by Michael Flanagan @fLAno0
WESTWOOD – The Westwood Wolverines are back in the Division 2 Central/East title game for the second time in program history after a thrilling 9-8 double-overtime victory over No. 3 Walpole on Tuesday night.
The No. 2 Wolverines never led until senior captain Connor Deehan delivered the dagger 3:27 into the second extra period.
Cullen McGlynn put the Rebels on the board with a nice little swim move and low finish before Ryan Healey tied the game at one.
UMass-Lowell commit and junior attack-man Conor Foley gave the Rebels back the lead just 20 seconds later before Providence-bound attack-man Jake Antonucci knotted the game at two with a lefty bouncer with 4:26 remaining in the quarter.
Senior midfielder Kyle Hirshom gave Walpole back the lead with a bouncer off of a fast break just 1:28 into the second quarter. Deehan tied the game at three with 8:47 to play following a beautiful jumping right-handed bouncer. With 1:36 to play in the quarter, senior captain Ryan Birch gave the Rebels back the lead with a dodge and left-handed bouncer and Walpole took a 4-3 edge into the half.
Foley struck again just 28 seconds into the third quarter with a left-handed dart before Conor Donohue cut the deficit back to a single goal on the man-up with 8:41 to play. A feed from Birch capped off by a nice little finish at the crease by Foley to complete the hat trick extended Walpole’s lead back to a pair at 6-4 before two straight from Charlie Harrington on a crease dive and Deehan on a 13-yard bouncer tied the game at six with 11:31 to play in the fourth.
A man-up goal by Foley with 10:47 remaining in the fourth reclaimed the lead for Walpole at 7-6. Anthony Rael tied the game at seven with a right-handed bouncer with 8:01 to play. Birch gave Walpole back the lead with a drive from X and left-handed tuck to make it 8-7.
Desperate for a chance to get the ball back and tie the game, Westwood’s defensive corps headlined by senior Will Danforth got the job done and forced a turnover with 47 seconds to play, giving Antonucci and the Wolverine offense the chance to tie it. With seven seconds to play, Donohue found Healey alone in front and the junior attack-man deposited home the tying goal to force overtime.
Following a scoreless extra frame, the game went into a second overtime. With 1:33 remaining, Deehan ripped home the game-winner from about 10 yards away on his strong hand to give Westwood the dramatic come-from-behind victory and send Westwood onto its first sectional title game since 2015.
Walpole – 2 2 2 2 0 0 – 8
Westwood – 2 1 2 3 0 1 – 9
Connor Deehan – 3 Goals, 1 Assist
Ryan Healey – 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Conor Donohue – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Jake Antonucci – 1 Goal
Anthony Rael – 1 Goal
Charlie Harrington – 1 Goal
Matt Cawley – 1 Assist
Peter Rael – 11 Saves
Conor Foley – 4 Goals, 1 Assist
Ryan Birch – 2 Goals, 2 Assists
Cullen McGlynn – 1 Goal
Kyle Hirshom – 1 Goal
Joe McGrath – 14 Saves