Boston High School: Rocky Batty

D1 South: Duxbury 10, Wellesley 5

June, 6, 2014
Jun 6
DUXBURY, Mass. – Throughout this season, the defense has carried Duxbury lacrosse. While Thursday’s Division 1 South sectional semifinal was no exception, the Dragons’ offense has rounded into shape as well – evidenced by their five straight goals while pulling away from Wellesley for their 10-5 win.

Seven different Dragons scored, showcasing a balanced attack that prides itself in possession.

“The defense, they’ve been doing it for us all year,” Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet said. “Nick’s [Marrocco] been making the key saves. But our offense plays a big role in our defense now – taking care of the ball and not creating too many turnovers.

After holding on to just a 3-2 lead through the first quarter, Duxbury (18-3) ran off a streak of five goals through the second and third quarters.

“I don’t think there were a whole lot of changes that affected the game,” Raiders head coach Rocky Batty said. “I think the mental acuity of the white team [Duxbury] was just better than that of the black team.”

Brendan Burke, Niall Dillon and Wes Quinzani led Duxbury with two goals each.

Meanwhile, the Dragons’ defense did its job. Having allowed an average of less than four goals per game during the season, including three regular-season shutouts, Duxbury limited the Raiders’ offensive chances by holding on to the ball. When in the defensive half, Duxbury’s defensive corps – led by Hunter Marston, Victor Moitinho and Liam Stauss – took care of the rest.

“If we can keep it under six goals, that’s usually our goal,” Stauss said. “We watched some film on them and we saw that they like to shoot, so we wanted to get on their hands a lot and put a lot of pressure on them – just make them less comfortable when they have the ball.”

Duxbury advances to the sectional final to be played Tuesday (time TBA) at Harvard Stadium.

On a roll: At times, earlier this season, Duxbury fell into offensive funks. But that isn’t the group that showed up on Thursday.

“We’re not going to overwhelm you on offense, but we’ve done a pretty good job of taking care of the ball,” Sweet said.

It might not be like year’s past when the Dragons simply overwhelmed their opponents with an array of skill. But Sweet feels confident in his group’s ability to rise to the occasion, such as Thursday, when they could have been frustrated by Wellesley’s persistent defense.

We haven’t had many of those runs this year, so it felt good,” Sweet said. “[It] brought back some memories.”

Confidence game: Marrocco – a strong candidate for the Mr. Lacrosse award – has been a rock all season. And the play of Duxbury’s goalkeeper has added benefits.

“We all have a lot of confidence in each other, especially with Nick [Marrocco] in goal,” Stauss said. “Even if we get beat, most of the time we’ll be fine because he’s unreal.”

Earlier this season, Marrocco reflected that opinion of the poles in front of him – saying his confidence in the defense in front of him allows him to play more aggressively. That symbiotic relationship also pays dividends in the play of Duxbury’s D-men.

While Stauss took primary duties against dynamic Wellesley attack John Caraviello, he maintained there’s no specific “matchup” the Dragons look to slide to on defense. The confidence is there that the next man up will get the job done.

“We have confidence in each other,” Stauss said.

End of the road: Despite the lack of a second-half pushback, Batty chose to look back on the season as a whole instead of Thursday’s setback.

“I enjoyed the season a lot more than I did today,” Batty said. “We just told the guys we were proud of them. Pretty shortly the season will be the thing that’s in their minds. Today was just a rainy day, it’ll be the locker room time and the bus rides that they’ll remember.”

D1 South: Wellesley 14, B-R 8

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
WELLESLEY, Mass. – It looked as though Wellesley was going to be in for a dog fight, as No. 5 seed Bridgewater-Raynham grabbed a second-quarter lead in the teams’ Division 1 South quarterfinal on Tuesday. But then the fourth-seeded Raiders found another gear, taking a lead in the final two minutes of the first half that they would not relinquish, en route to a 14-8 win.

“The looks were there in the first half, but we were just playing pretty sloppy,” Wellesley attack John Caraviello said. “We weren’t catching and throwing and our shooting was pretty bad. Then, we came out in the second quarter … Then, we started sharpening up and our offense started to click then.”

Caraviello scored two of his team-high four goals within a six-second span of the second quarter. The tying and go-ahead goals – which put Wellesley (16-4) ahead, 5-4 – scored at 2:14 and 2:08 of the second proved an insurmountable momentum shift from which the Trojans (17-3) would not recover.

“Coming out of the half, we felt like we can play with these guys,” B-R head coach Matt Connolly said. “There’s no doubt about that, but then they went on a little bit of a run.”

The Raiders outscored B-R 5-2 in the third quarter and then distanced themselves scoring four straight goals to start the fourth quarter.

Wellesley advances to play at Duxbury in a section semi-final, Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

In too deep: The Raiders had a more than balanced attack, as nine different players scored goals. While Caraviello and Kerry Lyne (hat trick) paced the offense, no other Wellesley player had more than one goal.

“They were sliding pretty quickly, so when I got a step, I didn’t have anywhere to go,” said Caraviello, who also dished out three assists. “I was just trying to keep my head up and look for Kerry [Lyne] and Brian [Pederson] and the kids around the crease.”

While the Raiders were undaunted in the second half, it was Caraviello’s late string of two goals in six seconds that got Wellesley heading into the break.

After tying the game, Raiders faceoff man Tucker Dietrick (1 G, 1 A) won the draw cleanly, streaking up the middle of the field before dishing off to Caraviello to the side of the cage for the goal. Dietrick went on to win 14 of 19 faceoffs on the day.

“They have a tough faceoff guy and Tucker got those two and moved the ball,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “We had looks inside early, but we watched the ball, or we cradled once and they took it out our hands really quickly. Getting those [goals] were a big deal.”

Rahill answers the call: While the game wasn’t in doubt for most of the second half, without Tim Rahill in the cage, things might have been much different for the Raiders.

Rahill made 14 saves – the bulk of which came in the first half. Although B-R attack Travis Reid still got his, leading all scorers with six goals, Wellesley turned up the defensive intensity in front of Rahill, slowing B-R’s offense to a halt in the second half.

“We knew they had two very good players [Reid and Gavin Perry] and they played very well today,” Rahill said, “but just stuck to our slide packages and played though.”

Part of that matchup was left to Wellesley midfielder Matt Dziama, whom Batty praised for his contributions which didn’t show up on the scorehseet.

“Matt is one of the most outstanding short-stick D-middies that I’ve coached,” Batty said. “And when we say we’re going to have to focus on four or five areas of the field, he’s going to be one of those.”

Another step for program: In its sixth year of varsity competition, Connolly can say his squad accomplished many things despite bowing out of the tournament. The Trojans finished their Maritime Conference schedule undefeated for the first time in program history. They also won a tournament game for the second straight season.

