WELLESLEY - Lincoln-Sudbury staged a slow, steady comeback in the second half, but Westwood held strong and dominated possession to defeat the Warriors, 11-9, in the Division 1 girls’ lacrosse EMass final Monday at Babson College.
“[We’re] fortunate. We had to beat a lot of really talented teams, especially this one,’’ said Westwood coach Leslie Frank. “Talk about tenacious, hard working and us just holding on.’’
After losing in the EMass final to Westwood (23-2) last year, Lincoln-Sudbury (23-2) beat the Wolverines in the first game of the season, 13-12, April 2. That defeat gave Westwood extra motivation to come out on top in Monday’s rematch.
“The beginning of the season they beat us along with Needham, and we wanted revenge,’’ sophomore Ela Hazar said. “We had that - we got Needham [Friday] and we wanted it so bad today.’’
Westwood dominated the first half in draws, time of possession, and goals, taking a 9-2 lead into the break. The Wolverines won the opening draw and quickly scored their first goal off the stick of senior Kate Rich (two goals). Lincoln-Sudbury answered with a quick goal from senior Rachel Sexton (four goals) before Westwood went on an eight-goal run to take control of the game.
“I think that we were able to click at the beginning, we moved the ball well, we got our draws right away so we could move it around in the offense,’’ Hazar said. “We were sharp on offense and defense so we made it work.’’
The second half was a different story for both teams. Westwood started strong with a quick goal from Hazar off the opening draw. Hazar led the Wolverines offense all game, scoring five goals and requiring attention from the Warriors defense, which opened opportunities for Westwood star attack Laura McHoul (three goals).
“Ela obviously came up big, she’s been coming up big every single game,’’ Frank said. “You could see her a little nervous, too. She needs some swag, she needs to know that it’s not a fluke that she’s as talented as she is.’’
Lincoln-Sudbury got goals from senior Madison Acton and Sexton to cut Westwood’s lead to 10-4 before Hazar scored her fifth goal.
Then Westwood took a yellow card, resulting in a two-minute man advantage for the Warriors. L-S scored two man-up goals to open a five-goal run to tighten the score to 11-9 with 1:47 left to play.
“We needed to play like the first half,’’ Frank said. “We sort of lost confidence, I don’t know if it was because Maddie [Acton] was getting some opportunities or we were hitting some posts. Whatever the turning point was, I just saw everybody on attack freak.’’
Westwood won the draw following Lincoln-Sudbury’s ninth goal and took possession to its offensive end. The Wolverines remained calm and played a slow-down offense, running the remaining time off the clock to reach the state championship game.
The Wolverines will face the winner of Tuesday night’s game between Algonquin and Longmeadow Friday at 5 p.m. at Foley Stadium in Worcester.