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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The one team that seemingly had Medfield’s number in 2017 was Hopkinton, as the Hillers defeated the Warriors both times the two TVL rivals met a season ago.
The Warriors ended up getting the final laugh last season, as Hopkinton was knocked out in the Division II Central/East quarterfinals by Westwood before Medfield even got the chance to serve up some revenge, and the Warriors went on to win the sectional title.
Coming off of a 23-1 season-opening victory over Norton on Monday, Medfield welcomed in Hopkinton on Wednesday night for the first of two meetings between the teams this season. Unfortunately for Medfield, avenging their two defeats to the Hillers last season will have to wait until their May 5 rematch, as the Hillers gutted out a 11-9 victory and handed Medfield its first loss of the 2018 season.
Quinnipiac-bound midfielder Will Abbott scored 23 seconds into the game off of an opening faceoff win to give Hopkinton the early 1-0 lead, but a pair of goals by senior midfielder Alex Griffin a little over two minutes apart gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead with 8:46 to play in the first. Sophomore attack-man Jack McCordic extended Medfield’s lead to 3-1 with a bouncer from 11 yards out, but D.J. Sloan responded with a dodge and finish with an aerial shot to cut the deficit right back to one goal for Hopkinton at 3-2. Two consecutive goals by Connor Sullivan and Abbott gave Hopkinton a 4-3 lead at the end of one.
Sloan’s second of the game extended Hopkinton’s lead to 5-3 in the first minute of the second quarter, but freshman Jack Rideout cut the deficit back to one for Medfield with a pivot and right-handed rip down low to make it 5-4 with 8:30 to play in the half.
Abbott completed the hat trick with a left-handed finish at the crease to push the Hillers lead back to two goals at 6-4 before Connor Sullivan notched his second of the game to make it 7-4. Abbott would add a fourth tally on the night to push Hopkinton’s lead to 8-4 at the half.
Jimmy Cosolito got the Warriors back in it as the sophomore attack-man opened up the scoring in the second half with a drive from X and finish up high on his strong-hand to make it an 8-5 game. Cosolito’s goal began a 4-0 run by the Warriors, which featured goals by junior attack-man Mike Hauptman, McCordic, and the tying goal by Rideout with 9:49 remaining in the fourth quarter on the man-up.
A little over a minute after the tying goal by Rideout, Abbott gave Hopkinton back the lead at 9-8 with a goal off of a fast break. Abbott added his sixth of the game with a strong drive and right-handed jump-shot finish off the pipe and in to make it a 10-8 game with 2:11 to play. Sloan completed the hat trick and delivered the dagger with a steal off of a Medfield clearing attempt before depositing the ball into the open net to make it an 11-8 game. Mike Hauptman’s second of the game with 17 seconds left cut the deficit back to 11-9, but Hopkinton won the ensuing faceoff and chewed out the remainder of the clock to prevail with the two-goal victory.
Medfield will look to get back on track when they travel to Xaverian on April 18 before hosting Shenendehowa (NY) on April 21.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.