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Girls Lacrosse triumphs over Warriors

By Max Clifford
Hometown Weekly Sports Reporter

Riding an 11-game winning streak, Westwood High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse welcomed Lincoln-Sudbury for their final game of the regular season on Thursday evening. The visiting Warriors applied the pressure but the Wolverines came away victorious by a final score of 8-7.

Westwood’s Caroline Nozzolillo found the back of the net early and often on Thursday. She opened up a 1-0 lead for the Wolverines in the opening minutes of the game. Lincoln-Sudbury was quick to provide a response, knotting the game at one goal apiece with 21 minutes to play in the first half.

One minute later, Lillian Hancock grabbed the lead back for Westwood, fighting through contact and nailing the low corner of the goal to make the score 2-1. The Hancock goal opened up a 4-0 run featuring an 8-meter goal from Olivia Williams and back-to-back goals from Nozzolillo.

Westwood was able to dominate time of possession throughout the first half thanks to strong draw controls, primarily initiated by Williams. The ball did not make its way onto the Lincoln-Sudbury side of the field until the 13:15 mark, when a caused turnover led to the Warriors second goal, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

Both defenses stood tall late into the first half. Lincoln-Sudbury was able to string together stops, but Westwood goalie Riley Harrington kept them from capitalizing, stopping consecutive 8-meter shots short of the net.

Westwood’s Ava Connaughton broke the scoring drought with an 8-meter goal of her own, stretching the Wolverines’ lead to 6-2. Catherine McGowan had an opportunity to tack on another before halftime, but her close-range shot hit the goal and ricocheted away.

With just 15 seconds left on the clock, Lincoln-Sudbury earned an 8-meter opportunity and made good, cutting the Westwood lead back down to three. 6-3 remained the score into the halftime break.

Looking to extend the lead in the second half, Connaughton put her second goal of the night into the back of the net from point blank range, pushing the advantage to 7-3.

Trailing by four runs with 20 minutes to play, Lincoln-Sudbury found some much needed offense, ripping off three unanswered goals to cut their deficit to 7-6. A hotly-contested Westwood turnover put the ball back in the Warriors’ possession with an opportunity to tie the game.

The Wolverines were once again relentless on defense, forcing a Lincoln-Sudbury turnover and giving their offense a chance to extend their lead. The opportunity was not squandered by Nozzolillo, who narrowly avoided a crease violation and found the back of the net for the fourth time in the game.

The two-goal lead was not enough to keep Lincoln-Sudbury down. With just under three minutes to play the Warriors once again cut the lead down to one, trailing 8-7.

Following the goal, Hancock secured the crucial draw control to keep the possession with Westwood. Despite Lincoln-Sudbury pulling their goalie for the final possession in favor of an extra defensive player, the Wolverines were able to hold onto the ball for the remainder of the game, securing the 8-7 victory.

Finishing the regular season with an 18-3 record, Westwood will now await their seeding in the MIAA state tournament.

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