Boston High School: Jordan Fong

D3 boys' lax: Weston 12, Norwell 8

June, 5, 2012

HANOVER, Mass. -- Once the MIAA released its pairings for the Div. 3 East tournament, Weston head coach Jim Wilcon knew there was a chance his Wildcats would face Norwell in the quarterfinals.

“When I saw the draw, I said, ‘Oh, we may have to go against Norwell if we win a couple games,’ [and] that I knew was going to be tough,” Wilcon said. “Whether we [seek] revenge or whether we weren’t healthy the first time, none of that matters [because] they’re a great team.”

Norwell defeated Weston earlier this season, but struggled to keep pace with the Wildcats on Monday, as they transformed a three-goal halftime advantage into a 12-8 victory at Hanover High School to claim a spot in the semifinals on Thursday.

“I think it was just two good teams battling tonight, and we just got a couple breaks that went our way, and we got some momentum and stayed on top,” added Wilcon.

Weston’s Joey Pasquale powered the Wildcats attack with four strikes and Geoffrey Ziobro added three tallies, while Jordan Fong handed out three assists in the win.

“We came out hungry today,” exclaimed Pasquale. “We came off a loss against Norwell [three weeks ago] and we [wanted] our revenge because we know that we can compete with these guys, we can win this game, so we came out firing and I guess that we were just hungrier that they were today.”

“Norwell’s got a lot of firepower, and what we’ve been trying to do all season is get our possessions and get quality possessions and I think that was really one of the big keys that we got quality possessions and got the looks that we were looking for,” Ziobro added.

Both teams swapped leads for a majority of the opening frame, but after Norwell used one of its timeouts, Weston’s offense rattled off three consecutive tallies to secure a 5-2 lead at the break.

“We [knew we] could compete with these guys, we can beat these guys obviously, and to go out there and play our game,” Pasquale said of his opponent’s first-quarter timeout. “[We needed to] pass the ball, have good shots, and we will win the game when the clock runs out.”

Weston padded its lead once the second half started, as Pasquale recorded his third and fourth goals in the third quarter before the Wildcats constructed a 3-0 run to begin the fourth quarter. Ziobro, Jay Mussina and Adam Guerin each recorded a strike during the final frame before Norwell answered with a 5-0 run to conclude Monday’s contest.

“Our guys came to play, and we were ready and it was nice to be healthy. I think this was the first time we’re healthy – everybody’s healthy all year, so it was the right time for us, and again it was just a great game between two great teams and back and fourth a little bit, and I think we just made a couple more plays than they did,” said Wilcon.

Weston’s Offensive Firepower: Despite a back and fourth first quarter, Weston’s offense came to life after Pasquale netted his second goal at 1:50. The Wildcats complimented their teammate’s effort by producing nine additional tallies off ground balls, transitions and dodges to secure their third tournament victory.

“Our whole offense today was amazing, so I think that it’s a perfect time for us to be clicking right now going into [our next game against North Reading],” said Pasquale.

“I think when we take our time and share the ball, we have a lot of guys that have offensive skills, so we’re very good at being unselfish and making sure we make the extra pass, so I think that was really just part of it, and the momentum just started to build from there and we just kept it going,” said Wilcon.

Norwell’s Rally Comes Up Short: With eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and Weston leading, 12-3, Norwell attempted to erase the deficit, but only mustered five goals before the final whistle sounded. Daniel Lockwood recorded two tallies, while Williams Waters, Joe Ricciuti, and Cabot Noyce notched one strike.

“I think that when the score gets to 12-3, you’re kind of check out a little bit, but I had to pull the troops together, and tell them that we’re not moving on until that clock hits zero, and it’s a little disappointing that we let those five goals in, but in the end we pulled it together, so I’m just glad we got the win,” Pasquale said.

WESTON, Mass. -- Henry Bumpus was doing what he’d been taught.

How it ended, that’s not exactly how Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro would’ve drawn it up.

Bumpus, the hulking 6-foot-6 senior defender, also a defensive end on the Patriots’ Super Bowl champion football team, became an unlikely hero in No. 2 C-C’s 7-6 win over Dual County League rival No. 13 Weston.

With a tie game and less than three minutes to play, Bumpus gathered a ground ball in his own end, streaked upfield and … well, he didn’t stop.

“I tried to call timeout, but I couldn’t speak,” Dalicandro said of the scene, watching his long pole in the offensive zone.

