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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
When the Medfield and Dover-Sherborn Regional High School varsity girls lacrosse teams were placed in the same part of the MIAA Division II South Sectional bracket on May 26, one had the sense that these two arch-rivals would be meeting up for a third and final time in 2017.
After No. 4 DS (14-4) took down Matignon 17-1, and No. 5 Medfield (12-6) took care of business against Bishop Stang by a final of 19-6, a rematch between the Raiders and Warriors was set for Friday evening on the turf at DS. This time, though, one of these two teams would be going home and one would be moving on to the South semifinals against Walpole.
The Raiders got off to a tremendous start against the Warriors thanks to the play of senior midfielder Madeline Shue (two goals, three assists) and senior midfielder Emma White (four goals), and DS was able to take a 6-2 lead into halftime.
DS continued to thrive during the beginning of the second half, going on a 4-2 run with goals coming from White, Margaret Moruzzi, Shue, and Sawyer Robbins. Medfield’s goals came from junior midfielder Maggie McCarthy and senior captain/midfielder Sarah Graham. With this 4-2 run, the Raiders extended their lead to 10-4 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the contest, putting Medfield’s backs against the wall.
Following the tenth DS goal by Robbins, Maggie McCarthy simply took over the game for Medfield, and pioneered her team to arguably one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Medfield High School girls lacrosse.
Just less than two minutes after the Robbins goal for DS, McCarthy found Sarah Graham wide open in front of the Raider net and Graham quick-sticked a pass into the back of the cage to make it a 10-5 game. 35 seconds later with 9:04 remaining, McCarthy dashed in and put home a goal on a fake-low and dump-high, cutting the DS lead to four at 10-6. With 7:46 to play, McCarthy struck again when she cut to the middle and fired a right-handed shot low stick-side, making it a 10-7 game. Just 13 seconds later at 7:33, McCarthy broke in on a fast break and fired a bouncer low to cut the DS lead to two at 10-8.
The Raiders would call a timeout to settle things down after the eighth Medfield goal, and were able to win the ensuing face-off. After setting up shop in the Medfield end, it appeared as if Emma White had broken the DS scoring drought with a riffle into the back of the cage from nine yards out. However, just before the ball entered the cage, Medfield was called for a stick violation and the goal was disallowed, but DS retained possession. Sophomore goaltender Sophia Merageas would then make a critical stick save on Madeline Shue following the restart, giving Medfield back the ball and a chance to make it a one-goal game.
With 3:13 remaining, Maggie McCarthy made due and struck yet again, scoring her fifth of the quarter to make it 10-9. DS was able to win possession off of the ensuing face-off, but another big save in net by Merageas gave the Warriors back possession and a chance to tie it. With just 1:13 remaining in regulation, junior midfielder Brooke Deady took a pass on the edge of the crease from Sarah Graham, faked left and went right, and tied the game at 10, sending the Warrior bench into a frenzy. Medfield was able to stop the Raiders from scoring on their next possession with under a minute to play, and the game headed to sudden death overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime that saw big saves from both Merageas and DS’ Natalie Grosek, the Warriors were able to win possession on the opening face-off of the second overtime. Following the face-off win, the Warriors got the ball to their hot hand in Maggie McCarthy, and the junior drove to the cage through a set of DS defenders, faked high and shot low into the back of the net to complete the comeback and send Medfield on to the semifinals in stunning fashion with an 11-10 win.
In total, McCarthy had a hand in 10 of the 11 Warriors goals, scoring seven and assisting on three others. Medfield never led until the game-winning tally by McCarthy in double overtime.
Over the years, we’ve come to expect great matches between the Raiders and Warriors, but this was truly something special.