Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hot Start Helps Medfield Lacrosse Top Westwood for Spot in D2 C/E Final

By Jake Levin (@JakeLevin477)

MEDFIELD - Once again, the Medfield Warriors are one win away from capturing the Division 2 Central/East crown.

The second-seeded Warriors (14-6) have won the bracket each year since its inception in 2014, and after a 13-8 win over the sixth-seeded Westwood Wolverines (13-8) on Wednesday afternoon, Medfield will have yet another shot at the hardware this weekend.

If the Warriors are to take down the top-seeded Walpole Rebels (19-1), they’re going to have to resist the urge to take their foot off the gas at any point. Wednesday, after building a 13-4 lead against Westwood, Medfield turned lackadaisical, allowing the Wolverines to score the final four goals of the contest.

Count Warrior head coach John Isaf as a believer that his team is capable of avoiding such a mistake again.

“I have tremendous faith in them,” Isaf said. “I didn’t even really have to say it in the postgame huddle, they knew that they kind of let their foot off the gas. You can’t do that in the playoffs.”

Medfield had the privilege of being in such a position thanks to a dominant showing in the first three-and-a-half quarters, with the usual suspects scattered across the score sheet for the Warriors.

Sophomore attack Owen Murphy led the team with six points (2G, 4A), while senior middie Jack Cahill (4G, 1A) and sophomore attack Michael Hauptman (3G, 2A) had five points apiece. Freshman attack Jack McCordic (3G, 1A) was also a factor for Medfield on offense.

“Those guys are really helping us keep the ball hot,” Isaf said. “They’re finding great space and cuts. They’re playing really smart offensive lacrosse right now and they’re finishing plays.”

Murphy factored in each of the first four goals of the game for the Warriors, assisting on McCordic and Cahill tallies to build a quick 2-0 lead from which his team would never look back from. After Robbie Antonucci found the back of the net for Westwood, Murphy scored a goal of his own less than a minute later, and also added the team’s first strike of the second quarter.

Medfield led 6-2 at halftime, and grew the lead to 11-4 at the end of the third quarter.

The Wolverines scored four goals in a 2:01 span in the fourth quarter, two coming from the cradle of Ryan Healey, with Jake Atonoucci and Anthony Raei also rattling the cage for Westwood.

Warriors LSM Matt Dold, who recovered three ground balls on the afternoon, believes the Medfield team which showed up through the first three-and-a-half quarters is the one the rest of the state will see moving forward.

“I’ve got total faith,” Dold said. “The unit pulled together at the end, especially the D-unit. We let a couple of cheap ones go, but during the first three-and-a-half quarters, I feel like we played really well.”

The win for the Warriors gave them a season-sweep over the Wolverines, having beaten them 11-6 on April 27 and 18-7 on May 22. It is also the second season in a row Medfield has knocked Westwood out of the Division 2 Central-East tournament, following last season’s 19-9 triumph, also in the semifinal round.

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