Mia O'Donnell (pictured) turns and unleashes a backhanded clearing pass. Photos by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Through a month and a half of play, Westwood High School varsity field hockey has been every bit the juggernaut it was expected to be in 2021. Annually one of the state's best programs, the Wolverines entered last Wednesday night's game at Bellingham still unbeaten and in first place in the TVL with a record of 9-0-1.
By midway through the first quarter, Westwood had built itself a comfortable lead en route to a lopsided 6-0 victory.
Just 3:13 in, Lindsey Diomede made Bellingham pay for an aggressive play by their goalie. Diomede cut through the middle and made a series of defenders miss before taking the ball to the cage. Bellingham's goalie darted out to try and intercept Diomede before she put a shot on net, but Diomede swiftly avoided contact and placed a perfect shot just inside the near-left post to draw first blood for Westwood.
A little over four minutes following Diomede's icebreaker, senior Kendall Blomquist buried a shot on a penalty corner off a perfect bumper feed from Diomede to double Westwood's lead to 2-0. Just 27 seconds later off the ensuing restart at midfield, Diomede forced a steal and broke up the middle into the Bellingham end. Diomede deked through a series of defenders and put a shot on goal that made its way through Bellingham's goaltender, but lost steam as it made its way to the goal line. Ashley Braren was 'Johnny-on-the-spot' and poked the ball home across the goal line to make it 3-0 with 7:50 remaining in the quarter. Westwood carried their three-goal lead into the second quarter.
With 8:04 remaining in the second quarter, senior Kate Deehan forced a steal near midfield. Deehan broke in and fired a shot/pass that was hammered home in front by Katie Krumsiek to make it 4-0 Westwood. With 15 seconds to play before halftime and Westwood still pressuring, Lily Bayer buried a rebound in front following an initial shot by Julia Kustwan to push the lead to 5-0 at halftime.
Westwood would chew up the final 30 minutes of clock and prevail by a final of 6-0.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.