It must have been an imposing sight for Weston’s ESPN Boston All-State goaltender Jared Fong to gaze out and see Bumpus on the charge. But he continued on his beeline to the cage. Once Bumpus closed to 12 yards out, he fired. His initial shot clanged off the post, but, like a true power forward, he followed his shot and potted the game-winner.

“They were walking off on everyone else because I’m a long pole,” said Bumpus, who will continue his football career at Brown next year, “so I made a couple moves and took it to the net.”

Weston (8-2, 3-2 DCL) controlled more than three quarters of the action and took a 6-4 lead into the fourth.

That’s when C-C (8-0, 6-0) went on the offensive.

“When we got to 4-4, I felt pretty good,” Dalicandro said. “But when they went up 6-4, I didn’t think we were going to have the gas to get to seven.”

Kevin Delehey got the Patriots within a goal early in the fourth before junior middie Charlie Painter tied it with a shade under eight minutes to play.

“They made plays,” Weston head coach Jim Wilcon said. “There were a couple mistakes we could look at, there were maybe a couple of turnovers that gave them possessions. But I think a team like that, they cause the turnovers, they cause the mistakes.”

While the Wildcats fell short, they were a man-down per se without top scorer Joey Pasquale. The senior attack suffered a thigh contusion during Weston’s loss to Westford Academy.

Even without their leader, attacks Jordan Fong and Geoffrey Ziobro stepped up to fill the scoring duties admirably. And, in turn, the Wildcats nearly came away with an upset over their rival.

“I thought as a team we played pretty well today,” Wilcon said.

Recap: No. 11 Westford 10, No. 12 Weston 3

April, 26, 2012

WESTFORD, Mass. -- Test the slide, find the open man and react.

Westford Academy coach Matt Tholander may prep his team the same way for every opponent, but his players certainly knew how to attack Weston's zone defense on Thursday.

Driven by leading scorers Jay Drapeau and Alex Eaton, the host No. 11 Grey Ghosts (9-2) dominated scoring opportunities as they handed Dual County League foe No. 12 Weston its first loss of the season, 10-3.

“We are trying to initiate contact from behind or from the end alley where we try to get the adjacent defender to step to the ball,” Tholander said. “We send clear cutters through and we get a good look. The zone slowed us down a little bit, but we have good finishers on this team.”

Westford not only controlled the ball, but had 23 shots-on-goal to Weston's six.

Sophomore Jay Drapeau fronted the Grey Ghosts scoring effort with five goals and an assist, while teammate senior Alex Eaton buried three tallies and assisted a pair.

The two accounted for Westford's first six points as the Grey and Maroon jumped out to a 7-1 lead early in third quarter and never faltered.

“We draw the guy and dish it (to) find the open (man) in the slot,” said Drapeau. “The goalie was a leftie so we worked a lot on opposite shots.”

With eight man-up chances to Weston's four, Westford capitalized on three of its advantages including its first two goals. After Eaton and Wildcats senior Matt Martin traded 15-yard rips in the first two minutes, the Grey Ghosts senior used his scoring threat to draw the defense out from the side of the net for an open score by Drapeau and a 2-1 lead at 8:27 in the first.

After another goal from each in the initial period, Eaton ripped a side-arm effort off the wrist of Wildcats senior keeper Jared Fong late in the second quarter to enter the half up 5-1.

“We were hitting the skip passes,” Eaton said. “I am looking for the double team then I am looking for that dump right on the crease so we can get an easy shot.”

A no-look turnaround score by Drapeau and a unassisted effort off a missed slide by senior Pat Houghton put Westford up 7-1 a minute and a half into the second half. Weston responded with its final two goals from junior Jordan Fong and freshman Jay Messina.

Fong tested a zone defensive look with an open underhand goal at 8:05 in the third, while Messina slide behind a pair of defenders for a one-on-one with the keeper two minutes later.

“We wanted to slow the game down a bit because we know they are a very explosive offense,” Weston head coach Jim Wilcon said. “If we got the ball in and were able to settle it, we wanted to find the mismatch.”

A wide open counterattack finish by Grey Ghosts sophomore Ryan Hesseltine late in the third and a pair of fourth-quarter tallies from Drapeau helped Westford put away its small conference counterparts.

Jared Fong had 13 saves, while Grey Ghosts sophomore Peter Hargrave made five.