MEDFIELD, Mass. - They just kept coming.
Wave after wave of white shirts stormed into the attacking zone with crisp passing, shots flying on goal from every angle and distance, snatching up every loose ball, and then walking calmly to the face-off “X” to start the process all over again.
Rarely has a matchup in the Medfield and Dover-Sherborn rivalry been this one-sided, but the preseason No. 1 Warriors rolled from start to finish on Friday night to crush the visiting Raiders, 18-7.
“Medfield-D-S is always a one-possession game,” said Medfield coach John Isaf. “I told the guys that all week … that’s always the way it is. It was just our night.”
Junior Matt Treiber, who missed most of last season with an injury, set the tone for Medfield with a first-quarter hat trick, on his way to six goals and three assists on the night. He scored off solid cuts through the middle of the D-S defense and with low-angle rips that Raiders goalie Jack Fontaine (nine saves) had little chance to stop.
The highlight of the game was a tight angle shot from the right side where Treiber faked a spin into the middle and turned back to his right and let loose with a laser that picked the far post. The goal was his fourth and gave Medfield a 9-1 lead.
The Warriors showed depth in the attack with junior Boston University commit John MacLean scoring a pair of goals (wearing a different uniform because one of the JV players had mistakenly taken his jersey). Senior David Fitzgerald also chipped in with a pair of goals in the first half and sophomore John Cahill, senior Sam Hurley, and junior Kevin McKordic all tallied one apiece to help Medfield to a 13-1 halftime advantage.
McKordic (three goals) and Hurley (three goals) also scored early in the second half to build Medfield’s largest lead at 15-1.
“We have guys that have to step up when somebody goes down,” said Isaf about the strength in depth of Medfield’s attack. “We moved David Fitzgerald, who’s never played attack before, up to attack and he fit in like it was natural, like he had been playing with Nigel [Reiff] and Treib [Treiber] forever.”
It was not only about the offense. The Warriors dominated on the defensive side of the ball as well with senior LSM Will Murphy, junior midfielder Sam Naumann and senior poles Joe Vigoda and Peter Johnson controlling the potent duo of BU commit Grant Gregory and sophomore North Carolina commit Bailey Laidman, who had the lone goal for the Raiders in the first half.
“We focused a lot on instead of going for the stick it’s just about position,” explained Isaf. “Get on their hands, body them, just play smart position defense. We played team defense so the guy behind those guys covering the ball played really well.”
He added, “Murph and Sam really did a bang up job on those guys.”
Coming into the season, Medfield had a number of players to replace from last year’s Div. 2 state champions, and one of those was at times unbeatable faceoff specialist Brian Bissell. The Warriors have had no problem filling that role as junior Jack-Henry Vara, who also had a successful cameo against D-S last year when Bissell was injured and won 24 of 28 faceoffs on Friday.
“We have a tradition of face-off guys that we pass down. We’ve really nurtured that through the years,” said Isaf, while noting that Vara battled Bissell in practice all last season to prepare for his turn as the starter.
The other big loss was goalie Robert Treiber III, but against the Raiders junior Kyle Gately stepped in and made 10 saves and looked just as comfortable as the All-American.
“We knew Kyle was good; he just needs to get some of that experience,” said Isaf. “He’s already a confident goalie, has fast hands, he’s athletic, good with the ball on his stick, so we felt like we had the positions ready for this year, but they needed to know that they could perform when the lights came on.”
Dover-Sherborn continued to battle in the second half, despite the deficit. Gregory would score all four of his goals in the second half, two in each quarter, and Will Spangenberg would add one as well.
Isaf is confident that when the two teams meet again at Nora Searle Field on May 19 the final score will be far different.
“That’s not indicative of what D-S is…they’ve got all the stuff they need, we just jumped on them,” he said. “Trust me the next game isn’t going to be like that.”