In an , Rocky Batty, head coach of the boys’ lacrosse team stated that he uses the Raiders’ games against Medfield as a measuring stick for where the Wellesley program is currently.
In the past several years, the Warriors have been the class of Division 2 boys lacrosse in the state, and had proven to be a hurdle the Raiders had just not been able to climb over as Wellesley dropped seven straight contests to them, including four eliminations from the MIAA State Tournament.
But the tides changed when the two teams met up on April 9, as the Raiders got out in front early and never looked back against Medfield that afternoon, leaving Sprague Field with an 8-5 win.
Looking at how Wellesley has performed on a whole this season, that measuring stick statement seems pretty accurate, as the Raiders are still yet to lose a game this year, yet have posted 15 wins. Boston.com currently ranks Wellesley as the #2 boys’ lacrosse team in the state.
This level of success is no surprise to Batty, as he saw big things on the horizon following the conclusion of last season.
“I attribute some of it to the way we ended last season,” Batty said concerning how his team has gotten off to this start. “I think we won 11 of 12 games, had a lot of the same guys [returning this year], and a lot of them started out as freshman. Last year was their sophomore year and they began to learn how to win.
“We just have a core that has learned to do some winning, we never made it a goal to go undefeated but just to have a good, strong season and get into the tournament with a good seed, and it looks like we’re going to get it.”
The Raiders average over 11 goals per game and are lead in scoring by junior Peter Crane (30 goals, 31 assists) and senior Sam Lawrence (33 goals, 14 assists). While both players have been contributors in the scoring column throughout their careers, Crane especially has seen a significant jump in production this season.
“I think for Sam it’s his athleticism, his competitiveness, his leadership, and for Peter, hockey has been a big part of his life athletically, and I think he’s translating that into his lacrosse game,” Batty said, speaking of how the players got to this point.
Batty also credited team play to the reason for their success, specifically citing opposing teams’ focus on Charlie Jennings, who is right behind the pair in scoring with 38 points, and Oliver Saffery’s success in face-offs leading to scoring opportunities.
Defensively, the Raiders are running on all cylinders as well, allowing just four goals per game. It should be no surprise that goalie Connor Darcey is having another standout season, and over the last seven games has not allowed more than six goals in a single contest.
“He’s lights out, he’s our emotional leader and our anchor on defense,” Batty said of his star goaltender. “To have his composure in the net between the pipes is just a big deal for us, he’s phenomenal.”
The Raiders will look to continue their undefeated streak when they play host to Natick on Monday.