“I love this group, they’ve been unbelievable to coach,” Connolly said. “It starts with our senior leadership. Obviously, Travis [Reid] and Gavin [Perry], they get their names in the paper all the time, but our senior leadership, they do all the little things.”
WINCHESTER, Mass. – The boys’ lacrosse teams of Concord-Carlisle and Wellesley have customarily met, as if a rite of spring, in the Division 2 Eastern Mass. tournament each year. Those encounters are always close, evidenced by the Raiders’ 4-3 win in the teams’ first-round playoff matchup last spring.

But, with redistricting taking place this year, Wellesley moved up to Division 1 – meaning there will be no more such postseason classics. That didn’t mean the teams wouldn’t have a chance to renew their rivalry, however, as they met in Thursday’s Coaches Challenge Cup Tournament semifinal.

The Raiders used two early goals from senior midfielder Matt Dziama to build a lead they wouldn’t relinquish as they advanced to Saturday’s championship with an 8-5 win.

“They’re smart, they’re tough, they make it hard on you,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said of the Patriots.

Dziama finished with three goals and an assist to lead all scorers, while fellow midfielder David Jennings also chipped in a pair of goals.

While the Raiders (8-2) never trailed, C-C (4-4) did come back to tie the score at the 7:56 mark of the second quarter on a goal by Will Blumenberg. But Dziama would put the Raiders back in the lead heading into the half, tallying his third goal with 17 remaining.

“John got off to a quick start and we need that because we didn’t do anything after that,” Batty said. “It was kind of walking through mud for a long time.”

Steven Armanetti led the Patriots with a pair of goals, while goaltender Aidan Long made 13 saves.

Wellesley advances to face Dover-Sherborn in Saturday’s championship game (4 p.m. at North Andover H.S.). And, while the Raiders look for another resume-builder, following last weekend’s win over nationally-ranked Cold Spring Harbor of New York, Dziama saw Thursday’s victory as another building block in settling into the offense.

“We’re possessing the ball longer than we had been earlier in the season,” Dziama said. “It’s a great tournament to work on everything. Offensively, we could have done more today, but we possessed the ball and that helped us.”

Semifinal: Dover-Sherborn 15, North Andover 4
After North Andover dealt Lincoln-Sudbury perhaps the biggest upset in state on the early season during its first-round matchup on Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights were hit with a chink in their armor against the Division 3 power.

The Raiders (6-2) turned in a dominant performance, amassing a 7-2 halftime lead with freshman Bailey Laidman ripping off three first-half goals.

“We’re starting to move the ball better,” D-S head coach Brian McLaughlin said. We’re been working at it in practice and trying to get better at it. We started off the season just dodging and trying to shoot and score.

“We’re being more patient, I’d like to see more patience, but we’re getting better at that.”

As a result, the Raiders turned in their highest offensive yield of the season, including four goals from senior attack Grant Gregory as part of a six-point game. It’s an encouraging sign from the all-league player who played his third game back following a broken finger.

“He did a lot of lifting this summer, put on a lot of weight and now he’s trying to catch his wind back because he hasn’t been playing as much,” McLaughlin said. “He’s definitely a threat for us.”

Chris Williams and Will Spangenberg also netted hat tricks for D-S, while John Enright led North Andover (7-4) with two goals.

The Scarlet Knights will play C-C in a consolation game on Saturday (2 p.m.).

Hingham 9, Andover 6
The Coaches Cup presents an early season litmus test to all of its participants and, after dropping its first matchup of the week to Wellesley (9-8), Hingham rebounded with a win that still left head coach John Todd looking for more from his squad.

“They’re quality enough to pressure us and put us in bad situations,” Todd said. “And then we made poor decisions. Some of it was on them, some of it was on us. We did enough to win and we took advantage of some chances, but we’re still making early season mistakes.”

The Harbormen (8-3) struggled on offense at times, but put forward a balanced attack with nine players hitting the score sheet, led by a pair of two-goal games from Caleb Brodie (2 G, 2A) and Matt Giarusso.

In the other half of the field, however, Hingham played the brand of defense Todd has become accustomed to. Goaltender Jack Santilli made 16 saves while All-American long-stick midfielder Jack Ullrich led all players with five ground balls.

“Our defense is extremely strong and our goaltender is phenomenal,” Todd said. “So that kind of works into our strength – not that we’re not worried about teams – but as long as we play the way we’re capable of playing, we should be able to limit other teams.”

Lincoln-Sudbury 17, Winchester 1
In an effort to move past Tuesday’s upset to North Andover (9-8), L-S flexed its offensive muscle, owning play from the onset of its second-round matchup against host Winchester.

The Warriors (7-2) held the Sachems (6-3) scoreless until the 7:19 mark of the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the offense came in bowlfuls for L-S, which had eight different point scorers. Mike O’Connell and Greg Roder (6 points) had four goals apiece, while Eric Holden had three.

Nick Brindisi (2 G) and Harlan Smart each distributed three assists.

Recap: Lincoln-Sudbury 5, Wellesley 3

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
SUDBURY, Mass. – In recent memory, both Lincoln-Sudbury and Wellesley lacrosse have been staples in making deep runs in their respective divisions.

However, as Wellesley steps up to Division 1 from the D2 ranks this season, the Raiders got a sample of what they’ll encounter if they want to make another postseason drive in Thursday’s matchup with the Warriors.

Although Wellesley tried its best to draw even with a third-quarter comeback, L-S held on for a 5-3 win.

The defending Division 1 state finalists never trailed in the contest and ran out to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first on goals by Austin Barta and Chris Brindisi. Mike O’Connell added a third goal before the Raiders’ Tucker Dietrick broke up the shutout with less than three minutes to play in the half.

Wellesley (1-1) made its run in the third, winning the ground ball battle in the frame, 6-2. After Nick Brindisi’s goal gave L-S (2-0) its largest lead of the day at 4-1, the Raiders drew within a goal again on tallies from John Caraviello and Kerry Lyne.

Yet, the Warriors responded with a nice cutting goal from Colby Hall with Eric Holden hitting the University of Denver commit midstride on the feed.

Despite a couple of hit posts from both sides, the fourth quarter closed

“I think L-S is a little more toward mid-season and we’re a little more toward preseason,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “I think there was a bunch to learn from today.”

X-factor: Wellesley’s third-quarter run came via a recommitment to winning ground balls in the midfield, accompanied by a slight variation in offensive attack.

“One of the places we had trouble with ground balls was at the faceoff X,” Batty said. “Tucker [Dietrick] did a good job of winning the draws, but John Sexton was just so tough in saying, ‘I lost the draw, but I’m going to win the ball.’

Both of the Raiders’ third-quarter goals came off of defensive ground ball wins. Then, in the offensive half of the field, they were able to get clean looks at the cage.

“We won the ground balls and we changed our strategy to go after their poles,” Batty said. “We just went for three, four straight possessions and we had some success.”

