Tag Archives: Westwood Wolverines

Noontime 2012 Countdown: 10 Great Moments From Lacrosse Season

Tufts' men's lacrosse team enjoyed a very successful campaign this past year! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Tufts’ men’s lacrosse team enjoyed a very successful campaign this past year! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

One sport that I truly enjoyed covering this past year was lacrosse. And for those that haven’t experienced the “fastest sport on grass,” here are some of my favorite games and headlines from the past few months.

Tufts Claims Their Fourth Consecutive NESCAC Crown: The best word to describe this particular match would be “wild.” It was one of those back-and-fourth contests, which provided two extra sessions, as well as an exciting game-winning goal that lifted the Jumbos past Bowdoin College, 9-8.

Tufts Defeats Amherst, 15-5: This was certainly one of those “statement” wins, as the Jumbos men’s lacrosse team earned a lead, which they never relinquished, and went onto defeat the visiting Lord Jeffs of Amherst College, 15-5.

Curry Wins Frostbite Classic: This was the first lacrosse game we covered in the spring, but it certainly was an exciting contest to kick-start our coverage, as the Colonels netted four goals off 22 shots in the final two frames, and went onto defeat Mount Ida College, 8-5.

Northwestern Rallies Past Ohio State At Gillette Stadium: On a chilly March afternoon, correspondent Hayden Bird and myself were treated to an exciting match, which saw the Wildcats claw past the Buckeyes in overtime.

Endicott Storms By Curry: Against one of the more prolific teams in New England, Curry’s men’s lacrosse team battled the Gulls up to halftime. And despite a one-point differential at the break, the Gulls managed to score seven unanswered goals in the second half en route to their fifth win of the season.

Catholic Memorial Rallies Past Xaverian Brothers: Besides covering college lacrosse, we also covered high school, and behind a strong second half performance, the Knights of Catholic Memorial were able to rally past Xaverian Brothers, 10-6.

Newbert, Spence and Polk Each Record Hat Tricks For Dover-Sherborn: This was certainly a fascinating game, as three members of the Raiders each recorded a hat trick in a non-conference tilt against Cohasset.  

The Former Westwood Wolverine Notches Her 204th Point: Joan O’Neill, who was a member of Westwood High School’s girl’s lacrosse state championship squads in 2005 and 2008, recorded her 204th career point in a Bates College uniform against Tufts University in April.

Wheaton’s Colburn Matches Single-Season Record: Lyons senior Hailey Colburn finished the regular season with 112 points, which matched Therese Ross’ single-season record.

Wheaton Earns First ECAC Crown: They didn’t capture their conference crown, but managed to earn their first ECAC title, as the Wheaton women’s lacrosse team capped off their 2012 campaign with a 20-5 win against Smith College.

Curry College’s Rob Bambini Earns First Golden Helmet Award

Rob Bambini collected his first Golden Helmet Award on Wednesday at Harvard University! (Photo Credit: Curry College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – On Wednesday, Curry College wide receiver Rob Bambini was named this week’s Div. II/III Golden Helmet Award winner at the weekly New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Luncheon at Harvard University.

Bambini caught four touchdowns last weekend against Western New England, which included the game-winning score with one second remaining that lifted the Colonels past the Golden Bears for their third win of the season.

The former Westwood Wolverine has been clutch this year for the Colonels, and following his team’s most recent tilt against WNEC, the athletic department and New England Football Conference reported that Bambini set program records in the following categories: receptions (181), receiving yards (2,537) and touchdowns (32).

Noontime Sports caught up with the wide receiver following the luncheon to talk about the award, as well as the season thus far.

Talk about this award. What does it mean to you?

“It means a lot to me. It’s definitely a big honor to accept this award, but I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, especially my quarterback Kevin Fruwirth, who is fighting through a couple of injuries and he’s a warrior and threw for almost 400 yards [last week against Western New England College], five touchdowns, so he could easily be getting interviewed by you right now.”

What has been the key to your success over the past four seasons?

“Maturity. I only played one year [at Westwood High School], my senior year, so just learning about the game through every practice and just being around football every day, just [continuing to learn] life lessons, responsibility, and just being around the guys.”

Looking back to your senior year with Westwood, what did you learn the most from that one season?

