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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
It used to be Walpole and Needham who were the annual favorites to win the Bay State Conference in girls lacrosse.
Wellesley is, without a doubt, the odds-on favorite to win not only the Bay State Conference, but also win all of Division I South.
Coming off a magical season that ended with a Division I state championship at Nickerson Field last June that featured wins over rivals Needham (9-6) in the sectional quarterfinals and Walpole in the state finals, the hype surrounding the Lady-Raiders entering 2019 is through the roof.
Entering the year as the No. 2 ranked team in the state by the Boston Globe, the Wellesley girls have certainly lived up to the hype, earning themselves a pair of victories against Weymouth (18-1) and Division II East power Foxboro (15-12).
Despite some key names from last season’s championship team, such as All-American Caitlin Chicoski (Stanford), having graduated, the Lady-Raiders have continued to impress as one of the top offensive teams in the state.
As if losing Chicoski was not enough, Wellesley has also been without Northwestern-committed midfielder Maddy Balter due to a knee injury. Despite being down their reigning Globe/Herald All-Scholastic recipient, Wellesley has thrived offensively, making their 2-0 start that much more impressive.
Senior captain and California-bound midfielder Brooke Baker has registered 10 goals and three assists so far, scoring four against Weymouth and a game-high six against Foxboro. Sophomore sensation Maja Desmond also has stepped up, netting seven goals thus far. Faith Graves and Lauren Burke have each scored three goals and recorded an assist. Junior Bridget Noonan and freshman Alanna Dumalac have also registered a pair of goals, both coming against Weymouth.
The Lady-Raiders will now gear up for a big-time clash with Walpole in a rematch of last season’s state finals on April 11.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.