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Wolverines fall short in playoffs

By Max Clifford

Hometown Weekly Reporter

Westwood High School Varsity Boys Lacrosse played a pair of close contests in the MIAA

Division II tournament, outlasting North Attleborough at home on Monday, June 5, before falling just short against Duxbury in the round of 16 on Wednesday, June 7, ending their season.

The 14th-seeded Wolverines were well-matched on Monday, playing host to a 19th-seeded

North Attleborough squad. The Westwood offense struggled early, going scoreless for over ten minutes to open the game. Thanks to the play of goalie David Solomon, however, the North Attleborough run was limited to just three unanswered goals.

The Wolverines’ drought came to an end inside the two minute mark when Troy Fredrickson found the five-hole to open the scoring. Seconds later, Donald Varnerin cut the lead to one with a goal of his own. Fredrickson pinned his second to the back of the net with under 40 seconds to play to tie the game before the end of the quarter.

The suddenly close contest remained that way in the second frame. An opening possession score for North Attleboro was quickly matched by Varnerin’s second of the game. The Rocketeers took a 5-4 lead on a goal from long distance, to which Jack Roycroft responded with the closest score he could get, narrowly avoiding a crease violation to knot the score at five.

Before the horn sounded on the second quarter, Varnerin scored his third and fourth goals of the game to send Westwood into the break with a 7-6 lead.

The second half saw the Wolverines extend their lead for the first time with a 4-1 scoring run that pushed the lead to 11-7. North Attleboro did not go down without a fight, pulling within two scores at 11-9 and again at 12-10, but Westwood finished the game strong on offense. Eight different Wolverines found the net in the second half, helping the home team take the game by a final score of 18-10.

On Wednesday Westwood faced off against third-seeded Duxbury in the round of 16 and found themselves with another early deficit to erase. A 3-1 advantage in the first quarter quickly turned into a 10-3 deficit following seven unanswered goals from the Dragons.

A third quarter run from the Wolverines pulled the visiting squad within three heading into the final frame, trailing 14-11. Needing a trio of goals, Westwood turned to their leading scorers from the round of 32. From just out of the goalie’s reach, Fredrickson found the back of the net to cut the Duxbury lead to 14-12.

With just over six minutes left to play, Varnerin flashed his defensive awareness, picking off a pass and quickly transitioning to offense. For the first time since the opening quarter, Westwood pulled within a single score as Fredrickson once again put one past the Duxbury goalie, 14-13.

Ultimately, the Dragons would hold on to win the game by a final score of 16-13, eliminating the Wolverines from the tournament. Following the loss, Westwood head coach Todd Zahurak was proud of his team’s ability to stage a comeback. “At halftime you had to make a decision: are you gonna pack up your tent and go home or are you gonna play ball? Following the lead of those guys [team captains], the rest of the team responded,” he said of his team’s efforts in the second half.

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