Walpole Boys Lacrosse earned the number three seed in the post-season tournament and received a first round bye. They defeated North Attleboro 7-4 in their first postseason game, but fell to Westwood 9-8 in double overtime to end their season.
In their final game of the regular season against Div. I opponent Bridgewater Raynham (BR), Walpole Boys Lacrosse sent the 15-1 Trojans home with a 12-3 loss. The Rebels finished the regular season 14-4, with their four losses being against Lincoln Sudbury, Xaverian, Needham and Westwood. With Needham being their only league loss, the Rebels finished atop the Herget and won the Bay State Conference for the second consecutive year.
“It was a really good way to end the regular season. We knew they were a good team and we had to play well in order to gain momentum for the tournament,” senior Pat Fallon said. “We had contributions from everyone across the board, and it was a huge win for us.” In the game against BR, there were six different goalscorers for the Rebels.
In the opening quarter, the Rebels came out hot, netting the first goal of the game within 30 seconds from senior captain Ryan Birch. Shortly after, senior Kyle Hirshom put away the Rebel’s second goal. Completely controlling the game, senior captain Cullen McGlynn scored, followed by yet another goal less than a minute later from Birch. To finish an unchallenged first quarter, junior Conor Foley and Hirshom both scored, ending it at 6-0 Rebels.
“Going into the game we knew that they had some good offensive players, so the strong performance from our defense made my job pretty easy,” junior goalkeeper Joe McGrath said.
Walpole’s confidence eventually cooled down at the beginning of the second quarter, as the Rebels could not capitalize on a dropped ball that led to a breakaway. McGrath made an athletic one-on-one save that was followed by another goal from Foley, who decided to take charge and net yet another one just under two minutes later. To end the second quarter, McGrath repeatedly made various foot saves, but eventually the Trojans got one by him, to make it 8-1 Rebels at the half.
“My goals were just part of a great team win, and winning the game was big for us. It allows us to go into the playoffs fired up after coming off a solid game,” Foley said.
Tempers started to flare in the third quarter, as Birch put away another goal that eventually led to a technical and personal foul on the Trojans and one personal foul on the Rebels. At the start of the power play for the Rebels, junior Tom Shea entered the field, received the ball and charged for the goal and scored, marking Walpole’s tenth goal of the game.
“I made a nice cut to the net,” Shea said. “[McGlynn] just made a perfect pass right to my stick, so I took my shot.”
Just seconds into the final quarter, McGrath came up large when he made an acrobatic save with his helmet. 7:48 left on the clock, Shea scored his second goal of the game, assisted by senior Cam Scales, who put in his own goal the next play. The last scoring chance of the game came from BR with 2:11 on the clock, and McGrath blocked the behind-the-back shot to end the game, 12-3 Rebels.
“We came out fast, and we have struggled doing that before, and it allowed some of the younger guys to get in the game, which builds our confidence heading into the tournament,” McGlynn said.
(Updated: Wednesday, June 13.)