As the season unfolded, the Westfield High School boys lacrosse team continued to chug away and keep focused on the goal that head coach Pat Tuohy laid out.
“Last year we made it to the sectional final and lost to Ridge, so we had that game on the radar all season,” Tuohy said. “That’s what we wanted to make it to and we had a tough time with our regular season schedule, but we just kept pushing towards the postseason. We wanted the one or two-seed, but we got the three-seed and it just set us up. You couldn’t have scripted it any better for us.”
Westfield took out defending state champion and second-seeded Ridge in the semifinals and then blasted top-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan for the title in Tuohy’s second year at the helm.
He is the Courier News Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
“We wanted to just make sure that every year we’re getting better and beating Ridge in the sectional semifinals was huge for us,” Tuohy said. “Going in there, playing them at night on their turn, there was no panic in our group. They were calm and knew what too do and there were games when we’d lose badly, but the confidence of my group never wavered. They never thought they would lose and that’s what carried us through the postseason.”
Westfield would go on to beat Southern 10-6 for the Group IV state title, the school’s first state title since 1987.
Tuohy, a Westfield resident that volunteered with the program in between tours of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps in the early 2000’s, before graduating from Roanoke College in 2006. He returned home to work with the JV team and eventually take over the top squad two seasons ago.
He’s seen the program grow to new heights under his leadership and Tuohy said she’s excited for the future of Westfield lacrosse. With a host of juniors and underclassmen coming back next season, expect the Blue Devils to continue moving up the ranks.