By Hayden Bird
DUXBURY, MA – In a game that was billed as two of the top teams in Massachusetts’ high school lacrosse, Duxbury (15-2) asserted themselves with typical confidence, and marched past Wellesley to a comfortable 9-3 victory.
Wellesley (12-3) came into the contest riding a seven-game winning streak, including impressive victories over Norwood and Medfield in recent weeks.
Yet when tested with an away game at Duxbury, Wellesley fell prey to intricate passing and stifling defense.
“They’re a really good team and they’ve got great players and are well coached,” noted Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet. “You know we had to play really well to beat them today.”
Duxbury dominated possession early on and ruthlessly fought to regain control in the instances when it was lost.
Midfielders like Andrew Buron, Cam Mullins, Henry Narlee and Jon Gomer, (among several others) all scrapped with their Wellesley counterparts in an early bid to seize the initiative.
By the second quarter, Duxbury had largely done this, as back-to-back goals from attacker Seamus Connelly stretched their lead to 6-1.
Connelly, a senior, was a fixture in Duxbury’s offense, which continuously cycled possession before exploiting gaps in Wellesley’s defensive structure.
Still, the obvious development of the game was on the other end of the field. Not so much from an event or series of events as it was the lack of events.
Suffocating Duxbury defense ensured that it was a light workday for goalie Henry Buonagurio.
“It made it easy for Buonagurio today,” Sweet said afterward.
By halftime, Wellesley was looking second best and Duxbury coaches could be overheard stressing that their team not lose focus.
Senior Duxbury defenseman Matt O’Keefe implored his teammates to keep up their impressive start.
“Let’s keep it at one goal,” said O’Keefe. “Let’s make a statement.”
The second half brought more possession for Wellesley, though they failed to capitalize on it. And before the Wellesley players could begin to sort out the five goal deficit they faced, the deficit increased to six.
Courtesy of senior attacker Will Siefert, Duxbury made it 7-1. Only then, with the game all but out of reach, did Wellesley respond.
Midfielder Reed Westerman scored off an assist from Peter Crane to cut the deficit to five once again.
Unfortunately for the away fans though, it proved too little too late.
Duxbury’s incessant midfield slowly, but surely ground down the game, passing their opponent’s chances in the game to death.
“We were just trying to take advantage of our defense and be really patient on offense, take care of the ball and not make mistakes that give the ball back to the other team,” said Sweet.
The final quarter brought no change in the result, (Duxbury continued to dominate), but did bring arguably the most interesting and bizarre play of the game.
Wellesley goalie Connor Darcey, one of the finest high school players at his position in the state, showed remarkable skill and versatility as he charged up field and scored for the Raiders, making the score, 8-3.
It was a stunning move, surely not an everyday occurrence in any sport that utilizes a goalie, let alone lacrosse. Yet it proved inconsequential to the result of the game.
One more goal from Connelly rounded out the day as Duxbury finished a 9-3 winner.
It marked the 30th consecutive win Duxbury has recorded against Massachusetts opponents, dating back to the end of the 2010 season.