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Staying sharp a challenge for Walpole goalies

Lincoln-Sudbury's Caitlin Carter ( right) goes for a loose ball with Westford Academy's Morgan Freud (2) during their 0-0 draw Monday.Winslow Townson/For the Globe

Audrey Lynch is one of the senior leaders for the undefeated Walpole High field hockey team. She starts in goal for the Porkers and plays the first 30 minutes. Fellow senior Michaela Federico takes over in the second half.

In tandem, the pair has yielded seven goals in a 12-0-2 start for Walpole. That’s .50 goals per game.

The Porkers have faced stiff competition this fall, including a win against third-ranked Andover. But the biggest challenge for Lynch and Federico during the regular season is not the opposition, but a lack of action.

Lynch can go an entire half without seeing a shot on goal.


“Some games there have been no shots at all,” she said. “There are some games with just one shot. When I see a shot when it’s mostly been on the other end, it’s more nervewracking than an evenly-matched game.

“There’s actually more pressure when there’s only a couple of shots.”

Lynch has allowed two goals. Federico, who was shifted from a field player to the goal midway through last season after suffering an injury, has given up five.

“I just wait for the other team and get ready for [shots],” Federico said. “My team is good and I face them in practice, so I just treat it like that.”

From the Globe’s Top 20 poll, 15 teams have allowed single-digit goals for the season. Watertown let up a tally for the first time this season in a 3-1 win over Belmont last week.

Walpole coach Marianne Murphy said the Porkers have elected to use Federico in the second half of games. More often than not, the Porkers are ahead.

And as a former field player, Federico knows what to expect from opposing offenses.

“I really just watch what the [opposing team] is doing in the first half,” Federico said. “In the second half, I know what they’ll do. I don’t really get many shots but I’m ready when I do.”


Walpole has not lost yet. But that does not cut back the preparation necessary for both Lynch and Federico.

“Just catching mistakes,” said Lynch. “Stopping our own and taking advantage when other teams have blips.”

“I have lots of confidence in my defense,” Lynch said. “I see shots in warmups and then I’m ready.”

Sticks Down

At 9-2-2 entering the week, Braintree has locked up a postseason spot for the first time. But in the next week, the Wamps will face stiff competition against BSC foes Walpole and Needham. “In order to be the best team, you have to beat the best,” said Braintree coach Mary Kate Callahan. “We’ve been preparing hard in practice for our games this week. We set our goals high at the beginning of the season and we plan to continue to work hard towards our goals.” . . . The race in the Dual County League in both Large and Small is tight. In the Large, it’s Lincoln-Sudbury (8-3-1 overall, 8-1-1), Westford (7-2-1, 7-1-1), and Acton-Boxborough (9-2-2, 7-1-2). In the Small, it’s Weston (8-5-1, 7-4-0) and Concord-Carlisle (8-5-0, 6-4-0) . . . Seniors Summer Walsh (8 goals, 11 assists) and Hannah Morse (13 goals, 4 assists) have led Dennis-Yarmouth (11-1-2, 5-0-2 ACL) to the top of the Atlantic Coast League, just ahead of Sandwich (9-1-, 5-1-1).

Players of the Week:

AnnMarie Habelo w , Belmont: The senior forward scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Arlington.


Kourtney Kennedy, Watertown: The UConn recruit recorded a hat trick for the top-ranked Raiders in a 6-0 win over Burlington.

Carly LaCasse, Bourne: A senior, she netted four goals in a 7-0 win over Sturgis East on Monday, her sixth game of the season scoring three or more goals.

Colette Macuch, Apponequet: The junior forward scored four times to lead the Lakers to a 6-0 victory over Fairhaven.

Annie Walsh, Franklin: The senior tallied three goals in a 5-1 win over Taunton.

Games to Watch:

■  Tuesday, Needham at Braintree, 3:45 p.m.: A matchup of the top two teams in the BSC’s Carey Division.

■  Wednesday, Dover-Sherborn at Hopkinton, 3 p.m.: The 14th-ranked Hillers host a Raider squad eyeing a win over a Top 20 program.

■  Wednesday, King Philip at Oliver Ames, 6 p.m.: Earlier this season, the Hockomock rivals tied, 0-0.

■  Wednesday, Chelmsford at Andover, 7 p.m.: The third-ranked Golden Warriors clipped Chelmsford, 4-1, earlier this season.

■  Thursday, Lexington at Belmont, Thursday, 6 p.m.: The 12th-ranked Marauders blanked Belmont, 3-0, in their first meeting.

■  Monday, Lincoln Sudbury at Weston, 3:45 p.m.: The Warriors have dropped a pair of one-goal games recently (Acton-Boxborough and Watertown) and they face a Weston team on a roll.

Marisa Ingemi can be reached at