Wahconah Boys Dominate Granby for Program's First Post-Season Win
DALTON, Mass. -- Vinny Orlandi made 10 saves for the Wahconah boys lacrosse team in Wednesday’s Central/Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament victory.
But that was not the highlight of his night.
The highlight came with a minute left in the first quarter, when his long outlet pass found the stick of teammate Wyatt Schleicher on the other side of the midfield stripe.
Schleicher raced in and fired a shot for a transition goal to give Wahconah a 3-1 lead and Orlandi an assist.
“Gotta be more excited about the assist,” Orlandi said after Wahconah advanced to the sectional quarterfinals with a 15-3 win over Granby. “They don’t come around very often.
“I felt pretty good about my passing. There were a couple I wished I’d had back. But I was happy. Kids were getting open for me. We play as a team.”
Orlandi played a strong all-around game for sixth-seeded Wahconah (12-8), which advanced to play No. 3 Nipmuc on Saturday.
In the second quarter, he intercepted a pass at the edge of the crease to break up a Granby transition chance. In the third quarter, another outlet pass connected with Cullen Harrington, who promptly set up Schelicher (four goals) for another transition goal.
By that time, Wahconah’s lead was 11-2. It was a 10-goal margin by the end of the third quarter, and Connor Washburn (five goals, three assists) scored twice to open the fourth and send the game to running time.
Wahconah, which beat the Rams, 9-2, in the regular season, took control of Wednesday night’s game early and never really let up. Although Wahconah coach Zachary Sondrini said his side did need to step up its game in order to stay on top and get the program’s first post-season victory.
“Their faceoff guy was really good, and we lost a lot of those draws,” Sondrini said. “The wing play was huge, and that’s one thing we said: We were losing the wing play game, and we needed to step it up. And they did a good job of neutralizing the faceoff guy because he was doing a really good job.”
Wahconah figures to face another steep challenge in third-seeded Nipmuc of Upton, which received a first-round bye after posting a 12-7 record.
“Nipmuc is a very, very good team, judging by their record,” Sondrini said. “We’ve got a long drive there. We just have to be ready to go and see if we can keep it going. We’ve got a young team. We’ve only got two seniors, so this is a good building point for us.”