Beat first-place Melrose, 38.5-33.5

CAPTAIN Tommy Galvin sinks a putt at Thomson Country Club in North Reading. Galvin has helped lead a young Wakefield team to a three-game winning streak, picking up 6.5-2.5 wins over Stoneham and Saugus, and splitting nine holes, 4.5-4.5 while shooting a 38 against a talented Melrose golfer. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the October 5, 2018 edition.


NORTH READING — The Wakefield golf team walked up to their tees at Bear Hill Golf Course on Monday with a calculated composure.

The Warriors knew they needed to win this match against Stoneham, and every single one of their following five matches to keep their hopes of a tournament appearance alive.

Taking it one swing at a time, the Warriors, who have been competitive in every match this year and agonizingly close in some, broke through for their second win of the season, beating the Spartans 41-31.

Six of the eight Warriors won their head-to-head matches, led by a top three who continues to play steady, and at times, spectacular golf.

Sophomores Jack Ryan and Oliver Miller each shot a team-best 41, both beating their opponents 6-3.

Senior captain Tommy Galvin executed his strategy from the No. 2 spot, shooting
a 42 and beating his Spartan opponent 6.5-2.5.

“The top three have definitely been our most consistent golfers this year,” said Wakefield head coach Chris Keane.

The Warriors got much-needed wins from senior captain Juliette Guanci and sophomore Cal Tryder who both shot a 44 and won their matches 5-4.

Junior Luke Roberts also won his match 5-4.

Sophomore Howie Melanson shot an impressive 42 from the seven spot winning four holes against a talented Spartan golfer.

The Warriors pocketed their W and quickly shifted their focus to rival Melrose, who came to Wakefield’s home Thomson Country Club with a ton of momentum and a chance to seal their fates as 2018 champs of the Freedom Division. They would have to wait one more match.

The Warriors were sharp on their narrow home course and outplayed the Red Raiders for a massive 38.5-33.5 victory.

“It was our biggest win of the season and puts us back in position to make a run at qualifying for the state tournament,” said Keane. “Before the match, Melrose was 5-1, so to beat a team as talented as that shows we can hang with any team in the league.”

Keane told his team that the whole lineup needed to play well against a deep Melrose squad. They did.

Wakefield was led by captain Guanci and Oliver Miller who stepped up when the Warriors needed them most.

Guanci, shooting from the five spot, got a resounding 6-3 win (41 strokes) that was the turning point and allowed some breathing room for her next three teammates to follow.

Miller shot a blistering 37, beating his opponent 7.5-1.5.

Wakefield also got a match win from Tryder (5-4) who shot a 42.

The Warriors got 4.5-4.5 ties from Melanson out of the seven spot, and Ryan and Galvin in the one and two. Both Ryan and Galvin shot impressive 38’s to stick right with two very talented golfers from Melrose.

After a tie last year, the Warriors had this one circled on the calendar but they couldn’t have known how important a win it would actually be. In addition to the tournament ramifications, this win finally provided tangible evidence of Wakefield’s ability this season. It’s hard not to get discouraged during so many tough breaks to start the year, but the Warriors have stuck with it and should have no doubts that they can beat anybody left on the schedule.

That includes Saugus, who Wakefield beat yesterday, 47.5-24.5. The Warriors will meet Saugus again on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in the last match of the season.

The entire starting eight won their individual matches against Saugus: Ryan 6-3; Galvin 6.5-2.5; Miller 6-3; Tryder 5-4; Guanci 5.5-3.5; Luke Hopkins 6-3; Melanson 7-2 and Roberts 5.5-3.5.

Wakefield has three matches remaining and now sits at 4-6 overall.

The Warriors have five days to prepare for a road match against Watertown on Wednesday. Then they have a home match against a strong Arlington team on Thursday.

The stakes will be high, but the Warriors have proved they are more than capable of rising to the occasion.