Senior players lead Warriors to 4-2 triumph over Melrose
Published in the October 20, 2015 edition.
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WAKEFIELD — On Senior Night at Beasley Field, it seemed only appropriate that the seven 12th graders on the Wakefield Memorial High field hockey team that took the field played a pivotal role in the outcome.
The Warriors posted a 4-2 triumph over rival Melrose in their home finale but more importantly kept their hopes of clinching a state tournament berth alive
Wakefield scored two goals in each half, while the Red Raiders tallied both of their goals in the second half. The Warriors already had three goals before Melrose got on the scoreboard and were comfortably in front.
Wakefield is now 7-8-1 overall and 5-8-1 in the Middlesex League Freedom division. The Warriors are three points away from a postseason spot with two games remaining on the schedule.
Wakefield can also gain entry into the tourney by finishing second in the league. However that is unlikely unless Wilmington falters and gives the Warriors some help.
“It was a nice win after we lost to them before,” said Coach Cara Luca. “It was Senior Night and all the seniors started. All seven of them contributed to this win. Maybe every night should be Senior Night with the way we played.”
Before the contest started the eight seniors on the roster were honored. That included Rachel Tammaro, Leigh O’Brien, Jill Cataldo, Julianne Bourque, Meaghan Hudson, Danielle Benedetto, Meaghan Kerrigan and Kaylyn Stewart. Seven of the eight played with Benedetto being unable to go due to an injury.
Bourque led the way offensively with two goals and an assist while Cataldo netted one goal and had an assist. Hudson assisted on a goal as well. Their leadership helped get junior Megan Horrigan in the act as she scored a goal and assisted on one as well.
While the offensive players did their job, Tammaro, O’Brien and Kerrigan played well on defense. Stewart was solid in the midfield which helped Wakefield in the possession game which it dominated especially in the first half.
Wakefield got on the scoreboard at 5:07 after being awarded a corner as it kept up the offensive pressure. Hudson found Cataldo in front of the cage. Cataldo buried a shot into the right corner past Melrose keeper Maria Schwarz to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
The Warriors kept the ball down on the Melrose side for the majority of the first half and their offensive pressure paid off with the second goal of the game at 20:17. Off a scramble in front, Bourque knocked the ball in after taking a pass from Horrigan.
The score was 2-0 at halftime.
When the second half got underway, Wakefield added its third goal of the night. Bourque finished off a Cataldo pass with a shot in the left corner at 6:05.
Melrose got on the scoreboard at 12:25 to avoid the shutout. Emily Donovan scored off a pass from Julia McLaughlin to prevent junior goalie Molly Leach from getting the shutout.
It didn’t take long for the Warriors to get the goal back as Horrigan made it 4-1 at 14:07. Horrigan, from the right post, took a cross from Bourque and drove it into the cage.
Melrose got the final goal of the night at 27:37 to make the final score 4-2. McLaughlin got the goal with Samantha Kroon notching the assist.
“I’m happy we came out on top. We needed this win,” said Luca. “If we can beat Burlington then we have to tie Watertown on Friday to get in the tourney. They’re going for a national record. We can also get in the tourney by finishing second in the league but Wilmington has a better record and we would need some help for that to happen.”
Wakefield plays another night game when it faces the Red Devils tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Varsity Field in Burlington.
At Beasley Field
Melrose……………0 2 — 2
WAKEFIELD……..2 2 — 4
First Half — Wak, Cataldo (Hudson) 5:07. Wak, Bourque (Horrigan) 20:17.
Second Half — Wak, Bourque (Cataldo) 6:05. Mel, Donovan (McLaughlin) 12:25. Wak, Horrigan (Bourque) 14:07. Mel, McLaughlin (Kroon) 27:37.
Saves — Wak, Leach (3). Mel, Schwarz (4).