Boston High School: Jamison O'Neil

Recap: No. 3 Westwood 18, No. 12 Norwell 6

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
10:50
PM ET



NORWELL, Mass. -- Kate Rich ducked one defender, saw the hole and jetted towards the net.

Quickly finishing over the keeper's shoulder, the senior pumped her fist as she yelled at her teammates to keep going. It was only Westwood's second tally, but Rich and her fellow Wolverines made it clear early that they were not taking their Division 2 South opponents lightly.

Rolling to an 18-6 triumph over host No. 12 Norwell (10-7), the third-ranked defending Division 1 state champs (16-2) added another
impressive girls' lacrosse victory to their belt on Thursday.

“We love to play teams that fight from start to finish,” said Westwood head coach Leslie Frank.“We were battling for the ball and working together. We work the zone then watch the opening behind or on the opposite side.”

The Tri-Valley champs put away Norwell by outscoring it 11 to one in the final twenty minutes. A pair of side net cuts for scores by senior Shelly Walsh and sophomore Ela Hazar caught the defense shifted off to put the Wolverines ahead 9-5 at 19:26.

A falling over finish off a counterattack by sophomore Kasey Keane
finished the run fifteen minutes later.

“We always stack up high and are looking for that one second where the defender turns her head,” said senior Laura McHoul. “You can not just shoot or just pass the ball. You (have) to be a threat from both.”

Sophomore Jamison O'Neil buried five for Westwood in the second half, including an front net cut for a 16-6 lead and her third consecutive goal at 8:09. O'Neil totaled seven goals and one assist, while McHoul was a constant threat behind the keeper with two tallies and six assists.

“If we can draw the shooting space (things) works a lot better,” said O'Neil. “You have to be really fast to run right through that. Keep your team moving (and) pump fake so it looks like you are going to shoot.”

Tough Draw: The Clippers out drew Westwood 10 to one in the first half. Despite producing one less shot on goal, Norwell fell victim to an early 4-0 hole. Westwood rolled away in the second half by besting 11 of fifteen draws.

“We started working together,” said Frank. “Everyone goes after the
ball high instead of one going after the ball high and the other low
like you should.”

Clipping Away At The Lead: The South Shore League champion Clippers were able to bring the score within a pair three times.

Sophomore Lexa Grasz opened the scoring for the Clippers down 4-0
with an upfront assist from teammate senior Ashley Allington and a set piece finish twelve minutes in. Norwell junior Devon Croke snuck through the side of the defense to slice the lead to 5-3 six minutes later, while junior Maddie Ward finished an impressive solo breakaway to push a 7-5 score at 22:03.

“It was difficult to control their offensive cuts,” said Norwell coach Kara Connerty. “We wanted to utilize all the speed we had offensively. Really just to push it and take it to the cage when we had it.”

Tricky Record: Norwell's record speaks more to difficulty of schedule than overall strength. The Clippers played seven games against Division 1 playoff-bound teams this season, including five losses against teams ranked in the top five of ESPNBoston's poll.

The 2009 and 2010 Division 2 champs will see none of these teams in
the postseason.

“This is the level we look to be at,” said Connerty. “This special
competition better prepares us for postseason play.”

Westwood downs Framingham by shocking margin

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
9:43
PM ET
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- This wasn’t your typical Westwood-Framingham girls lacrosse game.

Over the past decade, these perennial powers have tossed the title of best team in the state back and forth, with seven Division 1 titles between them (Westwood four, Framingham three).

But usually when one is on top of the other, the outcome is not as lopsided as it was Thursday, when the visiting Wolverines ran roughshod over the reeling Flyers, 15-2, avenging last year’s loss in the state semifinals to the eventual champions.

Midfielders Laura McHoul (five goals, assist), Sarah Biron (five goals) and Kate Rich (four goals, assist) paced the Wolverines offensively.

“I think it motivated us a lot,” Biron said of last year’s postseason loss to the Flyers. “Coming into this game, we all said to ourselves, ‘We remember what happened last year. Not this year. Not today.’”

Westwood (6-0) was simply better in every facet than Framingham, which has fallen to a very un-Flyer-like 2-3-1. The Wolverines held a 10-1 lead at the half and enjoyed a 10-goal, running-clock advantage over the hosts for nearly the entire second half. The hosts only had six shots on net, trying to shorten the game with a stall when they held possession.

“Westwood doesn’t let you make a mistake,” said Framingham coach Stacey Freda. “And I think maybe against other opponents you might have the ball back. We just know that you have one chance at it and if you give the ball up you’re not going to get it back.”

And Westwood took the ball early and often against the Flyers and capitalized on its chances. Biron and McHoul scored two and a half minutes apart early on and Rich added a free-position strike to make it 3-0 with 17:42 remaining in the first half. Emily McGrail (goal, three assists) popped in another a minute later and then set up Biron in transition after a long but fruitless Framingham possession to make it 5-0 with 11:12 to go.

McHoul sandwiched a pair of goals around a Rich free position to make it 8-0 with 8:06 left in the half before Framingham’s Rachel Igoe briefly halted the Wolverines’ momentum with a free-position goal with 2:53 left.

But that’s as close as the Flyers got, as McHoul buried a Jamison O’Neil pass with 2:29 left and Rich scored off a McGrail helper as time ran out in the first half with Westwood firmly in control, 10-1.

When Rich converted a quick-stick from McHoul 31 seconds into the second half, the clock kept running and the rout was on.

Sophia Agostinelli scored Framingham’s other goal, while second-half netminder Casey Curran made nine saves for the Flyers.

Overall, Westwood had 27 shots on cage.

But while her players acknowledged the revenge factor, Westwood coach Leslie Frank played it down.

“We don’t think about those things really,” she said. “It’s two brand-new teams. (Beating Framingham in the regular season but losing in the playoffs) has happened to us in the past, so I’ll mention that (to the team).”

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