory.
“Obviously, we didn’t play well,” Medfield coach Mike Douglas said. “A lot of unforced turnovers, [and] all the little things hurt us, [such as] ground balls, extra possessions, which led to extra goals, and didn’t execute on ‘man up,’ didn’t do a lot of things well.”
A TRUE RIVALRY GAME
The teams combined for 13 penalties, which resulted in four man-up goals, and was indicative of the teams' recent history.
“They probably had more penalties than we did,” Douglas said. “It’s a rivalry game. They beat us during the regular season, we beat them in the tournament, I mean it’s a rivalry game, [and] it’s game that both teams get up for and that’s going to happen.”
Medfield and Wellesley tangled twice last season, once during the regular season and once in the tournament. The Warriors defeated the Raiders, 7-5 in the D2 Eastern Mass. quarterfinals, so this particular match had a certain meaning to Crane and Saffery.
“We all know that what counts is the playoffs, but it was nice to definitely get one under our belt against Medfield,” Crane said.
“This is always a big game for us, it’s always a benchmark game of the season,” Saffery added. “[Our senior class] hasn’t wont on this field in the four years since we’ve been on the team, so we really wanted to come out tonight, send a message. We worked hard, everyone felt like we played a big game, and [we were] emotionally up, and got the job done.”
PHYSICAL PLAY HAS TOLL
Aside from penalties, both teams sustained key injuries in the physical bout.
Medfield’s Dougie Nelson endured a thumb injury late in the fourth quarter, and was replaced during the final minutes by sophomore Robert Treiber.
Meanwhile, Horelick sustained a concussion late in the second quarter after he notched his second strike of the contest.
“I’m very disappointed Adam Horelick took a shot to the head after he scores a goal,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “That’s got to be taken out of the game. The referees need to take control, coaches need to make sure they don’t do that [going forward].”
DARCEY LIGHTS IT UP
It’s not too often that fans witness a team’s goaltender scoring a goal. Although, against Medfield’s midfield and defense, Darcey collected a pass following a dead ball at the midfield and then dodged his way through the Warriors' zone to net a goal at 7:13 in the third quarter.
“It was basically just off a dead ball, and I saw the attack crowd [around] the midfield line, so I just went up to midfield, caught it, other [defensemen] pushed out, basically the same thing like last year, they all pushed out during slide and I just let it go,” he said. “I’ve been shooting a lot in practice, so I was ready for it.”
Darcey, who has now recorded two goals against Medfield, explained that this particular strike wasn’t has exciting as the one he scored against the Warriors in Wellesley last season.
“[My last goal] was at home, so that was pretty exciting, and that was definitely a closer game. That was definitely more exciting, but when I score, I find it pretty exciting, it’s nice."