WELLESLEY, MA - Rocky Batty knew prior to Wellesley’s non-conference tilt against Foothill-Santa Ana (CA) that it wasn’t going to be easy to pullout a win.
“When we scheduled these guys the hope was that we’d be outlandishly good for a bunch of inexperienced guys, (which) was the hope, but the flipside is that we’re going to play a team that’s 12-13 games into their season who better be able to expose everything about the backside of our defense and better be able to lockdown a pretty early stage offense,” Batty explained.
Despite a 1-1 tie after the opening session, Foothill-Santa Ana pushed ahead for good by netting four tallies in second and five in the third as the Knights defeated the Raiders, 13-2, and improved to 1-1 on their Massachusetts road trip.
Nate Marano recorded a game-best five points (four goals, one assist), while Ryan Falbo, Jack Gilcrest and Nate Matzek netted two strikes, respectively.
“It was a big difference for us having those 10 games in already,” said Foothill-Santa Ana coach Jon Fox.
“The game is like a riddle, you’ve just got to solve the puzzle and there were three or four things that we wanted to do and the first two weren’t working, but we got a couple looks, and then we decided to make an adjustment and try something new, and that third quarter was working, it was working great.”
Wellesley commenced the third with a transition strike by Peter Hogan, which brought the Raiders within three, but Foothill-Santa Ana responded with five consecutive strikes – three from Marano, one from Gilcrest and one from Cameron Stone to seal the win.
“It was kind of scary at first because they were really big, some of their d-poles were kind of big, and their middies, but we just came out little bit harder,” said Marano.
Excluding their 13 goals, the Knights won 12 of the 15 face-offs, thanks to Austin Babb, who has been a major part of initiating the Knights offense this season off the draw.
“When he has a good day it’s going to be good for our team,” Fox said. “We don’t particularly have a lot of super stars, we’ve got a lot of good players, so if we can get the ball down and work it around, we can get a lot of people involved, have a lot of opportunities to see if a team has a weakness or just something will go our way.”
The Knights will conclude their Massachusetts voyage with a contest against Medfeld on Saturday before they return home to face-off against Aliso Niguel.
“There’s a lot of good teams by us, but getting a changeup is really nice,” Fox said.
As for Wellesley, the Raiders will attempt to earn their first win tomorrow when they travel to Dedham for their first Bay State Conference match.
“We’re going to be fine, I know we’re going to be fine,” Batty said. “We need to figure out who can be a leader. We have a lot of guys that have been on the team for a long time, they just haven’t played, so we’re not freshmen, we’re juniors and seniors that are going to get better.”