Norwood Boys Lacrosse Enter Tournament with Only 3 Seniors

by Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
July, 2017
Article Body: 

It’s been three years since the Norwood boys lacrosse team last ventured into the Division 2 South State Tournament where they made it all the way to the Semi Finals losing to Hingham. After going 6-4 in Division 2 or 3 contests, the Mustangs will once advance into the tournament due to the Sullivan Rule.
The last time Norwood played in a tournament game was when this year’s seniors were first year freshman and with only three seniors gracing this year’s squad, and only one with playing time that year, the number of athletes with tournament experience is minimal.
Senior captain and Mustang defender Nick Girard is the only Norwood athlete on the team that has previously played in a state tournament game. This year, Girard was the Mustangs defensive MVP that does whatever is needed of him for his team to succeed.
“Nick is not a rah, rah type of guy – he leads by example,” Norwood Boys Lacrosse Coach Anthony Roman said. “The team feeds off his energy; he’s a tireless worker that doesn’t like getting off the field and his teammates notice that. Come tournament time, he’ll ramp it up even more and show the team that they’re going to have to work harder to succeed.”
In addition to Girard, Norwood’s only other seniors are co-captain Tom Driscoll and Seamus Kelley. Driscoll, a defensive player for the Mustangs, brought his game to the next level this spring while Kelley is a role player for the team.
While it has been the seniors who have led Norwood throughout the season, three underclassmen (freshmen defender Teddy Willett, attacker Lars Boothroyd and sophomore attacker Jake Smelster) have really brought their game to the field this season. Boothroyd is a smart lacrosse player that is always in the right place at the right time and his transition from defense to offense is smooth while Smelster led the team in goals and assists and just about every other offensive category. Willett, according to Roman, is a physical specimen.
“Teddy brings a physicality to our defense that we haven’t had in some time here at Norwood,” the Mustang Coach said. “While he did have a great year, he did hit a wall near the end of the season being only a freshman who was not used to the length of the season.”
Junior James Piatelli, who has platooned as the team’s goalie the past few seasons, was handed the keys to the car this year. During his first full season in net, Piatelli took his game to the next level.
“He’s going to be a big part of our team if we’re going to succeed," Roman said. "We need him to play the way he has all year. He’s not a goalie who is going to wow you with his play, but he will make those quality saves when you need him to, he’s very consistent.”
Having only one athlete with tournament experience could eventually be the Mustang’s tournament downfall, but the coach is very optimistic about the future.
“I’m very excited about playing in the tournament again,” Roman said. “But I’m even more excited about the future and moving forward with this team. Playing in the tournament will give the younger players the experience they’ll need.”
Roman and the Mustangs wll hook up with Bishop Feehan in the first round of the tournament. According to Coach Roman, in order to move past Feehan the team is going to need to play physical and muck it up, making the pace of the game slower. If they get into a wide open game, they’ll have no chance of moving forward. Unfortunately, the Mustangs fell to Feehan 20-4 to wrap up their season.