Closing stride: With several of its offensive mainstays out due to injury and facing a Wellesley side which was coming off an impressive 18-goal performance against Billerica, L-S looked to its defensive stalwarts to shut down a potent Raiders’ attack.

Enter Notre Dame-bound long-stick midfielder John Sexton.

“He played great,” Warriors head coach Brian Vona said of Sexton, “and he played against a great player in [attack Matt] Dziama – he’s the real deal.”

While Sexton turned in a multifaceted performance, slowing down one of Wellesley’s chief offensive threats and stepping in on face-off duty, it was put upon Matt Barker in close defense to mitigate the impact of Caraviello, who put in seven goals against Billerica previously. In a matchup of future Trinity College teammates, Barker disrupted the flow of the Raiders’ offense throughout, particularly in the fourth quarter, with the Warriors buckling down to close out the victory.

D2 lacrosse: Wellesley 4, Concord-Carlisle 3

June, 1, 2013

WELLSELEY, Mass. -- If a defensive lacrosse battle was what you were looking for then there was no better place to be on Friday night than Wellesley’s Sprague Field.

No. 6 seed Wellesley and No. 11 Concord-Carlisle locked horns in another pivotal post-season matchup as the Raiders outlasted C-C to win, 4-3, and advance to the quarterfinals of the Eastern Mass. Division 2 tournament.

“In a 4-3 game, if one team blinks, that game goes the other way,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said after the game. “All the credit in the world to Concord-Carlisle. You can’t score on them.”

Two of the top programs in Massachusetts Division 2 lacrosse, both programs pride themselves in their ability to control the pace of the game and to use their defensive strengths to wear teams down.

“They did a better job of taking the air out of the ball and they valued the ball better than we did today,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said.

Wellesley (16-4) would score first as attack John Caraviello beat his man and finished at the cage to give the home team an early 1-0 lead.

Wellesley middie Andrew Volkmann would then score the next two goals as the senior captain stayed aggressive and beat C-C sophomore goalie Andrew Kielar to give Wellesley a 3-0 lead after one quarter.

C-C (13-6) changed goalies early as they went to freshman Aidan Long to try to stem some of the early momentum. Long would do just that as the young C-C netminder came in and made an immediate impact.

“Aidan [Long] stepped in and was unbelievable,” Dalicandro said after the game. “It is great for him and we have great competition for the next two years.”

Concord-Carlisle got on the board with their first goal, midway through the second quarter, as middie Will Blumenberg let one rip from the top of the box to beat Wellesley goalie Mike Riskind with a man-up score.

C-C seized temporary momentum as senior defender Evan Boynton made a nice play on the ball deep in the C-C field of play and carried the ball the length of the field in transition. He found attack Charlie Painter (2 assists), who hit fellow attack Steven Armanetti to cut the lead Wellesley lead to 3-2.

Wellesley would get a big goal before the half as Kerry Lyne would score to make it 4-2 and give the Raiders a two-goal advantage heading to the half.

Defensive Finish: Both teams struggled out of the half, as each team’s defense buckled down and denied each other’s offense numerous potential scoring opportunities.

“The goalies were great, the defenses were great and I do not know how the middies could run any harder for both teams,” Batty stressed.

The Wellesley defensive unit of Matt Bomes, Will Hartnett and T.J. Noonan all did a magnificent job controlling the tempo of the game and shutting the C-C offense out through most of the second half.

“Every minute counts and you cannot take any turns off,” Bomes said after the game. “We were ready to go today. Four-to-three is a close one, not a lot of scoring, and we just had to hold it down.”

The Wellesley defensive midfield also did a great job of limiting C-C’s transition opportunities and negating the effectiveness of the early offense. Trailing by two goals with time winding down, C-C middie Jack Barrett scored on the run to bring C-C to within one goal at 4-3 with 2:53 remaining in the game.

Despite the goal and the newfound momentum, Wellesley’s defense and Riskind denied C-C the comeback attempt. Riskind came up with a critical save with under one minute remaining in the game to seal the win.

“We had all the momentum in the fourth quarter,” Dalicandro said. “We just needed to bury some shots and we just didn’t. They are a very good defensive team and their goalie made some saves.”

The Concord-Carlisle senior defensive unit of Boynton (Amherst-football), Sam Barrett (Washington and Lee) and Javier Flores (St. Mary’s College) also played equally well in the loss. The all-Dual County League veteran unit will be missed as they transition to college athletics.

“They did a great job,” Dalicandro said. “They are three all-league guys and we are going to miss them. We are going to be a really different team next year. We graduate a lot of seniors. It was great to see them step up and play championship lacrosse.

Wellesley advances to the quarterfinals and will take on the winner of No. 3 Reading and No. 19 Melrose. Both Middlesex league rivals will play their first round game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Reading High School.

Coaches Cup: Painter carries load for C-C

April, 18, 2013
CONCORD, Mass. -- Charlie Painter is an attack player by trade, but with teammate and top midfielder Will Blumenberg still recovering from a football injury, Painter proved pretty adept as a middie in his own right despite next to no practice time at the position.

Painter and Blumenberg each recorded hat tricks to help lead the Patriots to an 11-6 victory over Winchester in the final game of Day One of the Coaches Challenge Cup tournament at Doug White Memorial Field.

Blumenberg, a three-sport star who quarterbacks the football team and serves as the basketball team's point guard, suffered a foot injury during the Patriots Thanksgiving football game against Bedford. He missed the hoops season and is playing at far less than his full capacity thus far on the lacrosse fields. C-C coach Tom Dalicandro elected to move him to attack to save him some wear and tear while turning to Painter, one of the team's captains, to handle midfield duties.

"We kind of yo-yoed (Painter) because he's a really smart kid," explained Dalicandro afterward. "We put Will at attack and we let him play middie without really coaching him that much. He's a really smart kid, he knows how to play and he's a kid we can move around a little bit. We expect him to compete for us and do a good job as one of our captains."

The move also benefitted Blumenberg, who turned in his best effort so far, adding a hat trick and 10 faceoff wins to his game totals.

"This was the best he's played all year," Dalicandro said. "Will's probably about 50 percent athletically of what we was from last year because of his foot injury. Will's a middie but for us he's been struggling getting up and down the field so we played him mostly at attack and he took some faceoffs. Sometimes he just makes plays, which we need. He can carry the ball a little bit and has a good shot. I thought this was the best he's played. This was back to the Will from last year."

Winchester (3-2) was the team that got off to the stronger start, however, as Tim Mangano and Evan Carey both scored to stake the Sachems to a quick 2-0 lead. Concord-Carlisle (4-2) responded with the first of two goals from Jack Barrett and proceeded to run off six straight before Gerald Nluve stopped the bleeding for Winchester right before the half.