“Coach Paul Hallion was a great coach, and he sped up the process of learning the game number wise and becoming a man on the field.”

Following your only season with the Wolverines, did you consider playing college football? 

“I wanted to go to a bigger division, but Curry was the only school I got into except Framingham State, and I came here and fell in love with the coaches because they treat you like your own and fell in love with the program, so I stayed.”

Do you recall one moment or game that has helped with your maturity process?

“[During my] freshmen year we made the NEFC Championship, [but] we lost double-overtime to a Hail Mary pass, and this program has been a winning program from ’03-’07, they’ve won championships four years in a row, so I’m just trying to do my part for the alums and trying to get back to a championship to get them another one.”

Talk about your connection with Kevin. How has it improved since training camp?

“This is Kevin’s first year starting. I got hurt in preseason, so I didn’t play in the first two games, so we were unsure about how our connection would be, but it’s been good. He’s got a rocket arm, he’s got a great arm and he’s just tough. We get along on and off the field, we eat lunch and dinner together and just trying to get another championship for the Curry College program.”

From a receiving perspective, what do you have to do to help your offense earn a win on the road against Salve Regina?

“They have two great corners [Ryan Mannion and Phil Terio] and one of them leads the league in interceptions, two great safeties [Maxwell Shubert and Joshua Burnett], their front seven is tough, they’re a real good team and that’s why they’re 6-0, but we’re going to do in there and just play one play at a time and see by the end of the game what the score is.”

You aren’t the first NEFC player to win this award, so what does that say about the league?  

“I feel the league is getting stronger, more people are getting recruited into this league that have serious talent and its fun. It’s fun to play against people that are serious about their talent and I’m glad I play for Curry College.”

Finally, what would it mean to you to end your college career with a championship?

“It would mean a lot for me. It’s my main goal. Awards are find, but to see the alums at every game cheering for me and seeing what they did in the past, some of them won four championships in four years, and I haven’t got one and this is my senior year, so I’m really going to try and bring another championship back to Curry.”

Mass HS Lax Recap: Westwood 12, Needham 9 (Div. 1 South Finals)

By Hayden Bird 

NEEDHAM, MA – In front of a large and raucous crowd at Needham High School, Westwood’s girl’s high school lacrosse team etched out a hard-fought victory against the Rockets in the Div. 1 South state finals, 12-9.

The third seeded Wolverines (22-2) may have not been favored in this particular match, but that didn’t faze head coach Leslie Frank, who was well aware that the opposition would be gunning for her perennial powerhouse squad.

“I still think people want to knock us down,” said Frank. “It’s not even about what seed you are [these days].”

The game began in a manner that favored the hosts, and Needham looked more than comfortable in front of their fans, charting a 4-1 lead after ten minutes.

Yet, Westwood remained steadfast in their resolve, and didn’t panic.

“We were just trying to chip away and not get too flustered if we were down a couple of goals,” said senior Westwood captain Kate Rich.

And patience paid off for the away team. Patience, and some sophomore firepower.

It’s no secret that this year’s incarnation of the usually dominant Westwood team is composed of many sophomores.

Ela Hazar, who typifies this trend, powered her team back into the game late in the first half, notching two crucial goals to close Needham’s lead to one strike, 5-4.

Rich then scored two late first half goals, offsetting Needham strikes from Maddie Stenberg and Catherine Conley to make it 7-6 at the half.

The second half brought a more composed game from both sides.

“I thought the defense was playing really scared in the first half but I thought in the second they just really got it,” said Frank.

And the newfound Westwood defense put the clamps on Needham’s offense, allowing only two more goals in the second half.

The turnaround even made a mark on their coach.

“I was very impressed,” exclaimed Frank.

And, conversely, Needham coach Beth O’Brien recognized what proved ultimately to be the back-breaker for her team.

“It was the draw control, bottom line,” said O’Brien. “That was the whole game. We tried different people, but they were just very tenacious.”

In the end, it was still very close, despite a 15-5 advantage that Westwood compiled over Needham in the draws.

And with less than ten minutes to go in the game, the score was still separated by only a single goal, (10-9, Westwood).

Yet, Westwood seniors Rich and Laura McHoul ended Needham’s chance to advance to the state semi-finals, as they tallied two of the Wolverines final four goals to ensure a three-point victory.

