Westwood seniors Jake Antonucci (9) and Anthony Rael (10) celebrate following a goal early in the first quarter of Thursday’s 14-1 opening round win over Groton-Dunstable. Photos by Michael Flanagan
By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off their first-ever co-TVL title as well as their first-ever season that included victories over both DS and Medfield, the Westwood High School boys varsity lacrosse team earned the No. 2 seed in Division II Central/East.
Last Thursday, the Wolverines (15-4) welcomed No. 7 Groton-Dunstable to Flahive Field for their first-round matchup, and right from the start, it was all Westwood.
Senior captain and Bruce Lerch Award finalist Jake Antonucci got the scoring started for Westwood via a right-handed rip with seven minutes to play in the opening quarter. Senior captain Connor Deehan doubled Westwood’s lead to 2-0 with 3:27 to play by finishing a feed from Conor Donohue at the crease. Ryan Healey made it a 3-0 game at the end of one with a quick-stick from Deehan with 1:30 to play.
Healey struck again for the Wolverines just 1:19 into the second quarter to make it a 4-0 game before a bouncer from Antonucci just 1:04 later extended Westwood’s lead to 5-0. Deehan launched home a bouncer from 13 yards away with 6:38 to play to make it 6-0 before Antonucci completed the hat trick with 1:20 to play on the man-up to put Westwood up a touchdown at halftime.
With starting goaltender C.J. Adourian still out due to a leg injury, Peter Rael got the nod and continued to impress, especially at the beginning of the second half, when the senior kicked away a pair of shots and snagged another on his off-stick to keep Groton-Dunstable off the board.
A laser by Antonucci with 5:45 to play in the third extended Westwood’s lead to 8-0 before sophomore Charlie Harrington fired home a bouncer just 28 seconds later to make it a 9-0 game. Donohue’s second of the game with 1:48 to play in the quarter put Westwood in double figures as the Wolverines took a 10-goal lead into the final quarter.
A beautiful behind-the-back goal by Deehan extended Westwood’s lead to 11-0 less than a minute into the fourth before John Gaffney made it a 12-0 game with 10:20 remaining. Another from Donohue and one from Jason Stebbins pushed the lead to 14. Groton-Dunstable was able to spoil Rael’s shutout bid with a late goal, but the Wolverines got the result they wanted and advanced with a 14-1 victory.
At the time of print, Westwood gets set to host perennial Division II power Walpole on June 12 for the right to play the winner of Wayland and Concord-Carlisle for the sectional title later on this week.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.