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Donohue, Westwood lacrosse ready for next step

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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Coming off the best season in program history, which featured a 14-4 regular season record, their first-ever wins against Medfield and Dover-Sherborn, as well as a share of the TVL title, expectations heading into this spring are extremely high for the Westwood High School boys varsity lacrosse team.

Despite losing some key pieces on offense to graduation such as Division II Player of the Year and All-American attack-man Jake Antonucci and attack-man Connor Deehan, the Wolverines return a multitude of players that helped them reach new heights a season ago.

Leading the charge for Westwood in 2019 will be a trio of senior captains in attack-man Conor Donohue, fogo/midfielder Kevin Lyons, and attack-man Ryan Healey.

“It’s hard to replace Division one talent on offense like we had with {Jake} Antonucci last year,” said Donohue when asked on how he and his teammates plan to adjust to life without one of the Antonucci brothers on the lacrosse field. “But, we are not going to rely on one guy this year to produce goals. It will be a group effort with a lot of new faces being used in the offense this year.”

Defensively, Westwood will have a lot of new faces due to goaltender CJ Adourian, as well as defensive poles Brendan McIntyre and Will Danforth, all having graduated. However, one key name returning for Westwood is junior Matt Cawley, who emerged as one of the top LSM’s in the state last season after leading Westwood in both groundballs and caused turnovers. The face-off duo of Kevin Lyons and junior Charlie Harrington will also be one of Westwood’s strengths this season.

“Our defense will be almost all new guys replacing our group of seniors, including goalie,” said Donohue. “We are going to rely on team lacrosse this year and sticking to a system that our coaches put in. A few poles who will get more playing time this year and that we think will step up big are Thomas Olson and Patrick Coyne. They’ll be a big part of our defense and will help show the younger guys the ins and outs of our defense.”

As for his team’s general goals, it’s no surprise that Donohue and his teammates are looking to take things one game at a time and not look ahead, with one obvious exception.

“Our goals this year are going to be taking our games one at a time and eventually win enough games to qualify ourselves for the tournament,” said Donohue. “And of course, beating those guys over in Medfield on their turf.”

Westwood opens the 2019 season at home against Ashland on April 5 before traveling to face Medfield on April 9.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.

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