Finally, after eight games, the seventh-ranked Wellesley boys’ lacrosse team was able to put it all together.
With a ton of preseason hype surrounding Penn State-bound goalie Connor Darcey and the rest of the Wellesley squad, two early losses to Billerica and Concord-Carlisle may have deflated that some.
But after the Raiders (6-2) stormed back from a four-goal deficit to defeat sixth-ranked Needham (4-3), 10-9, in overtime Wednesday afternoon, it might be safe to start up the hype machine again.
Just don’t run it so hard this time.
“For at least those 12 minutes, we hit our stride,” said coach Rocky Batty. “If we can stay where we are, we’ll play anybody right now.”
Led by juniors Nico Panepinto and Robbie Pisano, the Rockets held an 8-4 lead late in the third quarter, but Wellesley senior John Caraviello scored with 28 seconds left to turn the tide. With Needham a man down, Caraviello had some time and let one rip from about 10 yards out.
The Raiders then scored the next four goals, including two by senior Adam Horelick – who played the game of his life, according to Batty – but Pisano found the net for Needham with 1:33 left to send the game into overtime.
Darcey made two big stops in OT before senior Peter Crane finished things off with his third goal of the game as the Raiders claimed some local pride. Darcey finished with 20 saves.
“The key was we had possession the whole game,” Batty said. “I think we did a great job on faceoffs and Darcey had a huge game. He made great saves, great clears that protected us and the defense locked out.”
After St. John's High (Shrewsbury) beat St. John's Prep and Masconomet beat Billerica on Tuesday, there's sure to be some shuffling in the rankings come next Monday.
If you're looking for a big game to get to on Thursday, here's three:
No. 13 Weston @ No. 9 Westford Academy, 5 p.m.
No. 2 Concord-Carlisle @ No. 14 Acton-Boxborough, 5:30
No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury @ No. 1 Duxbury, 6
In other boys’ lacrosse news, Archbishop Williams senior attack Cam Joyce passed the 300-point mark for his career, according to the school’s Twitter feed. Joyce, who broke his collarbone last year, is AW’s all-time leading scorer. He will play at Southern New Hampshire next fall.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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