The Patriots blanked the Sachems in the third while scoring five of their own as Painter, Blumenberg, Barrett, freshman Aidan Cyr (two goals) and Peter Anastos all found the back of the cage to push the lead to 11-3. Winchester fought the entire way and made things interesting in the final frame as Tyler Calnan got one and Dan Marx scored twice, the second coming with 2:56 to go, but C-C was able to hold on from there.

"The thing I was very pleased about was that, even in our youth and our immaturity and our inexperience, we competed hard," said Winchester coach John Pirani in praise of his team. "I don't think we competed smart for 48 minutes but we competed hard for 48 minutes. And you could see our inexperience. Three sophomore attackmen, a couple of freshmen playing at midfield and we just didn't take advantage of what a good team gave us. They gave us a few things, we just didn't take advantage of it. But the thing that comes through here in the middle of April, and hopefully in preparation for the end of the season, is that we'll learn those lessons and get more consistent and tougher all the way through."

WELLESLEY 7, ANDOVER 4: New players stepping means new nicknames for kids who will go by "Risky Biz" and "No Name Bobby" for the time being. The hope is that those players, and others whose nicknames we've yet to learn, will help the Raiders continue to improve with each practice and game day.

Tucker "No Name Bobby" Dietrick scored twice, as did John Caraviello, and Mike "Risky Biz" Riskind made 12 saves to lead Wellesley (3-3) while Andrew Eriksen had two goals to pace the Golden Warriors (2-2).

Andover built a 3-1 lead at the half on goals from Eriksen, Jesse Greaves and Justin Bresnan while the defense did a tremendous job of limiting the Raiders to just a lone tally from Kerry Lyne.

Senior captain Andrew Volkman changed the momentum by owning the faceoff X in the third quarter, sparking Wellesley to a four-goal spurt that gave them a 5-3 advantage to take into the final frame.

"Volkman did a great job at facing off today, had some good help from the wings," praised Raiders coach Rocky Batty. "Tucker Morgan, who was out there with him on the wing, I thought did just a fantastic job of keeping it on the ground and giving us a chance to win the ball."

Eriksen fired in his second score early in the fourth to pull his team to within a goal but Caraviello put in his second, then Brian Pedersen capped the scoring with a beautiful transition goal off an Andover turnover with 55 seconds remaining.

"At the end of the third, I think we had taken the lead by then," Batty recalled. "The three coaches got together and said, 'We're still not running an offense. We're kind of getting hustle goals.' And I can't think of the last time a coach argued about a hustle goal, but after that we had to run some offense. We had possession, we struggled with transition all day and then we finally got that last one which, maybe that leads to a lot of transition from here, we'll find out."

Recap: No. 4 Wellesley 13, No. 6 Medfield 5

May, 4, 2012
MEDFIELD, Mass. -- No. 4 Wellesley lacrosse relied on its second-half transition, producing eight goals after the half en route to a 13-5 win over Division 2 rival Medfield.

While securing their 10th win of the season on Thursday, the Raiders defeated the Warriors for the second consecutive year in the regular season.

Senior Peter Crane, who paced the Raiders with four tallies, jump started Wellesley’s third-quarter attack with a strike at 9:11, which was followed up by an additional tally from senior netminder Connor Darcey.

“I think it was pretty much a team effort,” Crane said. “Connor makes a lot of saves, and right away he picks his head up, and we get a lot of guys to break open, even poles, and so they’ll break off to the midline and the other team usually won’t be ready for that, so they’ll get the ball. On a good fastbreak, we usually get a lot of fast breaks a game, and we were just executing them today and finishing.”

“[The transitions] were very key,” added Darcey. “In practice, all we work on is shot, save or loose ball, we get it out right away, so it’s just off a ground ball you move it and that’s basically what our team [exhibits].”

The Warriors earned their only lead of the contest at 8:43 in the first frame when senior David Parsons collected a pass from junior Matt Ruzzo before he whipped the ball past Darcey for the score.

The Raiders evened the score a minute later when senior Adam Horelick (2G) rifled a shot past senior goaltender Dougie Nelson on the man-up, which provided Wellesley with all the momentum for the remainder of the contest.

Senior Oliver Saffery (3G) sophomore John Caraviello and Crane each tallied one goal in the second quarter, which gave Wellesley a 5-3 lead at the break, which eventually blossomed into an eight-goal victory.

“Obviously, we didn’t play well,” Medfield coach Mike Douglas said. “A lot of unforced turnovers, [and] all the little things hurt us, [such as] ground balls, extra possessions, which led to extra goals, and didn’t execute on ‘man up,’ didn’t do a lot of things well.”

The teams combined for 13 penalties, which resulted in four man-up goals, and was indicative of the teams' recent history.

“They probably had more penalties than we did,” Douglas said. “It’s a rivalry game. They beat us during the regular season, we beat them in the tournament, I mean it’s a rivalry game, [and] it’s game that both teams get up for and that’s going to happen.”

Medfield and Wellesley tangled twice last season, once during the regular season and once in the tournament. The Warriors defeated the Raiders, 7-5 in the D2 Eastern Mass. quarterfinals, so this particular match had a certain meaning to Crane and Saffery.

“We all know that what counts is the playoffs, but it was nice to definitely get one under our belt against Medfield,” Crane said.

“This is always a big game for us, it’s always a benchmark game of the season,” Saffery added. “[Our senior class] hasn’t wont on this field in the four years since we’ve been on the team, so we really wanted to come out tonight, send a message. We worked hard, everyone felt like we played a big game, and [we were] emotionally up, and got the job done.”

Aside from penalties, both teams sustained key injuries in the physical bout.

Medfield’s Dougie Nelson endured a thumb injury late in the fourth quarter, and was replaced during the final minutes by sophomore Robert Treiber.

Meanwhile, Horelick sustained a concussion late in the second quarter after he notched his second strike of the contest.

“I’m very disappointed Adam Horelick took a shot to the head after he scores a goal,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “That’s got to be taken out of the game. The referees need to take control, coaches need to make sure they don’t do that [going forward].”

It’s not too often that fans witness a team’s goaltender scoring a goal. Although, against Medfield’s midfield and defense, Darcey collected a pass following a dead ball at the midfield and then dodged his way through the Warriors' zone to net a goal at 7:13 in the third quarter.

“It was basically just off a dead ball, and I saw the attack crowd [around] the midfield line, so I just went up to midfield, caught it, other [defensemen] pushed out, basically the same thing like last year, they all pushed out during slide and I just let it go,” he said. “I’ve been shooting a lot in practice, so I was ready for it.”

Darcey, who has now recorded two goals against Medfield, explained that this particular strike wasn’t has exciting as the one he scored against the Warriors in Wellesley last season.

“[My last goal] was at home, so that was pretty exciting, and that was definitely a closer game. That was definitely more exciting, but when I score, I find it pretty exciting, it’s nice."

