Westwood boys cruise through round one

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.

Senior captain Connor Deehan (4) works the ball around the perimeter. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Senior captain Connor Deehan (4) works the ball around the perimeter. Photos by Michael Flanagan

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.

Charlie Harrington (24) maintains his balance and moves the ball up the field for Westwood on a clear. Photos by Michael Flanagan

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.

Junior fogo Kevin Lyons (12) sprints in with possession following a faceoff victory midway through the first quarter. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Junior fogo Kevin Lyons (12) sprints in with possession following a faceoff victory midway through the first quarter. Photos by Michael Flanagan

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.

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