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Sunday, April 24, 2011
Darcey leads Wellesley in Coaches Challenge Cup

By Ryan Kilian

WINCHESTER, Mass. -- If you appreciate a lacrosse game with great defense and goaltending, then the finals of the 2011 Coaches Challenge Cup met and exceeded all expectations.

Wellesley, behind a stellar 15-save performance from junior goalie Connor Darcey, defeated Concord-Carlisle, 5-2, on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Winchester.

The Raiders remain undefeated at 7-0, while C-C suffered its first loss of the season and dropped to 7-1.

“Our defense was phenomenal today,” said Wellesley Head Coach Rocky Batty.

Darcey, a Penn State commit, and his defense stood tall all day turning away countless C-C strikes and holding the Patriots to one goal in each half.

“We really stayed tight as a defense and were in synch as a team all day,” said Darcey

C-C would strike first in the opening quarter as senior attack Matt Carroll beat Darcey to find the back of the net. Wellesley would get the equalizer before the end of the first as junior midfielder Oliver Saffrey scored on a nice individual effort going to the cage.
Saffrey would add two more in the second quarter along with one from senior midfielder Paul Vasko to give Wellesley a 4-1 lead at the half.

The key moment in the first half came in the second quarter when Wellesley held C-C scoreless on a two man down situation midway through the quarter.

“That was a huge moment for us,” said Batty. “It got our bench into the game and settled down the defense.

After a scoreless third quarter C-C would cut the lead to two, converting a man up situation, as senior attack Ben Lesser scored on a pass from fellow senior attack Seth Bird.

Wellesley would hold strong defensively in the fourth as they denied multiple C-C man up situations and fast break scoring bids. Vasko would put the game away with his second goal of the game, at the 2:42 mark, to seal the 5-2 win for the Raiders.

“We have played a tough schedule so far and everyone has come out and played hard,” said Darcey. “Today was a very good team win for us,”

Earlier Games

Dover-Sherborn (7-1) continues to impress, as the Division 3 school won their second game in the cup defeating Division 1 Andover (6-2), 14-3. Junior midfielder Billy Polk (5 goals, assist) was dominating on the day for the Raiders. Junior attack Ben Newbert (four goals) and senior attack PJ Copponi (goal, four assists) also had strong performances in the win.

Hingham (7-1) defeated Winchester (3-4), 14-6, to drop the Sachems to 3-4. Meanwhile, Lincoln-Sudbury (4-4) began the day with an 8-1 victory over North Andover (3-4).