Recap: No. 2 Wellesley 10, No. 7 Needham 9 (OT)

April, 26, 2012

NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Wellesley attackman Peter Crane hadn't been doing much dodging at all during Wednesday's Bay State Conference rivalry showdown with Needham. But when the right moment came, the move was there and the shot was true.

Crane took a feed from teammate Adam Horelick, slipped past his man and buried the game-winner with 1:13 remaining in overtime as Wellesley completed an epic, fourth-quarter surge to upend the Rockets for a 10-9 victory at Memorial Park.

"We had the middie dodging down the alley and he moved it down to the attack who bumped it to me," explained Crane. "I just dodged my defender, got to five and five, and turned and shot. I saw it go five-hole and I was fortunate enough for it to go in."

That the game even required overtime is a story unto itself. The two teams battled back and forth throughout the first half, with goalies Lucas Davis (Needham) and Connor Darcey (Wellesley) standing out as the early stars. The Rockets took a 4-3 lead into the break courtesy of a man-up goal by Jamie McGill.

After a man-down goal by Crane set up by a beautiful end-to-end rush by Darcey, Needham exploded in the third with a 4-0 run. Mark Riley, Nico Panepinto (four assists), Alex Mirageas and McGill each scored to push the Rockets' advantage to 8-4.

Wellesley got one back as John Caraviello converted a feed from Horelick with 28 seconds left in the third, jumpstarting a 5-0 spurt that saw Nate Levin tie it and Horelick put the Raiders ahead for the first time since the first ten seconds of the second at 9-8.

Robbie Pisano completed his hat trick with 1:33 left in regulation to force the overtime, but Darcey (20 saves) made a pair of big stops with Needham dominating possession in the extra frame. Once Wellesley got it back, the ball found its way to Horelick and then Crane, who beat his man and snapped the game-winner.

"We drew that up, that's exactly how it's supposed to go," Horelick said of the final play. "Peter didn't have too many dodges this game and I think we all felt he could take his pole to the cage. I just gave it to him, I knew he was going to put it home. He went right past his man and it was a great goal."

The Rockets day started off with plenty of positives. Davis was terrific in the cage, stopping 17 shots in all. With the Raiders tough defense focused on defending standouts Riley and Panepinto, players like McGill and Pisano stepped up and combined for eight points.

"Our goaltending, I couldn't be more proud of Lucas Davis," praised Needham coach Dave Wainwright. "He played a great game, he's a fantastic boy, and its a pleasure and an honor to have him. I think he kept us in the game more than anyone on offense or defense did for him."

"We're definitely upset from the outcome," Wainwright continued. "We'll definitely learn from it but at some point we have to start executing better than we have."

The storied tradition of the football rivalry between the two towns needs no explanation as the longest-running public school clash in the nation.

The gridiron isn't the only place that tradition matters, however. Pick a sport in any season and at any time of the year and know that when Wellesley and Needham hook up, it matters.

"You grow up in Wellesley wanting to beat Needham in every sport you play," Crane said. "You play them from youth lacrosse on and every time its a big game. We weer really looking forward to this one and we were fortunate enough to get away with a win."

Raiders assistant coach Adam Pascal offered his passionate take on the tradition as well and the importance of the role the seniors play in each game.

"We told the kids this was a neighborhood game, you have to be the toughest kid on the block before you leave the neighborhood and Needham-Wellesley, this is one of the oldest rivalries there is," Pascal explained. "Down 8-4, Coach [Rocky Batty] and I just kind of looked at each other and said lets get some seniors on there. We put Adam Horelick down there. He's a senior, he's been playing for a couple of years, and that was the change in the game. Reed [Westerman] goes to defense, throws a big assist down there throwing the ball to another senior Peter Crane. And the last one was even Horelick spinning the ball to Crane.

Pascal continued, "We just needed to get some kids who played in big games before, know what it feels like to want to win the game, have some idea what it feels like to actually win the game and they just did it. Finally the kids just came together. That was the best performance...I think Connor Darcey played great, Ryan Cassidy, our whole defense. Offensively, that's great to see Peter get off there a bit and win the game and it feels great. They'll never forget it, Thanksgiving when they come back, they'll meet on that Wednesday and they'll be getting on Peter Crane for beating Needham."

Recap: C-C takes Coaches Challenge Cup title

April, 22, 2012
Coaches CupRyan Kilian for
WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Concord-Carlisle got a spectacular defensive effort and timely and effective offensive possessions to defeat fellow Division 2 power Wellesley 8-4 on Saturday in the finals of the 2012 Coaches Challenge Cup.

Concord-Carlisle (6-0) got out to a 6-1 halftime lead and never looked back as they moved the ball efficiently on offense, received strong net play from senior goalie Doug Gouchoe and added great rotational team defense in the second half to seal the victory.

“It has been a great week,” Concord-Carlisle head coach Tom Dalicandro said.” The defense was awesome. “I knew Doug [Gouchoe] would be Doug but I am very impressed with the defense led by Henry [Bumpus]. Henry is the only one back and the other guys played JV last year. Evan Boynton was a short stick d-middie and Sam Barrett transferred back in.”

Wellesley (5-2) got on the board first to open the game as senior midfielder Oliver Saffery scored the first of his two goals on the day to give Wellesley a 1-0 lead. Concord-Carlisle would answer back with six unanswered tallies, including two man-up goals in the second quarter, to take a five goal lead into the half.

“This week we have come out so strong in the first two quarters,” Gouchoe said. “It is up to the defense to preserve that lead. Our offense has proved they can come out and score 8-9 goals now and that is big for our defense.”

Saffery would strike again out of the break for the Red Raiders on a man-up rip to cut the C-C lead to 6-2. Wellesley senior goalie Connor Darcey made 12 saves on the day with four coming in Wellesley’s third quarter shutout.

Trailing 6-2 heading into the fourth quarter Wellesley buckled down on defense and cut the lead to 6-3 as they held C-C scoreless for a 20-minute period before C-C senior attack Mike O’Brien beat the Wellesley defense on a great individual effort to ensure the win for the Patriots.
“We have to play smart,” said O’Brien. “We are not the flashiest players but we have a lot of kids who work hard and are smart with the ball. When we play well we are a really hard team beat.”

Wellesley also received strong play from senior long stick midfielder Ryan Cassidy, who excelled all tournament long for the Red Raiders. The senior followed up a huge semi-final effort in a win over Winchester with another strong performance on Saturday.

“It was great team win,” said C-C’s Bumpus. “We are playing smart and that has been what is getting us ahead in these teams. We do not make mistakes and that is what led to the Coaches Cup win.”

C-C freshman attack Will Blumenberg and junior attack Tim Badgley each scored twice for Concord-Carlisle in the win.

“Our offense starts with our defense,” senior attack Jackson Finigan said. “Without our defense we would not get as many opportunities for our offense. Our defense transitions the ball so well and gives us so many chances. We know that even if we do not get it the first time we are going to get the ball back.”

