DOVER, Mass. -- Medfield senior Sarah Honan thrives in situations where most keepers would feel uncomfortable.
Succeeding against a medley of free position shots and one-on-one breakaways last night, Honan made 12 difficult saves as she battled defending Division 2 state champion Warriors (8-2, 5-2) to a 10-6 besting of Tri-Valley League foe Dover-Sherborn (6-2, 3-2), at Nora Searle Field.
“I love free position shots,” said Honan. “I like to stay on my toes, just watch the ball all the way to my stick and hopefully I come up with the save. Crashing together as a team and moving together.”
Honan's impressive outing was aided with five goals from fellow senior Katelyn Noschese and a strong showing from the Warriors' man-to-man defense.
Looking Like Defending Champs: The Warriors were looking to bounce back after a poor second half on Wednesday that lead to a tough 14-9 loss to fellow league power Hopkinton (6-2). Medfield was ahead for 46:01 of the 50 minutes on Friday as they edged away for good off a four goal streak in the first half.
Sophomore Lauren Tschirch crashed the net then lowered her head into a group of defenders to draw Medfield's first free position. She buried the effort top-net for a 2-1 lead at 18:11.
Noschese cradled her way past two straight defenders to net a 5-1 goal and end the run with 7:13 left in the first half.
“Not only does it physically prepare us, but it mentally prepares us to stay in games and not let up,” said Noschese. “First of all move the defender (and) get her off track then fake the goalie and just shoot to the corner she is not protecting. It forces them to crash on you.”
Noschese cut out in front of the goal from behind the crease and nailed a 10-yard effort to help clinch the game at 10-6 with 5:07 left in the game. The Warriors moved into their "stall" offense after that score as they wasted of the rest of the clock.
“I was very proud of how smart they were,” said Medfield coach Kathleen McCullough. “It is kind of like a stall if we are in a situation where we need to maintain possession. No shots (allowed).”
Senior Management: Lauren Harrity's two goals and one assist did little justice to show the senior midfielder's influence on Medfield's offensive management. Harrity played a role in half of the Warriors' scores, including the two straight tallies that put her team ahead 9-5 with 13:47 left.
The senior looped around the crease to setup both goals as she lobbed passes to freshman Grace Crowell and sophomore Hailey Tschirch for 10-yard scores and the 9-5 advantage.
“She is just very dynamic,” said McCullough. “If she gets covered too hard she knows that she is going to have to feed the ball and if they are not playing hard defense on them she knows to go to goal.”
Unable to Gain Ground: Dover-Sherborn struggled to pull even as they twice scored two scores then gave up a pair of goals.
Senior Nora Klemmer (three goals) converted a breakaway off a personal draw victory with 21:50 left in the game. Within 44 seconds, she lost two defenders as she cut away from net and produced enough space to sneak a 7-5 score along the post to finish the second run.
“Her first two shots did not go and she was able to adjust to the type of shot that was going to work,” said Dover-Sherborn coach Erin Newton. “We need to make sure we are capitalizing on fast breaks. Our offensive end needs to be quicker in terms of our cuts and our of ball movement.”
TVL As A Playoff Standard: Five of the eight teams in the Tri-Valley League made last years' postseason. The TVL has represented both of the two available girls' lacrosse state titles for the past two years.
In league games like last night's represent a good example of postseason play especially for the two Division 2 squads that played.
“We know that every team comes out strong against us (and) we can't really let up,” said McCullough. “We learned a lot just from our last game against Hopkinton.”