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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After co-winning the TVL regular season title, the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School varsity field hockey team received the No. 4 seed in the Division II South Sectional playoffs. With their No. 4 seed, the Raiders (16-3-1) earned an opening-round bye. On Friday, DS hosted No. 13 Seekonk for their first-round matchup, and thanks to dominant offensive effort in the second half, the Raiders pulled out a 5-0 victory to advance to Sunday’s quarterfinal round against No. 5 Foxborough.
Payton Ahola got the scoring started for the Raiders with 20:26 to play when the sophomore fired home the rebound of a shot by Maggie Green to put DS ahead 1-0.
Following the goal by Ahola, the Raiders continued to dominate the time of possession. DS had several chances to extend their lead on penalty corners throughout the first half, but were turned aside by the Seekonk goaltender. The lead for DS remained 1-0 at halftime despite the Raiders thoroughly outplaying their opposition.
The second half saw an offensive explosion from the Raiders, as the DS girls began to finish their chances. With 25:20 remaining, Maeve Keene tapped home a goal on a penalty corner to extend the Raider lead to 2-0. Tara Raftery added some insurance a little over four minutes later at 21:01 to extend the lead to three. Just three minutes following the Raftery goal, Haley Gladstone fired home a goal to give DS a little extra breathing room to make it a 4-0 game with 18 minutes to play. With 9:44 to play, Ahola added her second tally of the night to put the nail in the coffin, sealing a 5-0 first-round victory for DS.
On Sunday, the DS girls dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker in overtime against Foxborough in the South quarterfinals to conclude their season.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.