As good as Gouchoe and C-C’s close defense was on the day the most unheralded work was done by the d-midfield unit of seniors Tyler Koning (1 G), Anthony West, junior Brendan Finigan and sophomore Nick McCormack.

“Those guys played JV last year,” Dalicandro said. “Brendan, Tyler, Westy, and Nick was even on the freshman team. They all did a great job today.”

The 2012 finals was a rematch of the 2011 Coaches Challenge Cup finals that was held in Winchester. Wellesley defeated C-C 5-2 on a rain soaked Saturday afternoon to win the Cup for Wellesley.

Darcey was the star of last year’s game as the Penn-State bound net minder had 15 saves in the win.

After Saturday’s game Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty graciously handed the trophy over to Concord-Carlisle.

“Concord-Carlisle deserves this trophy,” said Batty after the game as he presented the Cup to C-C. “You won with class and if we are lucky we will get to play you again in June.”

In the third place game Hingham defeated Winchester 9-5 behind four goals from senior attack Noah Ellis and two goals from senior attack Kevin Blair.

Hingham led 7-2 at the half but Winchester stormed back in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 8-5. Hingham midfielder Caleb Brodie would score the lone fourth quarter goal as the Harbormen take home third place in the Coaches Cup.

Lincoln-Sudbury defeated Andover 9-6 and Dover-Sherborn defeated North Andover 6-4 in the first two Coaches Cup consolation games of the day.

Coaches Cup recap: Wellesley, C-C final set

April, 19, 2012
DOVER, Mass. -- A pair of teams led by stout defenses and outstanding goalies set the stage for what should be nailbiter of a final as Wellesley and Concord-Carlisle each made their way through the stacked field of the Coaches Challenge Cup.

WELLESLEY 8, WINCHESTER 1: The sixth-ranked Raiders got a tremendous game out of defender Ryan Cassidy, who totaled eight ground balls and played lock-down defense to help slow down the No. 11 Sachems in the first of two semifinals at Dover-Sherborn's Frothingham Field.

Wellesley (5-1) assured itself of a title defense by keeping Winchester's (7-1) dangerous group of shooters far away from Penn State-bound goalie Connor Darcey (11 saves).

At one point in the fourth quarter with the Raider D forcing Winchester to keep passing the ball around the box in hopes of finding any hole to shoot through, Darcey could be heard yelling to his teammates, "You're playing perfect Wellesley! Keep it up!"

"Winchester has shooters and we knew that going in," said Raiders head coach Rocky Batty, whose team took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter. "Ryan Cassidy controlled things with Darcey and understood that shooters are shooters, and if they got hot, we would be in trouble. They kept it at 16-18 yards. They drew a line and said 'That's it, this is where you guys will play from.'"

The defensive effort allowed Wellesley to push the transition, and while that didn't always lead to goals, it allowed the Raiders to get settled and at least work long possessions to make the Sachems defense work.

Offensively, Brian Pedersen had a hat trick and Peter Crane notched three assists as Wellesley built a 7-0 lead before Winchester got on the board early in the fourth quarter.

"It was a great team effort overall," Cassidy said. "Our team defense is something we take pride in. We don't have any real stars, we just try to play the fundamentals and work as a unit. This year we have a no-name defense. We try and keep each other as one unit and we do that and stay with the fundamentals, that's when we're most successful."

Despite suffering defeat for the first time this season, Winchester coach John Pirani recalled a similar situation last year where his charges suffered a big loss to Hingham but bounced back to push the Harbormen to a one goal game in the playoffs.

"The reason for the tournament is that we wanted great competition in the middle of the year," Pirani explained. "It's a response to the growth of the game and the risk/reward when you engage in that kind of endeavor is that you might get your head handed to you, 8-1. The reward is that you get the experience of playing a really rigorous opponent who prepares you for tournament play later on."

"We lost to Hingham last year, 16-5, and then came within an eyelash of beating them in the postseason," he continued. "I told the kids, 'I don't know how its going to turn out but I do know that we will be better prepared because we had this experience.'"

CONCORD-CARLISLE 9, HINGHAM 4: The eighth-ranked Patriots will face Wellesley in the title game for a second straight year, getting two goals apiece from Jackson Finigan, Tim Badgley and Kevin Delehey and producing a similarly efficient defensive effort to stifle the No. 3 Harbormen in the day's final contest.

Doug Gouchoe stopped ten shots in the cage while Henry Bumpus and Evan Boynton anchored the defense and didn't allow Hingham's (6-1) talented attack group to get anything going.

The Patriots (5-0) kept Hingham off the scoreboard until the third while sniping five of their own. Dave Freitas and Noah Ellis tried to jumpstart the Harbormen, notching back-to-back goals, but C-C quickly put down any hopes of a comeback by reeling off the next three scores.

"I thought it was a great team win," Gouchoe said. "We were firing on all cylinders and playing together on defense. Our energy feeds off our defense. If our defense plays well, our offense is going to have that confidence to go to the net and score."

Also standing out the crowd for C-C was two-way midfielder Mike O'Brien, who scored the first goal after Hingham's two and basically never left the field as he continually hustled back and forth between both ends.

"Our defense has been phenomenal all year," O'Brien said. "We have four solid defenseman we can rotate, our defensive middies, even our offensive middies that go back and play defense. It's really a six-man effort back there. Doug's at the heart of it making big saves but we also try to limit teams from getting good shots on him."

Added C-C coach Tom Dalicandro, "Mikey's the heart and soul of the team. He's a three-sport star and was a two-way star for us today. We told him after the first game he has to stay on the field as long as he can and not come off until he's dead."

With a big smile, Dalicandro added, "And then he's still going to stay on."

Coaches Challenge Cup: First round recap

April, 18, 2012

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- In one of this year's top boys' lacrosse leagues, Concord-Carlisle and Lincoln-Sudbury are once more playing the role of the Dual County Leagues' perennial powerhouses.

An early season matchup between the defending conference champs may have started a potential let down, but a late push from the No. 2 Warriors in the Coaches Challenge Cup quarterfinals yesterday afternoon showed why both squads remain top in the state.

With C-C jumping ahead by five goals early, L-S (4-2) battled back but never led as they fell by a slim 8-7 margin at Joe Walsh Stadium in North Andover.

“They are the class of the league and we measure ourselves against them,” C-C head coach Tom Dalicandro said. “We said 'value the ball, posses the ball, and take good shots'. I think we did a much better job today than we have done this year of valuing possession.”

The No. 8 Patriots (4-0) burst out of the gate with the first three goals and a 6-1 lead to open.

Ducking defenders from the top corners of their offense, leading scorer Kevin Delehey netted all three of his goals off isolation plays in the first quarter. Slipping under a pair of Warriors, the C-C senior found himself five-yard in front of the netminder in the final seconds of the initial quarter to send the Patriots into the break up 5-1 with his final tally.

