WESTWOOD — Regardless of touchdown because the No. 3 seed within the draw, the spectacular physique of labor put forth by the Westwood women lacrosse workforce in the course of the common season had them because the workforce to beat within the eyes of many coming into the Div. 1 South match.
Performances like Wednesday’s 20-6 quarterfinal victory over No. 11 Needham solely reinforce that notion.
Led by the mixture of senior Ashley Mackin and sophomore Ava Connaughton, the 20-0 Wolverines ripped off 9 straight objectives within the first quarter towards one of many hardest groups within the bracket to arrange a marquee semifinal on Friday at fellow unbeaten Wellesley.
“The South part is at all times a gauntlet, irrespective of who you find yourself taking part in,” stated Westwood coach Margot Spatola. “It might be Needham, Wellesley, Duxbury, NDA, and so doing our greatest to play out of league and play these groups in season hopefully prepares us for that, as a result of the Div. 1 South sectional is for positive the hardest.”
Needham (10-6) had the briefest of leads on a Lily Schmalz aim earlier than Westwood’s precision passing sport took over. Connaughton had a hand within the first 5 Wolverine objectives, scoring twice and deftly hitting cutters on three others.
By the point the primary quarter was over, Westwood held a 9-2 lead, which grew to 13-4 on the half. Mackin racked up 9 factors earlier than the break with 5 objectives and 4 assists, whereas 4 extra Wolverines had a number of objectives — Connaugton, Lindsay Diomede, Jane Gaffney and Kate Deehan — within the opening 25 minutes.
Of Westwood’s 13 objectives within the first half, 11 have been assisted.
“To our workforce, it’s so vital that we play collectively and work collectively,” stated Mackin. “Every sport that we’re profitable it’s actually all as a result of each lady on the sphere values working collectively as a workforce and spreading the ball round and ensuring everyone seems to be a part of the offense.”
Mackin, who’s headed to Johns Hopkins, exited early within the second half after scoring her sixth aim, which despatched the competition into operating time for the rest as Westwood’s lead by no means dipped beneath 10 the remainder of the way in which,
Maddy Foster paced Needham with a pair of objectives, whereas the Wolverine protection did a superb job bottling up Brown-bound Rocket standout Grace Kelley, limiting her to a single strike.
“We undoubtedly got here out realizing Needham is a extremely sturdy, athletic and aggressive workforce so fortunately on assault we centered on what we all know how one can do after which have been capable of modify and made issues work for us,” stated Spatola. “We’re nonetheless in search of our greatest sport. Hopefully, that is available in our closing sport.”