The Wellesley field hockey team lost its first game of the season as visiting Walpole overwhelmed the Raiders, recording a 3-0 shutout in a Bay State Conference Herget Division match last Friday afternoon at Sprague Field.
"I felt we went nose-to-nose with them," said Wellesley coach Chris Melonea. "We weren't intimidated by them, they were just better skilled."
Walpole's Hanna Feeley, Bridget Nicholsom, and Lauren Whitmore each scored for the Rebels. Walpole outshot Wellesley 16-3 and held a 11-2 advantage in penalty corners at the midway point of the second half.
" I will say, I saw improvement in the way we played throughout the game today," said Melonea. "There's something to build upon there but of course the bottom line is, we didn't play well enough to win."
Wellesley's leading offensive players, Adrienne O'Donnell and Libby Alvin, were held in check by the Rebels smothering defense, which limited the dynamic duo to less than a handful of shots on goal.
After opening the season with back-to-back home wins over Framingham and Dedham, Wellesley (2-1-1) uncharacteristically let a 2-0 halftime lead go for naught against Needham on Tuesday, settling for a 2-all stalemate with their rivals.
"To their credit, they played hard, they didn't give up and we became sluggish in the second half," said Melonea. "My kids even said, 'we didn't play as hard as we needed to,' but you have to give Needham credit, they battled back from 2-0 down, some teams don't do that and they did, to their credit, and it was a good lesson for us to learn."
Wellesley doesn't hit the pitch again until 3:45 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 24, when they travel to Norwood, giving the Raiders plenty of time to make some adjustments.
"Now we have a big gap but you know what, we are going to take advantage of it," said Melonea. "We're going to shift some personnel a little bit so it's going to give us a week to get kids accustom to some new spots."
Wellesley Girls' Volleyball 3, Dedham 1
The Wellesley girls' volleyball team defeated Dedham 3-1 in a Bay State Conference match last Friday afternoon at Wellesley High School.
The Raiders held the Marauders to single digits in their first two wins, then put the game away with a 25-18 win the fourth set.