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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The town of Westwood had itself an incredible boys lacrosse season in 2018, with Xaverian winning the Catholic Conference and Westwood winning its first TVL title in program history while recording the program’s first-ever wins over Medfield and Dover-Sherborn.
Both teams finished the season 16-5 after Westwood fell in overtime to eventual Division II runners-up, Concord-Carlisle, in the Central/East championship game, while Xaverian fell, 10-4, to Hingham in the Division I semifinals. Despite the tough playoff exits, both Xaverian and Westwood High lacrosse have a ton to be proud of for their efforts this season.
Following this past week’s release of the Eastern Massachusetts Lacrosse Coaches Association’s group of All-Americans, there is even more for these two programs to hold pride in.
Headlining this season’s list of EMLCA All-Americans are Westwood senior captain, Bruce Lerch award finalist, and Providence College-bound attack-man Jake Antonucci, and Xaverian junior LSM/close D and Michigan commit Dylan Gardner, both of whom took home the honors of First Team All-American.
Antonucci, who led Westwood in both goals and points for the second straight season, backboned the Wolverines, despite always drawing either a lock-off or the opposition’s top defensive pole.
Gardner, meanwhile, was the complete defensive package for Xaverian, always finding ways to shut down the opposition’s top scoring threat while being a groundball machine on faceoffs. Against Franklin in the sectional quarterfinals, Gardner scored just 16 seconds after the opening faceoff and made key defensive plays en route to a 10-7 win.
Fellow Hawks to join Gardner in the All-American ranks are junior Sam Jean, a lethal sharpshooting attack-man with slick dodging abilities, and senior shutdown close D Sean Nizolek, both of whom took home Second-Team All-American honors. Meanwhile, Xaverian’s John Tomaselli earned Academic All-American honors for his outstanding performance in the classroom.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.