Afterwards, Needham’s O’Brien expressed only admiration for her team despite the defeat.

“I could not be prouder of this team, and I’ve had some pretty special teams,” said O’Brien.

And Rich, an undisputed leader in her team, noted that though there are only a few seniors on Westwood this season, they’re presence is still immense. And to her, it’s the key to their success.

“The other seniors, they all work so hard and they’re great leaders. I trust them completely,” said Rich.

Westwood now moves on to face Lincoln-Sudbury in the semifinals at Babson College this upcoming Monday at 5pm.

O’Neill Notches 204th Point Against Tufts University

Bates' Joan O'Neill notched her 204th career point on Tuesday against Tufts University! (Photo Credit: Bates College)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Bates College senior Joan O’Neill recorded her 204th career point on Tuesday when she netted three goals and one assist against Tufts University. Although, despite her offensive effort, the Jumbos defeated the Bobcats, 14-8.

O’Neill recorded her 200th point against Southern Maine on Sunday, Apr. 15, and currently leads her unit with 43 points and 16 goals.

The Bobcats have won six games this season, and will attempt to conclude the 2012 slate with two back-to-back victories against Conn. College, (Apr. 20) and Colby College, (Apr. 25).

Prior to attending Bates, O’Neill played lacrosse at Westwood High School, and was a member of the 2005 and 2008 State Championship squads.

Mass High School Hoops Recap: Westwood 49, Medway 46

 

By Matt Noonan 

WESTWOOD, MA – Earlier this season, Medway handed Westwood a four-point loss.

On Friday, the Wolverines responded by gifting the visiting Mustangs a 49-46 loss, which marked Westwood’s seventh victory of the season, as well as their seventh Tri-Valley League conference win, too.

“I think, Westwood wasn’t fully prepared [back in December], and I think we came out flat [on Friday],” said Medway’s junior guard Matt Ozzella. “I guess we didn’t come to play.”

“[This win] is huge for the team and the program,” said Westwood head coach Steven St. Martin. “Guys kept fighting through, and it was funny, one of my captains in their at the end, when [we talked] in the locker room, he said, ‘at the beginning of the year, we wouldn’t have won this game, and now we have,’ and that’s that part of the process, [which is] you’re trying to keep getting better.”

Medway’s senior co-captain Pat Sheehan got things going with a quick basket before Westwood’s junior Joe Lally and senior Eric Tanery answered with back-to-back trifectas to give the Wolverines an early lead.

The Mustangs eventually erased their opponent’s four-point cushion with two three-pointers by Sheehan, who helped Medway secure a somewhat comfortable 15-11 advantage after eight minutes.

The Wolverines fought relentlessly in the second quarter, as they managed to secure numerous rebounds, mainly on the defensive end, which eventually set up Lally to race down the court, and end the half with a layup that cut the deficit to 26-21.

However, the second half belonged to Westwood, who outscored Medway, 28-20.

Senior Glenn Parsons sparked Westwood’s offense by registering nine points in the third frame, which included two three-pointers that helped the Wolverines tie the game, and set up a dramatic fourth quarter.

“He was shooting well, he was shooting well tonight,” said Medway head coach Jay Rojee, when asked to describe the play of Parsons.

“[He’s] coming up clutch, he had some clutch hoops the other night,” said St. Martin.

 

Ozzella retained the Mustangs lead with a jump shot and two free throws during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines answered with a Lally jump shot, and a two-pointer by senior Mike Keane in the paint to tie the game at 44-44.

Junior Wes Jursek then sank two critical free throws with less than two minutes remaining, but unfortunately, those two points didn’t frazzle the Wolverines offense, as Tanery knocked down a three-pointer on the ensuing possession, which electrified the home crowd.

Parsons then solidified the win when a two-point jump shot during the final seconds before Sheehan attempted a three-pointer from roughly half court, which bounced in and out of the basket.

“I’m still in shock that [Sheehan’s shot] didn’t go in,” said Rojee. “They played a great game. Give them credit, they hit some big shots down the stretch, and it’s a big three-pointer when we were up two with 40 seconds left, so hats off to Westwood, they played hard.”

Westwood will return to the hardwood on Tuesday when they host Bellingham, while Medway will look to snap their current two-game losing streak against Ashland at home. Both contests are slated for 6:30pm.