Massachusetts: Medfield Back On Track With Win Over Westwood

(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)
(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)

3d Rising made it out to Medfield on Tuesday night as part of our trip to the Boston area to see a few teams of note before heading back down the Mid-Atlantic for the Final Four on Memorial Day weekend. 

The Warriors, the Massachusetts Division II champions the past two seasons, had been on a three-game skid in the previous week or so, but they broke it with a convincing 20-11 win over Westwood thanks to a huge performance by Providence-bound Kevin McCordic, who notched seven goals and three assists in the victory. 

We also caught up with coach John Isaf after the game, and we asked him about getting back into the win column, the development and success of his program and the pride he and his players have in the Mefield program. 

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Kevin McCordic, Midfield, Medfield, Sr. - Providence

McCordic had a monstrous showing against Westwood, finishing with seven goals and three assists. He scored three in a row at one point, started with a highlight reel toe drag to his left to get to a jump shot and beat the goalie. The placement on his shots was dialed in and it was like he couldn't miss. He is a righty but pulled off great shots with both hands. What also stood out was his ability to handle bad passes while moving his feet. One of his goals came on a one-handed snag in the middle of the defense and then a hard bounce shot before anyone could get to him. Later he did did something similar in transition but with his opposite hand. He's got a nasty trigger release, able to set his feet quickly and get motion on the shot for torque or do it on the run. He scored numerous shots with his feet set and drilled corners, but also snaked his way down the alley for another goal later one. He was a good target for teammates as he was able to find space. And he showed great ability to get to his own shot. He's got the assortment of skills that separates him from other midfielders in his age group. He had a great back-hand shovel pass for an assist as well. He's an athletic kid who also came up with groundballs in the midfield and helped his team with an aggressive ride. He played tough short-stick defense and chucked his feet and made it hard for middies to dodge north-south. 

Owen Murphy, Attack, Medfield, Fresh. - Johns Hopkins

Murphy played maybe the best we've ever seen him in the runaway win over Westwood. He displayed head-turning quickness with his ability to stutter step and change directions dodging from X, or when inside working off the ball with cuts. He is elusive and can explode. Early in the game, he helped Medfield get rolling with a nice one-timer finish on the crease. Later in the game, he scored another when cutting to space, getting directly in front of the cage about six yards out, taking the feed and nonchalantly shooting it into the top right. He also scored on a big winding step down shot over the goalie's shoulder. Later on, he began to initiate more and did so from X. Numerous series saw him lose his man and put passes on the money to team mates moving to space. One of his best feeds saw him dodge to his left, get topside, roll back, but before crossing down below GLE, he just hummed a pass to the crease for an easy finish for a teammate. Murphy, who finished with four goals and three assists, is a big contributor as a freshman and has a bright future ahead of him. 

John Maclean, Attack/Midfield, Medfield, Sr. - Boston College

Maclean showed an excellent ability to get his shot off in a variety of ways. He's got a great sense of timing and when to dodge or shoot, and he scored some goals that took the defense by surprise. His first goal was a set-feet sidearm blast. The next was a quick split to his left to get to the center and again score with a sidearm release. One of his goals saw him catch the ball with his left, face dodge but spin back and then all in one motion use his defender as a screen to score on a winding blast above the goalie's shoulder. He scored a couple on time and room shots with good snap. He He's gets torque on his shots and finished the day with four goals and an assist. The lefty showed he can also go to his right. He was a aggressive in transition to push it and shoot. He finished with four goals and one assist. 

Matt Treiber, Attack, Medfield, Sr. - Tufts

Treiber had a really solid day against Westwood as a dependable shooter who seemed to always be able to get himself into a good spot for a step down shot when he rotated up high. But he also scored sneaking around the high crease as well. He's a solidly built player with decent strength and can put a lot of torque on his shots. He placed the ball well and changed things up: one shot was a low-to-off hip snap from a lower angle with a lot of time to wind up, another was a textbook overhand shot on the step down. Treiber also scored on basically a one-timer. He showed off his quick hands more than one. He has a sense for the opportunity and spacing and looks like a great pickup for Tufts as he's putting together a productive senior year. He finished against westwood with four goals, but also came up with some big groundballs. 

