MEDFIELD, Mass. – For Jack Isaf and the 19 other seniors on the Medfield lacrosse team, there was but one acceptable outcome.
“You play with these guys for eight years and I think this is the largest senior class we’ve ever had,” Isaf said after Tuesday night’s Senior Night game against Tri-Valley League archrival Dover-Sherborn. “It’s a really close bond and it was a really special night.
“We couldn’t go out with a loss.”
Down a goal to the Raiders inside the final minute of the fourth quarter, Isaf took it upon himself to make certain that would not happen in regular. Cutting around the cage and taking a feed from Nigel Reiff, Isaf tied the game, 6-6, with 12.9 seconds on the board.
Then, as the teams moved on to overtime, Isaf – who predictably is nicknamed “Ice” – completed a storybook ending to the Warriors seniors’ final regular season home game, scoring the game-winner and, in the process, securing Medfield’s first outright TVL championship since 2010.
Isaf’s dramatics were only underscored by that fact this his proud papa was on the sidelines – Warriors head coach John Isaf.
The coach, who needed a few deep breaths to collect his emotions during postgame interviews, said that his son’s late-game exploits only sweetened the experience. Yet, for a coach who began with this senior group as an instructor on their fourth grade town team, Tuesday night was about the extended family.
“It wouldn’t have mattered who scored the goal,” John Isaf said. “D-S is a great team and to win in that fashion, it didn’t matter. A win like that is always great against a great team.
“These are guys that really like each other and enjoy playing for each other. They’ve been playing together a long time, so I think they trust one another – and that’s what it comes down to.”
Medfield (17-2, 12-0) struggled offensively early on through some sloppy possessions fell behind the Raiders, 5-2, at the half.
D-S (13-3, 10-2) pushed its lead to four goals almost three minutes into the second half on a Tyler Mann goal, but the Raiders would be shut out during the final 21:02 of the game, in part due to Warriors goaltender Robert Treiber who made five saves in the third quarter alone.
The Warriors then embarked on a streak of five straight goals to close out and win the game. Back-to-back goals from sophomore midfielder John MacLean, sandwiched around the third and fourth quarters, got Medfield back within a goal with less than four minutes to play.
Medfield had more possessions to notch the equalizer, but the Raiders defense remained strong behind Rogers Boylan and Chase Hyde in front of goaltender John Fontaine.
That is, until the Ice-man applied his touch.