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Div. 3 Girls' State Soccer Final

Dover-Sherborn puts finishing touch on title

By Nick French
Globe Correspondent / November 19, 2011

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WORCESTER - After losing in the EMass title game last year, the Dover-Sherborn girls’ soccer team had one goal this season, and that was to finish the job with a state championship. Last night the Raiders completed the mission with a 2-1 victory over Hopedale in the Division 3 final at Foley Stadium.

“It’s unbelievable,’’ said senior Maddie Dunn, who netted the first goal. “Walking into the first day of preseason we said our goal was to win states. We had that goal every day and we did it.’’

The win is the first state title for the program and comes in coach David Wainwright’s fourth season.

Both teams started tentatively and on the defensive. But it was Hopedale that made the first mistake, and Dover-Sherborn capitalized.

A goal kick from Hopedale (16-5-2) was hit directly to Taylor Coutts, who controlled the ball and passed to Dunn. Dunn slipped past one defender and calmly booted home the ball into the lower-right corner to give her team a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the half.

“The fact [Dunn] had the composure to put it on the floor says a lot about her ability, especially for someone who played last season on the back line,’’ said Wainwright.

The Raiders (15-5-3) kept the momentum going in the second half, with Coutts nearly scoring seven minutes in. But she didn’t get frustrated and the effort paid off moments later when she picked up a loose ball and found herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. She let the keeper commit before slipping it in for a 2-0 lead.

Freshman goalkeeper Megan Hall, stellar throughout, preserved the lead, allowing only a goal off a deflection with eight minutes left. She corralled a corner kick in the closing minutes to frustrate Hopedale’s final bid.

“She was tremendous and probably our most valuable player tonight,’’ said Wainwright.