By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After tying 1-1 back on September 13, the Dover-Sherborn and Medfield High School field hockey teams met on the turf at MHS last Wednesday evening for their second and final contest of the 2017 season. Behind a hat trick by senior Tara Raftery, the Raiders (10-0-1) prevailed 5-0 over the Warriors (1-8-3) in a game that was a bit closer than the score would indicate.
Raftery got the scoring started for DS less than eight minutes into the contest on a rebound of a corner attempt, as the Raiders jumped out to the 1-0 lead. Less than six minutes later, Payton Ahola doubled the lead to two, followed by a tally from Haley Gladstone to give the Raiders a commanding 3-0 lead at the midway point of the first half.
In the midst of a furious offensive push by Medfield to try and climb back into the game, DS senior goaltender Jacqueline Mountford made a sprawling kick-save on Medfield’s Nicole Griffin after a Warrior corner attempt during the late minutes of the first half. Following the save by Mountford, the Raiders took possession and rushed up the field for one final offensive chance, and Raftery cashed in on a rebound with her second goal of the half to push the lead to 4-0 at halftime.
Medfield came out in the second half determined to cut into the deficit, but were turned away by several key saves by Mountford. DS extended the lead to 5-0 with 27:31 remaining in the half when Raftery completed the hat trick and slapped home the rebound on a corner attempt.
Despite being down five goals, the Warriors continued to pressure the DS end in an attempt to at least salvage a goal. The Warriors’ best scoring opportunity of the night came with 3:23 left on a stroke attempt (field hockey equivalent of a penalty shot), but the ball was kicked away by Mountford to preserve a DS shutout.
The win over Medfield moves DS into sole possession of first place in the TVL standings and it is their sixth consecutive victory.
At the time of print, DS will look to keep their winning streak going when they host second-placed Hopkinton on October 18 in a matchup that could decide the conference championship. Medfield, meanwhile, will try and get back on a winning note when they travel to Dedham on that same date.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.