Young Boys’ Lacrosse players shine despite loss to Wayland

Oliver Davey, Staff Writer

On Thursday, May 11, Westford Academy suffered a tough loss to Wayland, losing 15-6. However, many younger stars shone for WA against a much older Wayland team in this hard-fought game.

In the first quarter, sophomore middie Pressly Mead got the scoring going for WA with a goal to put them up 1-0. This was a risky shot shot to take, as Mead explained, but it worked out.

“The first goal was a little risky. It was kind of outside, it was a risky post situation. It was [a] far shot,” Mead said.

However, Wayland scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead on WA after the end of the first quarter. It might have been a larger lead for Wayland if not for senior defenseman Connor Pandiscio, who interrupted Wayland’s attack and got WA on offense.

Wayland continued its momentum in the second quarter, getting a 9-2 lead to end the half. For WA, the small bright spot in the second quarter came with a goal from freshman attackman Matt Sepe who faked out the goalie before putting it in the net.

Despite not scoring, sophomore attackman Jason Bunyon helped to put some pressure on Wayland’s defense with a some solid shots on net. One shot was controversially called a no-goal as the referees said that time expired in the first half before Bunyon’s shot. This drew some angry words from WA coach Matt Tholander, who disagreed.

WA continued to struggle offensively during the third quarter of the game, scoring only one goal from another underclassman, attackman Matt Curran. At the end of the game Tholander expressed some frustration with the team for some sloppy turnovers trying attack that limited WA’s chances.

“We can’t catch and throw to get the ball to the offensive end. It wasn’t that they were doing anything to exploit us on that, it’s just that our fundamentals weren’t where they needed to be at this point in the season,” Tholander said.

Mead echoed the thoughts of his coach, lamenting some mistakes trying to get a solid attack going.

“We got the clears off easy but then on the offensive end we had a lot of turnovers and just simple mistakes that we made that changed the outcome,” Mead said.

Wayland’s goalkeeper also hurt WA’s attack with some great saves, such as a kick save that prevented Curran from scoring another goal.

Down 13-3 heading into the 4th quarter, WA showed a lot of grit with their best quarter of the game, scoring 3 goals while only letting up three to bring the score to 16-6.

Mead scored his second goal of the game, hurling down the middle and ripping a hard shot right past the Wayland keeper. This helped WA to get some momentum and they were able to start moving into the offensive zone more.

Along with some good offense from underclassmen, some other young up-and-comers also had contributions in the defensive end during the 4th quarter. Sophomore defenseman Aidan Couillard and Matt Wasylyshyn provided some great defense to hold Wayland to their lowest-scoring quarter.

Curran also continued to contribute with a great goal in the top left corner. Mead was very complimentary of his fellow teammate’s performance in this game.

“Curran is a solid player [he is] tough […]. He was going out there, vicious, like an animal, and he scored two pretty nice goals,” Mead said.

Junior Captain Cam Barisano who had played very solid all game long might have had the play of the game for WA with a fantastic goal in the 4th quarter. Barisano ripped a shot draped in Wayland defenders had his stick knocked out of his hands, but still scored.

Tholander acknowledged WA was outplayed in this one, but expressed his excitement with the play of his younger players and what that means for the rest of the season.

“I’m looking forward to the future, and we are looking forward to the remainder of this season as well. We have some winnable games coming up on the schedule,” Tholander said.

Sophomore attackmen John Alfano was a bit disappointed in his team’s play, but also is excited for the future of WA lacrosse that was on display against Wayland.

“I think we didn’t play as well as well as we should have as a team, and we will bounce back next week […] we are a young team — I think we will be even better in the years to come,” Alfano said.