A wide-open open breakaway by long-pole Henry Bumpus left the senior walking into one-on-one with the keeper as he put the DCL (Small) defending champs up 6-1 at 11:04 in the second.

“We were able to generate some good offense out of our dodges,” Delehey said. “I run through those dodges hundreds if not thousands of times. At this point so it is really just reaction.”

After two turnaround tallies put the Warriors down 6-3 at half, L-S junior Jordan Dow nailed a pair of open-net man-up opportunities to help cut the deficit early in the third. L-S junior Dan Delaney rolled around his defender and hit a rip ten yards out to bring the score to 7-6 with 4:42 left in the quarter.

Delaney and Dow led the Warriors with two goals, while C-C senior Mike O'Brien also netted a pair.

“We called an invert and saw some matchups we really liked,” L-S head coach Brian Vona said. “We eventually just tightened up defensively. They just out everything'd us.”

Trading goals between the final quarters, L-S entered the last ten minutes down 8-7, but was unable to finish a pair of man-up chances along the post. A steal by C-C senior keeper Doug Gouchoe from behind the net sealed the victory in the final seconds.


In other Coaches Cup quarterfinals action, No. 3 Hingham (5-0) never trailed as it was lead to a 9-5 victory over No. 14 Dover-Sherborn (7-1) with six goals from senior Kevin Blair.

“I was really finding the seams on offense,” Blair said. “We are doing a lot of switches off ball, we are picking for each other and it really opens up the middle. We like to isolate and draw the men (out).”

The Raiders evened two score margin in the first, but gradually faded away as the Harbormen found open shots around the crease.

Three straight scores from Blair in the second helped Hingham run away with a 6-3 lead at 3:11. Scoring all three off motion aside the net, the senior caught a lob pass from fellow upperclassmen Reed McLeod (two goals) late in the quarter and side stepped around both the post and the goalie for his fourth tally on the afternoon.

“We have six guys on the field who are able to play well together,” Hingham head coach John Todd said. “We made them practice at a high tempo. [Blair] sees the field very well and is very fast.”

The Raiders managed to work the ball up top for a score from junior Matt Huemme to grab a 6-4 deficit in the final seconds of the half, but were out shot three goals to one in the final two quarters.

Hingham found Blair behind D-S's defense on a counter late in the third then buried a deep rip from senior Kevin Morris to put D-S away with a 8-4 lead at 7:24 in the fourth quarter.

“They pressured the ball real well and we did not have the ball a lot in the second half,” D-S head coach Brian McLaughlin said. “It is hard to score when you can not get the ball back.”

Originally trailing 3-1 in the first, senior Ben Newbert evened the score for the final time on the afternoon by finishing a ground-ball pickup next to the crease then side-arming a 10-yarder to put the score at 3-3 to end the first. Newbert lead the Raiders with two tallies.

In the first game of the day, No. 6 Wellesley rolled past North Andover, 14-1.

Midfielder Oliver Saffery led the Raiders with four goals, in addition to a team-high seven ground balls. Ryan Cassidy collected two goals to go along with five ground balls.

Connor Darcey made eight saves in the cage to make it stand up.

"North Andover's a good team, and I'm just glad we came ready to play," Raiders head coach Rocky Batty said. "It's always nice to get a win in the Coaches' Challenge Cup, and we're already excited to play again at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Dover-Sherborn."

In perhaps the day's most riveting game, No. 11 Winchester held off No. 20 Andover in a 10-9 decision.

WELLESLEY, Mass. – It was this time a year ago when Wellesley stormed into Billerica and ruined the Indians’ opener with a win.

On Thursday, it was the No. 12 Indians’ chance to stomp on the Raiders’ opening day festivities.

Senior attacks Ben Melaugh and Cam Slatton worked their chemistry throughout and worked together to give Billerica the game-winning goal. Melaugh set up Slatton with the a tie-breaking goal with a minute left in regulation for a 6-5 win over No. 3 Wellesley.

Melaugh (2 G, 2A) and Slatton (2 G, A) combined to tally seven of the Indians’ nine points on the afternoon while junior goaltender and UMass recruit D.J. Smith made it all stand up with 15 saves.

“Last year, they took away our first game, so we wanted to come back here and win it,” Smith said.

The game was largely decided by a couple of ground balls in Billerica’s favor in the final minutes.

Slatton’s game-winner was set in motion on a ground ball pick up in the defensive half by junior midfielder Sean Farmer. After the scoop, Farmer ran the ball into the offensive half, dished to Melaugh on the wing who then found Slatton out front. Slatton’s rip from 15 yards out found nothing but twine.

Another ground-ball win by Indians senior long-stick Nick DelMonaco in the final minute, along with some sloppy possession play from the Raiders’ attack, helped ice the victory for the Billerica (2-1).

“I think we generated 25 shots and I don’t think we generated 25 shots last year,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “But you take shots, you’ve got to finish.”


Smith’s play on Thursday drew high praise from Indians head coach Craig Flynn, who called it the “game of his career.” In addition, it was set against the backdrop of a matchup between two of the states top netminders, as Smith was opposed by fellow ESPN Boston All-Stater Connor Darcey.

“It was a huge matchup between basically the two top goaltenders in the state.”

At no point was Smith better than the third quarter, when he kicked, swatted and gobbled up six saves. Although the Raiders (0-1) possessed for the bulk of play in the quarter, Smith and the Billerica long poles held strong.

“Tommy [McLaughlin] and Brian LeClair, they played great at X covering them and they didn’t let them at the X and didn’t let get past the [goal line extended],” Smith said of the defensive group in front of him. “Danny [Lynch] played on the crease, he didn’t let them get any passes. They played great altogether our D-poles.”


Batty thought his team won a small victory in limiting the Indians’ top scoring duo of Melaugh and Slatton to four goals.

It speaks volumes about the respect opposing coaches have for the pair, who both tallied 100-plus point seasons last year.

Of course, that was done in the shadow of ESPN Boston 2011 Mr. Lacrosse and current UMass attack Grant Whiteway. Now, it’s time for Melaugh and Slatton to shine.

“We’ve been playing ever since we were, what, maybe 8 year old, I don’t even know,” “It’s been a while though. We’ve known each other is and we’re able to find each other.”

Always a colorful interview, Batty joked with reporters postgame that his team was, in fact, fallible.

Certainly, the Raiders entered the season with a boatload of attention as Division 2 favorites, grabbing the No. 3 spot in our preseason Top 25 poll along with a spot in the ESPNHS FAB 50.

While a loss isn’t the way the Raiders wanted to start their campaign, their head coach also admitted it might not be the worst thing in the world.

“We’ll be better for this in the long run,” Batty said.

