Field Hockey Roundup

Duxbury ends Walpole’s run

Duxbury’s Lily Smith (31) heads upfield, chased by Walpole’s Bridget Nicholson. Duxbury’s Lily Smith (31) heads upfield, chased by Walpole’s Bridget Nicholson. (George Rizer/For the Globe)
By Ryan Mooney and Colleen Casey
Globe Correspondents / November 13, 2011

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Duxbury knew it would have to bring its best game to beat undefeated Walpole, winners of the previous seven sectional crowns, in the Division 1 South final yesterday at Taunton High School. But the Porkers’ offense could not break the Green Dragons’ defensive wall as Duxbury won, 2-0, to capture the South crown for the first time since 1976.

“We knew we’d be able to play with them. My girls played well all year. Their confidence has grown,’’ said Duxbury coach Pam Manley. “They really did a great job today.’’

Duxbury (21-1) dominated the first half, spending most of the time in the scoring circle, forcing Walpole (21-1) to give up six penalty corners and a penalty stroke. Lily Smith drove the ball past diving Walpole goalie Katie Kelley with 8:08 left in the first to put the Green Dragons up.

After several failed scoring attempts on corners, a turning point came when Kelley covered a shot, forcing a penalty stroke, a one-on-one shot between Duxbury’s Cory Connolly and Kelley. Connolly flicked the ball to the left of a diving Kelley, putting Duxbury up, 2-0.

Duxbury’s defense only allowed one shot in the first half and had no penalties.

“My defense played great today. It was very clean,’’ said Manley. “No fouls in the circle. They had to play a clean game. They maintained their control. There wasn’t any pushing or anything like that. That’s how well they did under pressure.’’

Duxbury will face Andover Tuesday in the EMass final at Westwood High School.

Division 1 North Andover 1, Acton-Boxboro 0 - Sophomore Julia LeBlanc scored at 16:59 of the first half and the second-seeded Golden Warriors held on at Joe Walsh Field in North Andover. .

The Golden Warriors (20-0-2) controlled play for almost the entire first half, keeping play largely in the Colonials’ end of the field. A shot from the right side by Louisa Gross bounced around in front of the goal before ending up on the stick of LeBlanc.

“I was just so into the moment of the game,’’ LeBlanc said. “I just got low and it was just a natural reaction for me, I didn’t think much about it.’’

The Colonials (14-2-6) found life in the second half. Katherine Gnall created a partial breakaway late in the half, but Bridget Morris was able to get back and end the threat.

Division 2 North

Watertown 2, Belmont 1 - The top-seeded Red Raiders found themselves in familiar territory, receiving the Division 2 North Sectional trophy and earning the chance to play for their third straight state championship.

Meaghan Kelly found the back of the net with less than two minutes to play as Watertown (20-0-1) defeated No. 3 Belmont (16-3-1), 2-1, at Joe Walsh Field, extending to 66 an undefeated streak that dates to 2008. The Red Raiders play Canton in Westwood for the EMass title on Tuesday.

Watertown goalie Kayla Costa survived an opening onslaught, but Erika Kelly put the Red Raiders ahead on a 2-on-1 break five minutes into the first half.

Caroline McCarthy pulled Belmont even with 9:21 remaining in the half.

Division 2 South Canton 5, Cohasset 2 - At Taunton High, the Bulldogs captured the South championship for the third year in a row.

Canton (20-0-1) was the first to strike. After 15 minutes of intense back-and-forth play, Becky Lazaro tipped the ball in past goalie Whitney Jaffe. A minute later, Lazaro was taken out after taking a slash to the wrist.

The Bulldogs took advantage of their third corner with center back Meaghan McKenna hitting the ball into the circle and whacking it in for the second goal. Two minutes later, she tipped the ball past a diving Jaffe.

Cohasset (17-2-3) responded by moving the ball up the field to receive a penalty corner. Caty Gilman launched the ball to the left of goalie Kolleen White, cutting the lead to 3-1.

Cohasset came out firing in the second half, getting two penalty corners within the first two minutes, but could not take advantage. With Lazaro back in the second half, the Bulldogs’ offense was revamped. Lazaro pushed the ball to the left of Jaffe in the first five minutes of the second.

“[Lazaro’s] a key player for us,” said coach Fior Griffin. “Her intensity going to the ball, her stick skills, her vision, she’s been huge for us all season.’’

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