McNeil, Warriors battle Wolverines in playoffs

Medfield defender Saul Lacerda (10) fights off an attacking Joshua Morrison-Deutsch (15) during a Westwood fast break. Photos by Michael Flanagan

By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Westwood High boys soccer went 0-2 against Medfield during the regular season, dropping a 5-0 contest on their home turf on September 27 before falling 2-1 at Medfield on October 24.

It seems only fitting that after going winless against their rivals to the west in the regular season, the No. 10 Wolverines (9-6-2) would get another shot at the seventh-seeded Warriors (11-6-1) in the opening round of the Division II South Sectionals on Sunday.

Kevin Lyons (16) and Nathan Parry (23) fight for positioning on a loose ball.   Photos by Michael Flanagan

Kevin Lyons (16) and Nathan Parry (23) fight for positioning on a loose ball. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Despite trailing for a significant portion of the contest, Mike TeDuits and the Wolverines fought their way back and pulled off the 3-2 upset victory on penalty kicks to stun the Warriors and advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinal against No. 2 New Bedford.

Senior captain Owen Previte got Medfield on the board first by floating home a shot up high off of a rebound with 27:49 to play in the first half to make it 1-0.

Thomas Boukouvalas responded for Westwood a little over four minutes later, heading home a corner kick with 23:16 remaining to even the game at one for the Wolverines.

A massive save by Westwood keeper Daniel Ventura on a Mike Vachon header kept the game tied at one with under 10 minutes to play. Moments later, however, John McNeil broke the tie for Medfield with 6:05 to play by booting home a right-footed bounce shot from about 15 yards out to give the Warriors back the lead at halftime at 2-1.

John McNeil (3) is congratulated by teammates Mike Vachon and Saul Lacerda following his go-ahead goal late in the first half.   Photos by Michael Flanagan

John McNeil (3) is congratulated by teammates Mike Vachon and Saul Lacerda following his go-ahead goal late in the first half. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Midway through the second half, TeDuits knotted the game at two for Westwood with a goal off of a free kick.

After two scoreless extra periods, the game came down to penalty kicks, where Westwood put home all four while Medfield made just one, allowing the Wolverines to advance with the 3-2 victory.

“The win felt amazing tonight,” said TeDuits following the game. “Especially, because it came against a rival who we hadn’t beaten yet this year. I felt like both times we played them [in the regular season], we were extremely unlucky, but they put up a great fight in those contests and got the result. To advance in the playoffs against a great team like that means a lot, especially coming after all our ups and downs throughout the regular season.”

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.

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