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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Heading into the 2019 season, expectations were high for the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School varsity field hockey team. Following a 15-1-2 regular season that included winning a share of the TVL title, it’s safe to say those expectations were met. However, when a team returns as much talent and experience as Dover-Sherborn did in 2019, regular season success is far from the ultimate goal.
After earning the No. 3 seed in Division II South, the Raiders took out No. 14 Falmouth (6-0) in the first round, followed by a 2-1 win over No. 6 Hanover to advance to the semifinals. DS defeated No. 7 Dennis-Yarmouth (3-0) in the semifinal to advance to Saturday’s sectional final against top-seeded Sandwich (16-1-1) at Taunton High School.
Following a scoreless first half that saw both teams play tight defense and surrender a very limited number of offensive chances, DS finally found pay dirt with 11:11 to play. Junior Caitlin O’Connell launched a rocket of a shot from up top that deflected its way off a pair of Sandwich sticks to junior Emma Goodness at the net mouth. Goodness corralled the loose ball and buried home a shot inside the far right post to give DS a 1-0 lead.
Sandwich began to pick up the tempo with their season on the line. The Blue Knights nearly tied the game at one on a penalty corner with just under three minutes to play, but a blocker save by junior net-minder Sabrina Ryan kept the game 1-0 in favor of DS. The Raiders chewed the remainder of the clock and prevailed by the 1-0 final to secure the sectional crown.
At the time of print, DS will take on North sectional champ Lynnfield in Division II state semifinals on November 12 at Braintree High School.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.