The Norwood High School boys lacrosse team, led by first year head coach and NHS Spanish teacher Daniel Reyes, opened up their season last week with two losses in their first two games. They lost to the Dedham Marauders and to the Weymouth Wildcats. The biggest loss for this young team, however, wasn't against Dedham last Tuesday or Weymouth last Thursday. Junior captain and their most valuable player, Jake Smelstor, was diagnosed with a hairline stress fracture in his back after going down with the injury in the first half of the Mustangs' season opener against Dedham.
Smelstor has been a starter for the varsity team since his freshman year. This injury marks the first time in his high school lacrosse career that he has sustained any sort of injury, and this one proves to be fatal for the Mustangs. He had 3 goals and an assist against Dedham in the first half before he left the game due to the injury. The Mustangs ended up losing the game 9-6. His absence was felt greatly on the offensive side of the game against Weymouth, as the Mustangs were dormant the whole game and could not produce a single shot on the Wildcat goalie throughout the contest. Weymouth won the matchup 13-0.
The Mustangs will have to rely on their bench to fill the massive crack in the Mustang offensive attack left by Smelstor's hairline stress fracture. Fellow junior captains Joe Spadorcia and Mark Dunn will also be relied on by Reyes to rally this young team and hopefully put shots on net and win games in their last season in the extremely difficult Bay State Conference. With a fairly easier schedule than past years, headlined by games against Bellingham (an opponent in the Trial-Valley next season) and Milton, who they beat last year, they will still have tough tests against state powerhouses such as Walpole, Newton North, and Needham. Overall, even though some people think that Norwood's season is over without Smelstor, the Mustangs hope to pull out some wins on their schedule and make the state tournament for the second consecutive year, even without their best player.