Boston High School: Mollie Brown

Recap: No. 2 Westwood 15, No. 16 Framingham 8

April, 20, 2012

WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Two years removed from the squads that faced off in four straight state semifinals, defending state championships No. 2 Westwood (5-1-0) looked poised and ready to repeat this Friday afternoon, while guest No. 14 Framingham (2-3-0) struggled for a second consecutive year with a 15-8 loss.

“It is always good for us to play them because they really do bring so much fire and intensity,” said Westwood senior Kate Rich. “We knew they were going to be aggressive and play a really fast paced game. We tried to slow them down and push the ball when we needed too.”

The two teams have won the last seven MIAA Division 1 state titles, with Westwood claiming four. The Wolverines showed that advantage early by opening with five straight scores and never looking back.

Westwood's attack was fronted with five goals from Rich and four tallies from senior Shelly Walsh. Fellow upperclassmen Laura McHoul buried a hat trick, while also assisting two.

Early Rhythm: Motioning the rubber around the back of the net, McHoul hugged the post where she found Rich out front for Westwood's opening tally at 21:24. Continuing to rotate the ball around the crease, the Wolverines were able to offset the defense and open up one-on-ones with Framingham sophomore keeper Aileen Kelly.

Using her hip for positioning, junior Marina Burke nailed a deep sidearm at 12:22 to put Westwood up 5-0.

“If we could beat (Aileen) with a two versus one down low that would be our best shot,” said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. “They started doubling down on the ball so we had to adjust as well.”

Good, But Not Enough: The Flyers cut the deficit to two by the 11th minute, but were unable to get any closer as Westwood gradually slipped away.

Sandwiching a Wolverine tally with a pair of goals, junior Casey Duggan broke halfway down the field and bodied through a group of defenders to score first for Framingham. Senior Maya Szymanski (three goals) forced a set piece and buried it at 3:40 in the first to trail 6-4.

The Flyers kept within three until 12:47 in the second half, but were outscored six-to-one for the remainder.

“Our team is really solid within eight meters and that is really what our whole sets are built on,” said Framingham coach Stacey Freda. “If we were even fifty percent more successful with our shots that is eight more goals.”

The Finishing Touch: Using a stutter-step to offset her defenders, Rich buried a set play midway through the second half to go up 10-6. With Westwood scoring three straight, McHoul caught a long toss out of the back corner of the Flyers' turf by Walsh and finished them off with a 12-6 score at 10:24.

“We did not take any cushions,” said Frank. “To be patient on offense not only gives your defense a break, but shows them how much you respect what they did.”

Aileen made 19 saves, while Westwood senior keeper Mollie Brown knocked away 24.

Preseason MIAA All-State girls lax team

April, 2, 2012
The high school lacrosse season kicks off this week for many top teams across the state. Here is our preseason MIAA girls lacrosse All-State Team and Watch List, as compiled by staff and correspondents.

Madison Acton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Shelby Aubin, Sr. D, Needham
Ally Fazio, Sr. A, Andover
Anne Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Megan Hennessy, Jr. M, Winchester
Rachel Massicotte, Sr. G, Wayland
Laura McHoul, Sr. M, Westwood
Anna Petrunich, Sr. M, Westborough
Kate Rich, Sr. M, Westwood
Caroline Rizzo, Sr. A, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Rachel Sexton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Tory Waldstein, Sr. D, Needham

Casey Blakeney, Sr. M, Wachusett
Olivia Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Shelby Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Mollie Brown, Sr. G, Westwood
Alexa Cambi, Sr. M, Longmeadow
Tess Chandler, Sr. M, Hopkinton
Catherine Conley, Soph. A, Needham
Elizabeth Constant, Sr. M, Ipswich
Emma Dagres, Sr. A, Weston
Natalie Devine, Sr. M, Fontbonne
Erika Eipp, Sr. A, Groton-Dunstable
Kate Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Sara Ganio, Sr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Emily Giumetti, Jr. M, Duxbury
Rebecca Graves, Sr. M, Bishop Fenwick
Ella Hazar, Soph. A, Westwood
Emmy Horton, Sr. M, Duxbury
Christine Johnson, Sr. M, Reading
Meaghan Jane Keefe, Jr. A, Andover
Jenna Liljeberg, Sr. A, King Philip
Eileen McDonald, Sr. A, Longmeadow
Molly McNamara, Sr. M, Wellesley
Julia Meehan, Sr. M, Weston
Carly O’Connell, Sr. A, Algonquin
Maria Platsidakis, Jr. G, Mansfield
Kathryn Riley, Sr. M, King Philip
Sarah Smith, Jr. M, Acton-Boxborough
Amber Tobin, Sr. M, Minnechaug

Westwood downs L-S to make D1 final return

June, 15, 2011
WELLESLEY, Mass. –- Leslie Frank and her Westwood Wolverines are headed back to the MIAA Division I State Finals to face Longmeadow, as they defeated the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors on Tuesday at Wellesley College, 15-7.

