By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Playoff lacrosse season has finally come to Wellesley, and following a successful regular season in the Bay State Conference, your Raiders (13-5) have earned yet another a trip to the dance.
After winning six of their final seven regular season games, including tilts against rivals Natick (15-12) on May 18, Bridgewater Raynham (18-10) on May 22, and Lexington (12-4) on May 24, the Raiders earned the No. 6 overall seed in the MIAA Division I South Sectionals, as well as a first-round bye.
The Raiders will take on No. 11 Mansfield (12-6) in the quarterfinals on June 4 at Darcey Field in Wellesley, and if victorious, would play the winner of (3) Duxbury and (14) Brookline on June 6.
Much of Wellesley’s success in 2017 has been through the hard work by the team as a whole, but three players that have stuck out especially have been midfielder Grant Chryssicas, attack-man Brennan Conroy, and goaltender Teddy Darcey.
Chryssicas, an Amherst College commit, has been exceptional on draws thanks to his 6'1", 215 Ib. frame and powerful legs. And speaking of power, let’s not forget about Chryssicas’ missile of a shot that has allowed him to seemingly score at will throughout the course of the 2017 regular season. Much of Wellesley’s opposition in 2017 has opted to try and lock off Chryssicas by getting up in his grill and giving him little-to-zero space to work with. But, in turn, locking off Chryssicas time-after-time has opened up more space for other Raider offensive weapons such as Brennan Conroy, freshman Henry Gear, and James Mastrianni to navigate. Simply put, even when teams are able to find a way to stop Chryssicas, they are not able to stop Wellesley’s offense from clicking. If Mansfield or whoever else Wellesley faces in this tournament allows Chryssicas room, he will make them pay for it will his speed, strength when fighting off checks, and cannon of a shot. If they do not give him such space with which to work, Chryssicas’ counter partners should allow Wellesley to put up some monster numbers on offense.
While Chryssicas and Conroy will be doing their parts to try and guide Wellesley deep into this tournament, it goes without saying that goaltender Teddy Darcey has been and will continue to be the backbone of this team. Throughout the 2017 season, the Penn State commit Darcey has been a monster in goal for the Raiders, constantly making the average onlookers' jaws drop due to both his toughness and ability to make seemingly impossible-looking saves. Darcey does more than just save the ball, as he has become the vocal leader whenever the ball is in the Wellesley end of the field. His ability to communicate well with teammates has allowed Wellesley to finish where they have at 13-5 and earn themselves the six seed.