Soccer: Dover-Sherborn 1, Norwell 0

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The Dover-Sherborn girls' soccer team is heading to the Division 3 state semifinals for the second season in a row after defeating the Norwell Clippers, 1-0. in Sunday's South sectional final played at Bridgewater-Raynham.

Taylor Coutts scored the game's only goal in the 56th minute by smashing the back of the net from close range through a scrum of D-S and Norwell players.

“I was probably on the ground for half that time just waiting for the ball not to hit me, so it could go in over me,” said Coutts about the chaotic build up to her goal. “There were like three shots, they each got deflected but then I popped up and just kind of hit it through.”

Coutts almost doubled the lead moments later as freshman midfielder Abigail Bridge delivered a great cross into the box, but the shot from Coutts sailed just over the crossbar.

D-S (14-5-3) should have been up 1-0 early in the first half. Ellie Melanson was clean through on goal and blasted a powerful shot towards the low far corner, but was denied by the post.

Norwell’s (17-5-1) had their best chance of the game six minutes into the second half. Senior captain Allie DeBenedicts had a beautiful strike whistle just wide of the net on a shot that would have given the Clippers a 1-0 lead.

The Raiders, like they had done in the first half, controlled most of the possession with their five midfielders and were able to see the game out.

D-S will play Georgetown on Tuesday for a chance to reach the state championship.

“The girls want to win a state championship, that’s the goal we have right now,” Raiders head coach Dave Wainwright said. “But we have to take it one game at a time.”

“This is a big deal because this is as far as we got last year,” senior captain Maddie Dunn said. “We’re just striving to beat what we did last year. I think we’re just going to have to up the good work, keep playing our game.”