Nigel Reiff, Attack, Medfield, Sr. - Bentley

Reiff was clearly the top initiating feeding attackman on the Medfield roster this day. He's a sturdy lefty who can drive to the rack with his head up and his stick protected and back in the pass position. He put at least two passes in perfect spots early in the games for two of his game-high six assists. He really made a living dodging, drawing attention and then feeding up field to his temmates, but he could thread inside too, as he showed throughout the game. He was a big part of the offensive success against Westwood. 

Jack Henry Vara, FO/Midfield, Medfield, Sr. - Holy Cross

Vara put in work against Westwood to either win the draw back or forward to himself or get it out to where the athletic Medfield wings could make it a scrum and, in most cases, come up with possession. He can be explosive out of the draw and showed that early in the game with an easy, fast win and sprint down the field for an unassisted goal to help spark his team to an early run. He was going up against a longpole at the dot and still battled his way to the ball when it was a scrum. He dominated draws for the most part and helped Medfield own possession. 

Jake Antonucci, Attack, Westwood, Soph. - Providence

Antonucci shined in the loss to Medfield, as -- despite the score -- he kept fighting hard until the end down near the cage to create and take advantage of opportunities. He's a compact, but athletic and quick attackman who scored his goals in a variety of ways. One came on a catch and quick face-dodge to the inside and then a slice to finish to the side of the cage. Another saw him take a feed and pump his hands to move the goalie and score with ease in front of the cage after cutting from X. He moved to space with explosiveness and was money when he had chances in tight. He's also pretty slippery with the ball in his stick. He ended the game with a couple of the final few goals and finished with three goals and an assist on the day. His final goal came on a running shot from way outside near the end of regulation that somehow beat the goalie stick-side low. 

Jakob Cwieka, Midfield/Attack, Westwood, Sr. - Bentley

Cwieka is a skilled and sneaky smaller attackman who made good things happen for Westwood. He sees the field and openings and quickly attacks. He had an assist with a nice skip pass through the defense. Then he caught the defense snoozing, sneaking to the crease and redirecting a feed for an easy layup goal. He had another feed with a pass down to a teammate in an odd break sort of situation just showing his awareness by drawing the defender and moving the ball quickly to help set up the goal. Another assist came as he face dodged to the gut and essentially drew four defenders before pumping a pass to a cutting teammate for an easy layup. 

Nicholas Conway, Attack, Westwood, Sr. - Trinity

Conway helped get Westwood into action early and proved to be one of the better offneisve players for the Wolverines. He showed some slickness and a bit of burst, including on his first goal as he got topside and stuffed a shot in just past GLE. He scored on gutsy cut to the middle to take a feed, jump and put the ball high in the net. He showed good range on his shot with a lefty sidearm yank for his third goal early in the game. One of his assists came on what looked like an S-dodge before he pushed the ball across for a step-down. He finished with a good overall showing against Medfield as one of the more savvy offensive players for Westwood. 

Hailing from Upstate New York, Casey Vock is the manager of 3d Rising. Before joining 3d Rising, he spent three years at Inside Lacrosse, where he was a full-time writer for Inside Lacrosse Magazine, InsideLacrosse.com, ILIndoor.com and ILGear.com covering all facets of the game. He was named the editor of ILGear.com in November 2012 after helping launch the site a year earlier. Prior to joining Inside Lacrosse in Baltimore, Casey was a freelance writer in Upstate New York covering professional, college and high school lacrosse for Inside Lacrosse, as well as writing for the Press-Republican newspaper in Plattsburgh and other media outlets. Casey played lacrosse in high school at Indian River and went on to play at Jefferson Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from SUNY Plattsburgh, an MBA from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and an MS in media management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse. Reach him by email at cvock@3dRising.com and follow him on Twitter @cvock.