Hillers reach the top
Hopkinton breaks through for title
WELLESLEY – Hopkinton girls’ lacrosse coach Jodi Dolan stood uncharacteristically calm on the sideline during last night’s Division 2 state title game against Winchester, feeling that her squad was playing with house money.
The Hillers (18-5) had made it to the Division 2 South sectional final four straight years only to walk away second-best. So with a sectional title in hand, Dolan’s young but composed team shot past the Sachems, 18-15, at Wellesley College to claim the state championship.
“I promised myself if we just made it past the South I’d just be happy to make it here,’’ Dolan said. “It helped because I had already reached the goal in my mind to make it to the state finals, so winning the game was just going to be icing on the cake. And now to really win it, I’m just so happy for the girls.’’
The Hillers scored the first two goals by using their speed and athleticism and never lost the lead. Playing without three injured players, Dolan didn’t make a substitution all game, keeping her stars, including sophomore Tess Chandler and junior Tamara Mills, on the field for all 50 minutes.
Chandler scored seven goals, using her 5-foot-11-inch frame to break the Sachems down, though Chandler’s stick-checking and defense might have been more important.
“Tess always shines and comes out when we need her to because she’s a great player; she can just do it all,’’ said senior captain Brooke Rudden, who entered the game with 100 goals on the season and added four more, ending her career with more than 250 tallies.
The Hillers took a 10-7 lead into the half, but Winchester (18-3-2), reluctant to lose its second straight state title game, stormed back. Senior captain Michaela Chiuccariello carved through the defense and scored a sidearm goal to cut the deficit to 13-12 with six minutes remaining, prompting Dolan to call time out.
“I reminded them that we had a lead, which was great, but to use the clock to our advantage and to slow the game down a little bit,’’ Dolan said.
The Hillers did just that, killing three minutes on their next possession and eventually scoring on a free position shot from Rudden.
“They just stalled it out,’’ said Winchester coach Sue Ontso. “But we fought. It definitely wasn’t our best game of the tournament.’’
The Sachems drew three yellow cards, matching their total from the entire season.
“Our inexperience showed,’’ said Ontso. “And getting three cards didn’t help. They could have got a few cards, too, and they didn’t, but we didn’t get the breaks we needed.’’
Freshman Taylor Sokol scored three goals for Hopkinton in her first start. Sophomore Jaclyn Chirco made nine saves, including several big stops when the Sachems were close to tying the game.