MEDFIELD, Mass. –- Medfield lacrosse’s attacking mentality boils down to two letters: I and O. That’s short for what the Warriors like to call “Instant Offense.”
But in Medfield’s first performance this season against Tri-Valley League rival Dover-Sherborn, the Warriors’ offense was anything but, sputtering in a 7-5 loss.
With their second crack at the No. 5 Raiders on Friday, with the league title up for grabs, the Warriors lived up to their creed. Medfield translated a nearly instant 6-2 first-quarter lead into a 14-7 romp.
“We pick it up and we try to run to the sideline and get it out of the sticks as quickly as possible,” senior attack Calvin Given said, “and [we] try to make the extra pass to find that man on the weak side where he can just get that layup.”
Medfield (13-3) amassed their early lead thanks in no small part to their ability to win ground balls in the first quarter. The Warriors hustled and scooped their way to a 9-3 ground ball advantage in the period.
“That’s something we focused on in practice all week,” senior attack Chris Diana said. “It showed in the first quarter. We got off to a good start and we just kept the momentum from there.”
Twice in the first quarter, Diana was a beneficiary to the Warriors hustle play, turning ground balls into transition and two of his team-high four goals on the evening. Given also celebrated Senior Night with a hat trick of his own.
The Raiders (15-3) didn’t go quietly, however.
D-S whittled down Medfield’s lead to two goals late in the third quarter, after a three-goal run to open the second half. Raiders senior attack Jared Spence led the comeback charge with two of his four goals.
Yet, Medfield was able to close the deal, scoring the final five goals on the night.
“This game, we valued the ball a lot more,” Given said. “When we’d dodge, we didn’t force anything. We pulled it out if nothing was open. We were just always working it around, looking for that extra pass. “
Perhaps a little restraint can result in something instant.
X MARKS THE SPOT
Aside from the Warriors’ crisper offensive showing, Medfield also prospered with the recent return of one of its most skilled players to the lineup.
Although he was held without a goal on Friday, senior attack Connor Roddy’s presence was felt, particularly with his three assists. But even without the ball, the ESPN Boston Preseason All-Stater demands the defense’s attention.
After missing several weeks due to injury, it should come as no surprise that the Warriors’ offensive resurgence has coincided with Roddy’s return.
“He sees the field very well and he makes the right passes,” Diana said of Roddy.
A BETTER SITUATION
The Warriors backed into the postseason last year, after seeing their record TVL winning streak go up in smoke with back-to-back losses to both D-S and Hopkinton.
Maybe this year Medfield will enter with momentum.
In any event, as seemingly is the case every year in the lacrosse hotbed, the second season remains the most important season for the Warriors, who look for a third straight Division 2 state title.
“I think we’re in a good spot, as compared to last year,” Given said. “Last year, we lost this game and the previous game against Hopkinton, which are two TVL games and a huge deal to us."