“I thought we played good,” Westwood senior attack Emily McGrail said. “I thought it was a really good game, it was one of the biggest games we played so far and even though we like kind of won the last time we played them, I think going into this game we knew that it was going to be just as hard as it was any other game.”

“They’re just very strong all over the field and the pressure was just [too much],” Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Deb DeJesus said. “The last two games that I saw them, the pressure that they put on the ball, created a lot of turnovers and it happened in this game too, [but] they just were too strong.”

Westwood (24-0-1) began the first half with four quick strikes, three of which came off the stick of McGrail (six goals).

The Warriors (20-3) regrouped after a quick timeout and registered three goals by sophomore attack Abby Quirk, as well as junior midfielders Rachel Sexton (two goals, assist) and Madison Acton, but eventually the Wolverines offense responded with a few more goals by McGrail and junior midfielder Laura McHoul (six goals), which helped Westwood secure a 8-5 halftime lead.

“Everybody can [score] and it’s who ever has the most opportunities and today it was Emily,” Frank said.

Kate Rich (three goals) jump-started the Wolverines offense in the second half before Sexton and senior attack Jenna Kabat netted two goals to pull within three points of Westwood at 13:47. However, the Wolverines offense ratcheted up their offensive pressure to score six more goals before the game was finished.

“In some senses, I think they really come together as a team even more in the postseason than in the season,” Frank said. “You have got to talk about defense, defense, defense and it’s tired and true, but defense wins big games. I won’t use that other 'C' word because that will be a kiss of death, but it wins big games.”

Frank’s defense in the second half, as well as goaltender Mollie Brown (eight saves) played terrific, as they kept the Warriors out of their zone and limited any scoring chances too.

“They just have a lot of good athletes and they’re very skilled,” DeJesus said. “The other factor is that they’ve been here so many times. They walk on this field with confidence and they were just too strong for us today.”

Westwood’s senior midfielder Sarah Biron played the entire game with a hip flexor injury, which was something Frank addressed after her teams win.

“She’s nursing a little bit of an injury, so we were actually asking her to be the supporter, not to be taking it in,” Frank said. “We didn’t think she had good power with her shots from yesterday’s practice, so we were asking her to be the feed, so I don’t know if they shut her down [because] we were asking her to be judicious with her shots.”

Westwood and Longmeadow will meet for the second time this season on Friday at Foley Stadium in Worcester, face-off is scheduled for 5:00pm.

“The stakes are so much different [this time] that you can’t even compare,” Frank said. “We know some of the players, so we’ll know how to play them, but it’s all about heart at this point.

Westwood overpowers L-S in second half

April, 11, 2011

WESTWOOD, Mass. — The Westwood girls lacrosse team lost nine starters from its state semi-finalist team last season, so nobody would blame the Wolverines for taking a step or two back this season.

Just don’t tell that to them.

Westwood (3-0) got multi-goal games from five different players in an early statement of a 21-11 win over Lincoln-Sudbury, at Flahive Field on Monday.

“It’s good,” said assistant coach Bryan Petillo, speaking on behalf of head coach Leslie Frank, who declined to speak with reporters following the game. “We are going to play every opponent the same way. Whoever it is that comes out we will be ready to play. It’s good to get a good win like this, but we have plenty more.”

The Wolverines showed balance all over the field, whether it was the seven-goal flurry from Sarah Biron or the 15-save performance from Mollie Brown, who helped hold the Warriors (2-1) to three goals in the second half.

It was the second half dominance of the Wolverines that ultimately won this game. The Warriors went on a four-goal flurry in the final two minutes of the first half to climb back in to the game, 10-8, before the whistle.

But the break killed the Warriors’ momentum and the Wolverines held possession for nearly seven minutes to begin the second half. The Wolverines did a good job of winning every draw to keep possession and keep momentum going in their favor to pull away.

“In the first half we weren’t really smart, we were kind of throwing it away,” said Biron. “I think we were just like now way this isn’t happening. We were going to go out there and set the tone.”

Before the Warriors could set up an offense, the Wolverines stretched the two-goal lead to a 13-8 advantage.

“If we could win the draw then maybe we would have a chance,” said Warriors’ head coach Debbie DeJesus. “But without winning the draw there was no way, especially against that team.”

Biron got a little help in the scoring column from Kate Rich, who finished with four goals of her own. But it was the work of Laura McHoul as the playmaker that separated this one. The junior midfielder finished with three goals and a lofty eight assists. She did most of her work from behind the net, and her passes were on point to several Wolverines cutting directly in front of the net.

“I like being behind the net and feeding the scorers,” said McHoul. “I’m not going to say it’s my job, but it fits.”

When L-S was able to control play, especially in the first-half flurry, it was because of the play of Maddy Acton. Acton finished with five goals and she was able to quickly turn the Warriors into a fast break team.

However, DeJesus said that is not the game plan of her team. They just took advantage of what they were given by the Westwood defense.

“The transition, the fast break was great,” DeJesus said of the first half play. “You have to take advantage of whatever the team gives you. We need to be balanced and play in all areas of the field.

“There were a lot of good things that I saw from our younger players.”