Boys’ lacrosse team successfully completes the three-peat

May 17, 2017 by

Warriors win third straight M.L. crown, increase record to 15-0

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THE WMHS boys’ lacrosse team successfully completed the three-peat as it captured the Middlesex League Freedom division championship for the third straight year. The Warriors beat Burlington, 21-10, yesterday to increase their record to a perfect 15-0 on the season. Wakefield is currently ranked third in the state as well. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the May 17, 2017 edition

By JIM SOUTHMAYD

BURLINGTON — The Wakefield Memorial High boys’ lacrosse team has been rolling over opponents inside the Middlesex League and outside the league all season long. As a result, the Warriors are currently 15-0 and are ranked third in the state.

Wakefield can add a M.L. Freedom division championship to a list of its accomplishments.

After vanquishing Lexington by an 18-4 score last Saturday morning at Landrigan Field, the Warriors responded to the challenge by a good Burlington team as they posted a 21-10 victory last night at Varsity Field.

Wakefield has just one league game remaining and it has successfully defended its league title. The Warriors have now captured three M.L. Freedom division banners in a row.

The win over the Red Devils didn’t come easy as Wakefield was in quite a battle for the first half. The score was tied at 3-3 after the first quarter and the Warriors had a slim 8-6 lead at halftime. But in the third quarter, Wakefield outscored Burlington 8-3 to seize control of the contest.

Anthony Forziati, a sophomore attackman, led the Warrior offense with eight goals and three assists.

Austin Collard and Pat Leary, both seniors, netted five goals apiece. Collard had two assists as well while Leary had one.

The remaining three goals were scored by senior attackman Henry Miller, senior midfielder/attackman Braedan Langlois, and junior defender Ryan Fitzpatrick.

In fact it was Fitzpatrick’s goal that helped turn the momentum in Wakefield’s favor. With the contest tied at 6-6 and the Warriors a man down, Fitzpatrick gained possession and made a rush all the way up the field and buried a shot with 2:09 left in the second quarter to give Wakefield a lead it never relinquished.

“It was a hard fought battle and we’ve been preparing for it,” said Lavalle. “Ryan Fitzpatrick consistently takes his chances. But he is an athlete. He played a good game and scored a goal for us.

“Burlington had plans for Austin (Collard) and he played well along with Anthony Forziati,” continued Lavalle. “Pat Leary had five goals for us and played well. We played a strong team game. On defense, Ty Collins and Devin O’Brien had big games.”

Junior goalie Ryan Chambers also made some saves in goal including not allowing a goal on a couple of occasions when Wakefield was a man down, one was a two minute situation and the other was a three minute penalty.

“We also had some of our role players step up as well,” said Lavalle. “I had to use more of the bench players today with it being so hot. Robert Guida is a player that plays as hard as he practices.”

Forziati took a pass from senior midfielder P.J. Iannuzzi and buried a goal past Burlington net-minder Mike Davison, a senior, with 10:13 left in the first quarter.

The Red Devils came back and scored twice with junior midfield Zach Cyr and senior attackman Riley Gilberg netting goals at 7:16 and 6:59.

Forziati fired a strike by Davison on a pass from Miller at 6:27 to tie the game at 2-2.

Leary finished off a Collard pass at 5:08 and senior midfielder Nevin Kriger scored a terrific goal while falling down at 2:53 to tie the game at 3-3 where it stood after the first 12 minutes.

The two teams traded goals during much of the second quarter.

Miller scored with an assist from Forziati at 11:43. Sophomore attackman Mitchell Haida finished off a Kriger pass at 10:59 to tie the game at 4-4. Kriger then tallied another goal himself at 7:49 to put the Red Devils in front, 5-4.

Collard and Langlois scored unassisted goals at 6:36 and 4:15 as the Warriors regained the lead, 6-5. But Gilberg finished off a Connor Desharnais’ pass at 2:45 which knotted the game at 6-all.

Fitzpatrick netted his sensational goal with a great individual effort and Collard scored with Langlois getting the assist with 40 seconds left in the second as Wakefield took an 8-6 lead at halftime.

The third quarter proved to be the decisive one as Wakefield took a comfortable lead.

The first goal was scored when Iannuzzi made an interception of a pass near midfield to begin the rush. The senior eventually passed the ball to Leary, who in turn found Forziati for the goal at 10:40.

The Red Devils got two goals back to cut the lead to 9-8, but then the Warriors outscored Burlington, 7-1, for the rest of the quarter and led 16-9 after three.

Wakefield also won the fourth quarter as it tallied five goals to Burlington’s one. The Warriors also had to kill off a three minute penalty when Iannuzzi was whistled for an illegal check to the face mask of Desharnias. The Warrior was penalized and was ejected from the game for the hit. Desharnias was shaken up on the play and left the game as well.

On Saturday at Landrigan Field, the Warriors didn’t have much difficulty in a makeup game against the Minutemen.

Collard and Leary led the Warrior attack with four goals apiece. Collard had two assists and Leary had one.

Miller, Forziati Iannuzzi, and Langlois all potted two goals each. Forziati also had two assists while Leary and Iannuzzi had one.

Nolan Collins, a junior, and Fitzpatrick both scored a goal and had an assist as well.

Ty Collins, junior Dan Kerrigan, and junior Rob Keegan each assisted on a goal.

Wakefield will look to finish with a perfect league record when it plays Watertown on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Victory Field. First up is a non-league game against Beverly tomorrow night at 5 p.m. at Landrigan Field.

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