THE WARRIORS honored their four senior captains on May 17 before their game against Burlington. Pictured from left to right is Bobby DeFeo, Dom DeAngelis, Zach Sartori and Kaiden Johnson. The four have led Wakefield to a No. 31 ranking and likely Div. 2 state tournament appearance. The brackets will be released on Wednesday. (WMHS Athletics Photo)

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield High boys’ lacrosse team moved to 6-11 on the season with a 17-5 win over Watertown on the road Wednesday.

The Warriors are 2-2 in their last four games with a win over Stoneham on May 13 and two close losses to Danvers, 11-8 on May 13 and Burlington, 10-5 on Senior Night, May 17.

The Warriors have one game left in the regular season against Franklin (15-1), the No. 5 ranked team in Div. 1. The two will meet today, 4 p.m. at Landrigan Field.

Wakefield is currently in the field for the Div. 2 state tournament, ranked No. 31. The top 32 ranked teams automatically qualify.

The Warriors honored their four seniors, captains Dom DeAngelis, Bobby DeFeo, Kaiden Johnson and Zach Sartori, before their game against Burlington.

Burlington, currently 12-4 and ranked No. 12 in D2 came into Wakefield with plenty of momentum. The home team played them tough but came up short.

“We played well throughout the game and defensively we were playing some of the best lacrosse that we have all year,” said head coach Tim Johnson. “We kept a talented Burlington team on the ropes by forcing them to make turnovers.”

Kaiden Johnson was the story for Wakefield as he racked up an incredible 27 saves which included the 500th in his career. The Hartwick College lacrosse commit currently has 520 career saves and 232 in the 2023 season alone.

“Kaiden had a terrific game,” said a proud coach Johnson.

While Johnson, Sartori and the defense gave their all to limit a tough Red Devil attack, Wakefield’s offense was led by DeFeo who had 3 goals and an assist. Freshman Brady Zdanowicz added a goal and 2 assists, sophomore Ryan Metsis had a goal and freshman Gabe Guida added an assist.

“Bobby Defeo really anchored the offense with Brady Zdanowicz and Matt Keefe supporting,” said Johnson. “We Just ran out of steam late in the game and they made us pay for it with their good transition game.”

Wakefield and Stoneham played a great, back-and-forth game on May 13 at Stoneham High but the Warriors were able to hold on for the 9-8 win.

“It was a close game,” said Johnson. “Turnovers hurt us most of the day and shooting was a concern. Bobby DeFeo dominated at the faceoff X and for as many goals as we scored, Stoneham found a way to answer and keep pace with us. They really played a strong game and when they went into their zone defense it really challenged us with ball movement and shot quality.”

Leading 9-8 with 1:30 left, the Warrior attack possessed the ball and did a good job of burning the clock until a turnover with about 18 seconds left. Zdanowicz made one of the plays of the game with a check deep in the Spartan zone to recover the ball and Wakefield took their last timeout with 12 seconds and were able to finish it up.

“Unfortunately we lost two of our starting attackmen to season ending injuries as well as one of our best defensive midfielders to an injury that prevented his return in that game so our JV attack was pressed into service and they stepped up to help secure the win,” said Johnson.

Despite the tough injuries to the attack, Wakefield was able to have their best offensive game of the season against the Raiders on Wednesday in their final league game. Wakefield ended up going 5-7 against an always-tough Middlesex League including 4-1 against fellow Freedom Division teams.

Metsis was the leading scorer against Watertown with 5 goals and an assist. Freshman Keefe had 6 assists, Zdanowicz had 4 goals, DeFeo had 2 goals and 2 assists, Johnson had 2 goals, sophomore Kyle Claire had a goal and an assist, Guida had a goal and 2 assists, junior Mike Ford had a goal and an assist, freshman JP Casey, sophomore George Palmer and freshman Cam Sartori all added assists. Freshman Christian DiFlorio scored his first varsity goal. Sophomore Cade Esposito made some great saves in the second half.

“It was a good team win with everyone contributing,” said Johnson.

If the Warriors stay at No. 31 for the D2 tourney, it’s possible they would host a preliminary round game if the bracket has more than 32 teams. The estimate is that 35 teams will make the D2 tourney which would mean Wakefield would host the No. 34 team, likely Agawam, Medford or Amherst-Pelham. The winner would go play the No. 2 ranked team, currently Nauset Regional.

The brackets will be released on May 31. The prelim round will be on Friday, June 2.

“Sitting at No. 31 in the D2 state rankings with one game left to see if we can hold on to a spot in the top 32 teams statewide is a great accomplishment for this young team that’s grown and developed so much over this season,” said Johnson. “We really hope that hard work pays off for them so they get a taste of what the state tournament atmosphere is like. No matter what happens, the coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of the effort that’s been given this season. One thing’s for sure, the future looks very bright for this young Warrior team.”