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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Medfield High School lacrosse has dealt with significant adversity this season, losing starting LSM Sam Joline to a knee injury, as well as senior captain and attack-man Mike Hauptman (knee) after a 19-5 win against Walpole in the opening round of the playoffs.
Despite the hardships, Medfield hung together and put together more than just a solid season.
After winning the Central/East sectional with a hard-fought 9-7 victory against reigning champ Concord-Carlisle, the Warriors crushed South champ Sandwich, 21-5, in the state semifinals to set up a date with North sectional champ Winchester for the MIAA Division II title on Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy.
Leading 10-9 with a little over five minutes to play following a go-ahead goal by Robert Spaeth (two goals), Medfield surrendered a late pair via Harry Carpini and Ryan McCarthy with 1:33 to play as Winchester seized an 11-10 lead. Junior attack-man and Medfield’s leading scorer throughout the tournament Jack McCordic got a grade-A look with a step-down rip with a little over a minute remaining, but was denied by the stick of Winchester goalie Matt Suffredini. With eight seconds to play, Medfield was given one final chance to net the tying goal, but a shot by Jake Sherman went wide and the Sachems won their first state championship since 2000.
Winchester jumped out to an early 2-0 edge before a 6-0 run by Medfield with goals coming from Brian Abely (three), McCordic (two), and Sherman allowed the Warriors a 6-2 lead with 5:32 remaining in the half. Carpini responded for Winchester with a goal on the man-up with 1:59 to play and the Warriors carried a 6-3 lead into halftime.
The Sachems began the second half on a 3-0 run to tie the game at six before Abely’s fourth of the day gave Medfield back the lead at 7-6. Sherman’s second of the game, this time on the man-up with 2:49 to play in the quarter, extended Medfield’s lead to 8-6. The two-goal lead was short-lived, however, as less than a minute later, McCarthy made it 8-7 with a shot on the run. Carpini completed the hat trick with 1.6 seconds remaining in the quarter, following a turnover on a clear attempt, to knot the game at eight at the end of three.
Spaeth gave Medfield back the lead off of a feed from Tommy Gill on a fast break 1:37 into the fourth quarter. Grant Murray tied things at nine for Winchester before Spaeth’s second of the quarter, this time off of a feed from junior Jimmy Cosolito, gave Medfield a 10-9 lead with 8:26 remaining. Winchester then scored back-to-back goals to seize the 11-10 lead, holding off the final late push by the Warriors and also seizing the state championship.
For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.