Critics of mixed-gender field hockey teams may have more fuel to fire their complaints after this weekend, but that hardly seems to matter to Somerset Berkley as it made history Saturday afternoon.
Behind two goals from Lucas Crook, including the game-winner in overtime, the Blue Raiders took down Nashoba with a 2-1 win in the Division 1 state final at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The win gave the program its first state title, and marks the first mixed-gender team to win a state championship.
Both goals came off assists from Megan Salsinha and the team finished with a 19-11 shot advantage. With that in mind, Crook shrugged off any sort of “special meaning” by scoring both goals.
“I just think all the girls made it happen, without them we wouldn’t be here,” he said.
Added coach Jen Crook (his mother): “I’m still in shock that we won. “That was a great game. It was fast, they were a great team. Happy we put one in in overtime.”
After defense ruled the first half, the Raiders and Chieftains traded goals in the final 22 minutes of regulation to get to overtime.
Nashoba – which tied the game with 12 minutes remaining on a goal from Erica Spallone – came out strong with two scoring opportunities, but goalie Madison Ferrara stopped both of them. That helped set the stage for Crook, as he knocked in a pass from Salsinha on a 2-on-1 for the win.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Div. 2: As her teammates ran around her jumping up and down, celebrating a defensive stand that sealed a win, Dennis-Yarmouth senior Shelby Dunn laid on the ground crying from both happiness and pain.
After numerous offensive opportunities gave them a lead that could have been bigger, the Dolphins held off a late charge from Greenfield in the state final to win, 3-2, at WPI. Dunn’s goal proved to be the difference, giving DY its first state title since Dunn’s mother was on the team in 1987.
“I knew something hard hit me (near the end) and I was like, ‘I can’t move right now, but I’m a state champs so let’s go,’” she said. “We haven’t been in this spot in 31 years. My mom was in this same spot as me, so it just feels great to be just like her.”
“The entire team has worked so hard all season,” added head coach Mary O’Connor. “They did it, it’s real exciting.”
The Green Wave made things interesting on a goal from Lillia Kachelmeyer with about 15 minutes left, and drew three straight corners as time expired. But Dunn cleared the ball after taking a beating to seal the win.
“My defense has been incredible all season,” O’Connor said. “They didn’t panic.”
After suffering defeat in the 2017 state final, Bourne volleyball shifted its focus onto this year.
Yesterday, their mission was completed as the Canalmen took down Whitinsville Christian 3-1 in the Division 3 state final, completing the redemption tour that saw them lose only one set throughout the postseason run.
With the win, Bourne snapped a streak of four straight losses in the state final and earned its first title since 2000.
“It left a bad taste in our mouth,” said senior outside hitter Emma Fenton. “All season we have been thinking about our loss in the state finals. We have been through a lot this season as a team and we all just knew coming into the season that a state championship is what we were after.”
In just its first trip to the Division 2 state final, Groton-Dunstable finished the job as the Crusaders eased to a 3-0 victory over Minnechaug to claim its first state championship.
Setter Lauren Kenney utilized her hard-hitting options, dishing out 24 assists with senior Lily Blodgett and junior Carolyn Mullins finishing with 12 kills apiece. Senior Alexis Millett chipped in with four aces at the service line and contributed the match-clinching point as the Crusaders stormed to the title with set scores of 25-19, 25-10 and 25-20.
Zach Cyr ran for 244 yards and two touchdowns as BB&N (8-1) captured the Kevin Driscoll Bowl with a 21-0 win over Avon Old Farms at Russell Field in Cambridge. For Cyr, the bowl victory was the culmination of two years of hard work.
“We lost our first game last year and the bowl game last year, so our goals coming into the year was to win the ISL title and win the bowl,” said Cyr. “It feels great to be able to come out and do that.”
In Needham, Taft (8-1) held on in a 35-34 barnburner over St. Sebastian’s for its first bowl victory since 2011 in the Todd Marble Bowl on the campus of St. Sebastian’s.
Quarterback and senior captain Nolan Grooms was unstoppable, particularly in the first half, as the Yale-bound signal caller was 21-for-28 for 211 yards under center with a touchdown along with three rushing touchdowns.
Dan Ventura, Kyle Prudhomme and Brian Fabry contributed to this report.