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Sunday, April 10, 2011
No. 9 Wellesley drops No. 10 Medfield in D2 battle

By Scott Barboza

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Medfield and Wellesley boys’ lacrosse teams last met in the Eastern Mass Division 2 semifinals a year ago. The Warriors advanced past Wellesley with a 10-9 victory, en route to another D2 state title.

A new season brought the teams together again on Saturday with the Raiders coming out on top this time in an 8-5 decision.

Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty insisted it had nothing to do with revenge — last year is exactly that, and this year means they are different teams.

However, by starting the season 2-0 with their win over the 10th-ranked Medfield squad, in addition to a win over No. 2 Billerica in their opener, the ninth-ranked Raiders have exhibited why they’re among the frontrunners for the D2 crown this year.

“That’s the cream of the crop,” Batty said of Medfield. “There’s no revenge there. I hope that’s a statement we can build on going through the year.”

Sam Lawrence led the way for Wellesley with a three-point game, while tallying two important second-half goals. Peter Crane also chipped in a multi-goal performance, scoring the Raiders’ first two goals of the game.

Wellesley also enjoyed some added offensive power provided by goaltender Connor Darcey. The Penn State-bound netminder streaked down the field and had the Raiders to a 3-1 lead during the second quarter.

“The problem was, at the beginning, he was playing too much offense and, at the end, too much defense,” Batty joked about Darcey’s performance. “What do you say? We get unique chances on offense because we have a goalie that we have a ton of faith in.”

Medfield goaltender Sam Aronson (15 saves) helped to keep the Raiders at bay and make it a 4-3 game by halftime.

However, that’s as close at the Warriors (2-1) would get, as Lawrence stepped up to score the Raiders’ next two goals — one to start the third quarter and another at the beginning of the fourth quarter – to give Wellesley a little breathing room.

“It’s been a good week,” Batty said. “I was a little nervous when it was Billerica and Medfield to open up. I think my head’s still spinning from it, but it’s two great teams and I’m thinking that those are two of the class programs in the state, on the field and off the field. If we’re getting close to being there with them, that’s a good thing.”