WELLESLEY, Mass. -- In every season since 2006, Wellesley boys’ lacrosse’s season has ended in a defeat to Medfield in the Division 2 Eastern tournament.
The rivalry has developed into one of the state’s best and it simply wouldn’t be June without the squads going head-to-head.
The Raiders entered this year’s installment with home-field advantage and the No. 1 seed in the tournament after an undefeated regular season. However, none of that prevented the Warriors from once again putting a close to Wellesley’s season with a 7-5 win in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.
“As hard as it is to say, I love playing Medfield in June,” Raiders head coach Rock Batty said. “We did everything we could to give ourselves a leg up and a home game. I still love playing them. I’d play them every June if we can.”
Things started off well for Wellesley (17-1) which carried a 3-2 lead into halftime thanks to six huge saves from goalkeeper Connor Darcey (13 saves) in the second quarter.
The Raiders added to their lead scoring the lone goal of the third quarter with Peter Crane notching his first of two tallies.
But Medfield (14-7) returned a new team in the fourth when it scored four straight goals within three minutes to start the quarter.
“It was as much about us executing as it was stopping them,” Warriors head coach Bob Aronson said, describing his team’s fourth-quarter transformation.
Possession was also critical as Medfield just about carried play exclusively.
Warriors attack Connor Roddy tallied two goals in 31 seconds to tie the game, 4-4, with 10:35 remaining. Medfield then kept up the offensive onslaught with midfielder Clay Richard winning five straight face offs. Richard helped to set up Peter Gill’s goal with 9:39 to play, giving Medfield its first lead of the game at 5-4 with an assist from Andrew Melvin.
Calvin Given then converted a Wellesley turnover at midfield into his first goal of the game with 8:21 remaining.
It would stand up to become Given’s second straight game-winning goal in the tournament after he lifted the Warriors to a win over Walpole with 12 seconds remaining in the teams’ first-round game.
“He’s an underrated player, he’s a smart player,” Aronson said of Given. “It doesn’t always look like he’s the most skilled player out there or has the hardest shot. But he seems to get it done what needs to get done.”
The Raiders responded to get back within one with Crane’s second tally of the game, but Given came right back and pushed the lead to two off the dodge with 4:34 to play.
“When we gave them transition and we couldn’t clear the ball, they beat us,” Batty said. “I give them the credit; they’re a state champion who knows how to do it.”
From there, the Warriors’ defense stood tall with goalie Sam Aronson (9 saves) providing the backbone.
“I’m going to miss this team,” Batty said after exchanging hugs with a group of Wellesley seniors.
Medfield, the No. 9 seed, advances to play at fourth-seeded Foxborough Friday at 5 p.m.