Rebel Laxmen Roll Over Dracut in First Round

James Cullinane

On June 1, the Walpole Rebels Boy Lacrosse Team began their run at the State Championship in an opening round match up against the Dracut Middies.  The Rebels took their first stride in defending their title by overwhelmingly defeating the Middies by a score of 18-4.  This landslide victory proves that the Rebels are not satisfied with merely advancing to the playoffs, but are focused on repeating as State Champions.

The Rebel offense attacked Dracut’s defense from the opening face off.  After only 28 seconds of action, senior Adam Niden scored the first goal of the game, giving Walpole a 1-0 advantage.  Niden would then score again on the Rebels next possession giving him two goals in under two minutes.  Walpole would then double their point total to four, following goals by senior Phil Nash, and junior Kyle Guilbert.  Dracut scored their first goal with 15 seconds remaining in the first quarter, leaving the Rebels ahead 4-1 after the first quarter.

As the second quarter began, it became obvious that the Rebels were determined to stop the Middies from gaining any sort of momentum.  Niden raced down the field and through the Dracut defense to score his third goal of the game, putting the Rebels on top 5-1.  Guilbert would then score on a rebound after a great save by Dracut’s goalie.  Guilbert’s goal seemed to demoralize the Middies as it put Walpole ahead by a score of 6-1.  Senior Ryan Izzo proved to be a catalyst in the second quarter, scoring two impressive goals in a three minute span, putting the Rebels on top 8-1.  After a Dracut goal, senior Tim McDonald responded by firing a shot past the Dracut goaltender, putting giving the Rebels a 10-3 lead, a score that would hold until halftime.

A reason for this Rebel dominance was the impressive work by the faceoff men.  Izzo was superb as usual, winning almost every faceoff.  Juniors Donny Delpha and Chris Norberg also showed the Middies that they had some talent as well.

Despite the comfortable Rebel lead, Walpole made it clear that they were the hungrier team in the third quarter.  Guilbert netted two quick goals to put the Rebels up 12-3.  Senior Tim Bailey would then score his first goal of the game, making the score 14-3 in Walpole’s favor.  Following a goal by junior Nick Foley, Dracut would score their fourth goal of the game, making the score 15-4 after three quarters of lacrosse.

Walpole’s fourth quarter performance shut the door on any thoughts of a miraculous Dracut comeback.  Senior Ryan Hourihan scored a goal to put the Rebels ahead 16-4.  Senior PJ Painten, who lost his position at goalie after a devastating knee injury, was limited to play a small number of minutes at attack at the end of the fourth quarter.  In one of the most touching moments of the season, Painten scored a goal to put the Rebels on top 17-4.  Walpole would put another goal on the board, courtesy of Foley, before the final whistle, making the final score a 18-4 victory for the Rebels.

Walpole opened many eyes around the state with this impressive victory in the first round.  The Rebels will look to continue their run for the State Championship on June 4 against the Marblehead Magicians.