WORCESTER, Mass. -- Medfield made it look easy Tuesday night, dominating all phases of the game and rolling to a 14-1 victory over Shrewsbury in a Division 2 state semifinal.
The Warriors (22-2) dominated the face-off X, winning 16 of 18 face-offs thanks to the play of All-American Brian Brissell, and buried the Colonials (20-5) with a series of cuts and pinpoint passes that allowed senior Tyler Hagan to score four goals and classmate Jack Isaf to add a hat trick.
"When you move the defense on every dodge, it makes it hard for them to think about who’s got slide help, and when they go for that slide somebody behind them cuts and gets open," Medfield coach John Isaf said. “It really depends on what we see from the sideline and how aggressive they’re being on defense. How hard they’re sliding and things like that. Then we’ll go with whatever works.”
Medfield asserted itself right from the start, scoring four goals in the game's opening six minutes, including two by Isaf before two minutes had rolled off the clock. The Warriors would then take a 6-0 lead into the second quarter. Senior Matthew Treiber scored a pair early in the second, and Hagan went on an individual three-goal run to push the score to 11-0 at intermission.
"It was just off-ball cuts for me," Hagan said of his productive night. "They seemed to kind of take their mind off the off-ball cuts and seemed to fall asleep a little bit, so a couple of those goals I just kind of snuck by."
Senior captain Matthew Crowell scored his second goal less than a minute into the third quarter, but Shrewsbury's All-American goalie Chris Gorman made four saves the rest of the period to momentarily stop the bleeding. But Isaf completed his hat trick less than two minutes into the fourth, pushing the game into "running clock" mode, and Thomas Sears scored his second of the game just two minutes later.
By the time Derick Tinsley got Shrewsbury on the board with five minutes to play in the fourth, Medfield had already scored 14 times.
After the game, Shrewsbury coach Nate Skermont was pleased with his team's effort, but said the Colonials simply ran into one of the state's elite teams.
"When they (Medfield) have the ball, there are three or four things that they can do to beat you that teams in Central Mass can't do," Skermont said. "I was pleased with our effort. We knew what we wanted to do, and we did it, but we just ran into a team that was that much better (Tuesday)."
For the Colonials, it was a bitter end to what had been a season of firsts. Shrewsbury captured its first district championship in program history Saturday with a win over Westfield, and scored one of the biggest wins in program history the previous Tuesday against rival St. John's in the district semifinas.
"I would not trade this team for any team anywhere," Skermont said of this year's Colonials. "That will never change. We will always be champions. Nobody can ever take that away from us. We're district champs, something nobody in our school has ever done, and we'll always be the first to do that, and I'll always cherish that and always have these kids' backs.”
Medfield will now move on to the Division 2 state championship game at Boston University's Nickerson Field. The Warriors will face Hingham in a rematch of last season's Division 2 Eastern Mass final. Game time has yet to be set.