Boys Lacrosse Tested in Mid-Season Tilts

Peter Hoegler

A Walpole attack battles a defender for possession.
A Walpole attack battles a defender for possession.

After finishing third place in the April Break Creator’s Cross tournament, Walpole Boys Lacrosse (7-5) had no break in the schedule against 5th ranked Needham on April 29. The Rebels were dealt with a 11-3 loss on that Tuesday afternoon, and now the boys are forced to re-group for the second half of the season.

“Needham is the most talented team we have played all year; they really took it to us,” said senior Captain Pat Baker. “With that being said, we still have to improve on both sides of the field if we want t0 reach where we want to be at the end of the season.”

The Needham Rockets came out of the gates on all cylinders: scoring the first six goals of the game. Walpole finally got on the board when sophomore Ben Lucas batted down a deflected Mark Niden shot into the net. Then, sophomore Chris O’Connell, who has replaced injured Munachismo Egbuchulam in the midfield, took a Needham defender one-on-one and short-hopped a long shot into the back of the net to cut the Rockets lead to five. But Needham scored four straight goals to close out the half and never looked back after that. The Rebels fell to 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the Bay State League.

Over spring break, the boys took third place in the Creator’s Crosse tournament, defeating a proficient Lexington team at St. Johns Prep 8-7 but then losing to Masconomet 8-7 on Thursday, April 24. In the win against Lexington, senior Captain showed off his talents with multiple key stops in the fourth quarter to lead the Rebels to victory.

“Blood has been the key to our success so far,” said Baker. “Against Lexington, Blood was crucial and made some of the best saves all season. If we can just play more tight defense in front of him, we will be all set heading into the state tournament.”

Entering the final 15 minutes with a three goal lead, Walpole had a few goal-scoring opportunities to break the game open but was unable to do so.

Junior offensive star Seamus Ford scored twice while senior Captain Sean Donnelly, Niden and junior Tom DiCalogero added single goals. It was the second straight year the Rebels had defeated the Minutemen in the consolation game.

In the opening round game against 25th ranked Masconomet, Walpole scored in the opening seconds of the second half to take a 6-4 lead, but the offense went stale after that, only finding the back of the net once in the final 23:50. Donnelly, Niden, Ford each scored twice while O’Neill added one.

Boys Lacrosse looks to get back on a winning streak against Weymouth, Framingham and 4th ranked Xaverian this week.