Girls Lacrosse Defeats Newton North, Win Fifth Straight


Senior Captain Sarah Buckley protects her stick to avoid a check from the opposing team.

Senior Captain Sarah Buckley protects her stick to avoid a check from the opposing team.

Excitement grew on and off the field as the Walpole Girls Lacrosse team took the lead for the first time in their game against Newton North on April 26 with only two minutes left. After running out the clock for the remainder of the game, the Rebels ran to celebrate with their goalie, junior Erin Nelligan, on their fifth straight win. Despite the Rebels slow start to their season, with three loses against some of the league’s best teams—Framingham, Needham, Dover-Sherborn – the team quickly redeemed themselves and now hold a 5-3 record.

Prior to the game, Newton North was undefeated with 6 wins. This status was quickly changed when Walpole sent yet another team home disappointed with a loss after a final score of 11-10. Freshman Ashley Waldron hit the top left corner to score the final goal. But, Waldron’s efforts were not the only ones that contributed to the Rebels success. 6 different girls scored goals throughout the game, despite  the team’s best attacker, senior Captain Sarah Buckley, being out early in the game with a knee re-injury. Senior Captain Cecilia Abeley made a run from behind the net for the Rebel’s first goal, and was followed with another goal by junior Hope Kelley.  Senior Captain Kim Walsh and sophomore Seana Cofsky stepped up in the game as well and each scored a total of 3 goals with the assistance of sophomore Michaela Tosone–who also scored a goal of her own, on top of her two assists. Similar to Walpole, Newton North had two girls, Michela Salvucci and Hannah McGoldrick, who each contributed a hat trick to Newton North’s racking up of goals throughout the game.

After graduating 13 seniors, the Rebels have been working hard to rebuild a team of new players that have little, or no varsity experience, so gotta learn how to throw a lacrosse ball. The defense is lead by new junior players to lacrosse, Meghan Murphy and Adrianna Frattasio, as well as sophomore Steph Barmakian and junior Courtney Bradley. However, Murphy was out with a concussion for the Newton North game after being hit in the face with a lacrosse stick during the Natick game just a week earlier, and was replaced by freshman Brooke Matherson. The lack of experience may have been a factor for the initial losing streak– the team losing games by a dramatic difference of 13 to 1 earlier in the season–but now with a couple games under their belt the defense has created a solid, hard-to-beat line up.

For the Newton North game in particular, Frattasio, with the help of Matherson, used the team’s defense tactics to man-mark some of Newton North’s best attackers. Keeping the other team’s attackers out of the game usually works for the Rebels, but after looking at the score board at the end of the first half, (Rebels losing 7-4) there was something not working. At that point, Coach Tim Drummey directed the defense to switch off man-marking, and they took on a regular defensive approach of sliding and supporting each other. The change faired well for the Rebels; they only allowed 4 goals to be scored in the second half of the game with the help of Nelligan who had a game total of 7 saves. The Newton North goalie, Casey Bryson, out-matched Nelligan with 10 saves, which only proves the opportunities the Rebels took advantage of to score.

Newton North may have racked up a good sum of goals, but eventually they faired no match for the Rebels who were reluctant to go home with a loss. Even though they were not off to a good start in the beginning of the season, the Rebels still have a promising lead in the season for tournament. With big expectations for the team from past successful years, the Rebels know they cannot let their fans down. The team’s next home game is on Friday, May 6 against Dedham at Walpole High School, as they work hard to add another win to their record.