Player Perspective: Connor Darcey

July, 11, 2011
ESPN Boston boys’ lacrosse All-State First Team goaltender Connor Darcey was up against the best underclassmen the country has to offer in the ESPN RISE Warrior 40. The Wellesley High netminder made the start for the winning “Orange” side during the weekend competition at Harvard Stadium and took a few minutes to catch up with us.

The rising senior was had an All-American season as a junior, leading the Raiders to a 16-0 regular season and was honored as the Bay State League’s MVP.

We caught up with the Penn State commit to learn about life at the Warrior 40, his impressive showing in its hardest shot competition and how he plans to unwind this summer.

Q: What has the entire Warrior 40 experience been like?

A: “It’s great being around high level lacrosse the whole time. I mean, the coaches have a high standard for everyone, coming from where they are as professionals. Also, they’ve experienced everything we have. They know what paths to lead us down. I like it a lot.”

Q: How’s it been playing with some of the top players from across the country?

A: “It’s good because we’re going to be seeing these guys in the next four years when we’re in college playing against each other. I think it’s fun to play at a high level. It’s very competitive, even if it is just a camp, scrimmage thing.”

Q: You took part in the hardest shot competition on skills day and hit 92 miles per hour. Were you at all surprised with your result?

A: “I was pretty happy that I hit 92 on my second try. I was pretty happy with that. I was talking to [Foxborough goaltender Greg Stamatov] and he hit 84. That’s what my goal was going in, to beat him. We had a little competition between us, so I was happy with that.”

Q: Hate to bring up a sore spot, but having your high school season end against Medfield again in the D2 tournament had to be tough. What can you learn from that experience as a team heading into next year?

A: “I think we built a stronger team coming away from that season. We were 16-0 [in the regular season], once we got to that point, everybody starting contributing, whether it was in practice or in games. Then, the playoffs came. We played well in our first playoff game [a 17 win-3 over Burlington]. I think we have a lot of camaraderie on the team, I think we just fell apart in that last game in the fourth quarter. It was a tough loss.”

Q: You also had a Wellesley teammate Oliver Saffrey here with you at the Warrior 40. How was it being able to share the experience with a high school teammate?

A: “Yeah, it was fun. I think it’s a great thing for the program, to show that we can play. I think coach [Rocky] Batty has done a lot with the program. He’s gotten our alumni back, which a lot of them have been successful, and our alumni game shows the quality of play. He just does a great job coaching us. He finds a way to coach every player, he knows how to coach different people.”

Q: You’ve already got your college commitment locked in, but what went into the process of choosing Penn State?

A: “It was a roller coaster from the start. During summer lacrosse, then as soon as September 1st hit, all the schools started talking to me. It was a huge spectrum. Then, as the fall progressed, making visits to schools and talking to different coaches, seeing what they wanted, et cetera, it narrowed down after that. I really liked [Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Pietramala], he was a great guy. I liked a bunch of other coaches. But [Penn State head coach Jeff] Tambroni, I loved him as soon as I got there and I loved the campus. It was just a good fit for me.”

Q: What are you trying to work on in your personal game during the summer?

A: “I’m trying to make my hands quicker and my talk and my movement around the cage, working around from X. I think just knowing my defensive partners to start next season is very big help. I have a good relationship with them, so that will be a big help.”

Q: When you do have some time off this summer, what will you be doing to relax?

A: “I work up in Michigan as a camp counselor. My family has a house on Lake Michigan and we’ll heading up there after this. It’s on the western side, right on the Lake. It’s a small little community, about 200 little cottages. It’s a lot of fun.”

Medfield ends Wellesley's season, again

June, 7, 2011

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- In every season since 2006, Wellesley boys’ lacrosse’s season has ended in a defeat to Medfield in the Division 2 Eastern tournament.

The rivalry has developed into one of the state’s best and it simply wouldn’t be June without the squads going head-to-head.

The Raiders entered this year’s installment with home-field advantage and the No. 1 seed in the tournament after an undefeated regular season. However, none of that prevented the Warriors from once again putting a close to Wellesley’s season with a 7-5 win in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.

“As hard as it is to say, I love playing Medfield in June,” Raiders head coach Rock Batty said. “We did everything we could to give ourselves a leg up and a home game. I still love playing them. I’d play them every June if we can.”

Things started off well for Wellesley (17-1) which carried a 3-2 lead into halftime thanks to six huge saves from goalkeeper Connor Darcey (13 saves) in the second quarter.

The Raiders added to their lead scoring the lone goal of the third quarter with Peter Crane notching his first of two tallies.

But Medfield (14-7) returned a new team in the fourth when it scored four straight goals within three minutes to start the quarter.

“It was as much about us executing as it was stopping them,” Warriors head coach Bob Aronson said, describing his team’s fourth-quarter transformation.

Possession was also critical as Medfield just about carried play exclusively.

Warriors attack Connor Roddy tallied two goals in 31 seconds to tie the game, 4-4, with 10:35 remaining. Medfield then kept up the offensive onslaught with midfielder Clay Richard winning five straight face offs. Richard helped to set up Peter Gill’s goal with 9:39 to play, giving Medfield its first lead of the game at 5-4 with an assist from Andrew Melvin.

Calvin Given then converted a Wellesley turnover at midfield into his first goal of the game with 8:21 remaining.

It would stand up to become Given’s second straight game-winning goal in the tournament after he lifted the Warriors to a win over Walpole with 12 seconds remaining in the teams’ first-round game.

“He’s an underrated player, he’s a smart player,” Aronson said of Given. “It doesn’t always look like he’s the most skilled player out there or has the hardest shot. But he seems to get it done what needs to get done.”

The Raiders responded to get back within one with Crane’s second tally of the game, but Given came right back and pushed the lead to two off the dodge with 4:34 to play.

“When we gave them transition and we couldn’t clear the ball, they beat us,” Batty said. “I give them the credit; they’re a state champion who knows how to do it.”

From there, the Warriors’ defense stood tall with goalie Sam Aronson (9 saves) providing the backbone.

“I’m going to miss this team,” Batty said after exchanging hugs with a group of Wellesley seniors.

Medfield, the No. 9 seed, advances to play at fourth-seeded Foxborough Friday at 5 p.m.

Wellesley boys lax clinches Bay State Herget

May, 17, 2011
With a 13-2 win over Braintree this afternoon, the No. 2 Wellesley Raiders have clinched the Bay State Conference's Herget division outright.

Charlie Jennings led all scorers with four goals and an assist, while Penn State-bound junior goalie Connor Darcey needed just four saves to pitch a shutout before getting pulled in the second half.

This marks the first Herget title for the Raiders since 2007, when they split it with Walpole. The Raiders last won it outright in 2006. With this year's title, they also snap Walpole's three-year streak of outright Herget titles.

"I am incredibly proud of this team, and the effort they've put forth this season," Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said in an email. "Winning the league is a terrific accomplishment."