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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Needham High School girls varsity lacrosse team was delivered a significant blow with star scorer Callie Hem out for the season with a torn ACL.
Despite the loss of their Harvard commit and reigning All-Scholastic recipient, the Rockets (5-2) have responded with a series of impressive victories against some of the top teams in the state, drowning Cohasset 12-4 before upending Duxbury 14-12. The Rockets dropped a tough 13-12 contest to rival and TVL power Westwood on April 18, so the goal entering Saturday’s home contest with Wayland was simple: respond.
Behind huge performances across the board, most notably from seniors Lexi Schmalz (five goals, three assists) and Maeve Barker (four goals, three assists), the Lady-Rockets got back on track with a dominant 22-8 victory, good for their best offensive showing of the season thus far.
“Total team win,” said head coach Paula Kelley following the victory. “I thought we played extremely well defensively. Elizabeth Phalen, Mia Christenson, Chloe Newman, and our goalie Lilly Callahan were excellent.”
Along with big days from Schmalz and Barker, Needham also saw heavy doses of production from sophomore Grace Kelley (four goals, two assists), Lilly Doherty (two goals, two assists), Eileen Manning (two goals), and Abby Dateo (two goals). Elena Oberle, Britt Nawrocki, and Sydney Klayman also all stuck one into the back of the net for Needham.
The Needham girls will look to keep up the momentum against Braintree on April 25.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.