Wahconah Routs Piriates in State Tournament

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. – The Wahconah boys lacrosse team wasted little time putting its first post-season loss in the last two years in the rear view mirror.
Rylan Padelford scored six goals to lead his team to a 16-5 win over Hull in the first round of the Division 4 State Tournament.
The win came just two days after eighth-seeded Wahconah (16-2) fell in the final of the Western Massachusetts Class B tournament.
Coach Joe O’Neill said he was happy his team was able to get right back on the field after the setback.
“After that game ended and the seedings came out, our athletic director said [Hull] wanted to play on Friday,” O’Neill said. “I knew it was a quick turnaround. But … I mean, you hate to say this, but you can only practice so much. We’ve got to get these games going and play the games.
“I think it was an advantage to move on. We just did a recovery practice yesterday. We got the legs moving, got the sticks moving and then moved on.”
And now Wahconah moves on to the Sweet 16 and another home game against No. 9 Ipswich (9-5), which beat Whittier RVT, 20-4, on Friday.
Friday’s game was delayed by half an hour when a thunderclap just before the opening faceoff forced the officials to send both teams to the locker room to wait out a lightning delay.
O’Neill said he was concerned about how the weather delay would impact his squad.
“Yeah, you hate getting warmed up and then getting thrown in the freezer,” he said. “It stinks. But I think just the fact that we came right out and jumped on the field and played worked in our favor.”
Wahconah jumped on the field and jumped all over the Pirates with two goals in the first two minutes.
Padelford opened the scoring at the 1 minute, 8 second mark, and Jon Howard (two goals, three assists) set up Brayden Astore for a goal just 31 seconds later.
After Owen Brennan converted an assist from Brody Calvert in the fifth minute, Padelford scored three straight to give Wahconah a 6-0 lead after one quarter.
It pushed the lead to 9-0 midway through the second when Luciano Canino (four goals, two assists) fed Zachary Flaherty for a transition goal.
Logan Chenette got Hull on the board with 4:28 left in the first half, but Calvert and Padelford scored in the final three minutes to send Wahconah into the break with an 11-1 lead.
“We played to what I believe our capabilities are,” O’Neill said of Wahconah’s first half. “That’s a good team. They have a very, very good goalie. He’s a Division I commit goalie, and you can see that. He clears the ball really well, he communicates with the defense really well. And he made some phenomenal saves out there.”
Sean Walsh, a junior who is committed to Providence College, made 11 saves for the Pirates.
Bryce Smith made 10 saves for Wahconah, which led by as many as 13 goals in the second half, when Canino scored with an assist from Howard midway through the fourth quarter.
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