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Sumner’s four lift Raiders on senior night

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Few TVL athletes have made a bigger impact for their respectives teams throughout the first half of the 2021 fall athletic season than Dover-Sherborn girls soccer's Waverly Sumner. Serving as the centerpiece of the Raiders offense with a TVL-leading 16 goals and six assists, Sumner has helped the Raiders to a 9-1-1 start.

On Thursday, the Raiders welcomed Ashland to Nora Searle Field for their senior night. Led by yet another dominant performance by Sumner with four goals on the night, the Raiders rolled to a 6-2 victory. The win clinched DS a spot in the postseason.

"It was obviously a huge confidence booster for me," said Sumner when asked about her four-goal night. "But, I think the win was also really important for the team. Ashland almost came back and I think the way we responded and were able to stay composed was really essential for us and our play going forward. The 'play until the whistle goes' mentality is something we’re going to need to bring to {the state} tournament and I’m glad we could solidify that against Ashland."

About 12 minutes in, UPenn-committed defender and senior Rachel Herman drew first blood for DS, stinging home a free kick from 25 yards out to make it 1-0. With just over six minutes to play before halftime, Sumner doubled the lead to 2-0 after receiving a perfect feed up the seam from Marty Phillips and burying a shot up high. During stoppage time, however, Ashland drew to within one with a goal off a corner kick to make it 2-1 at halftime.

Ashland carried over the momentum into the early minutes of the second half and began to carry the pace of play. With about 37 minutes to play in the game, Courtney Mahoney made back-to-back saves on a corner kick. However, Mahoney's second save produced a rebound that bounced right to an Ashland attacker and the ball was struck home to even the game at two.

Just under 10 minutes after the tying goal by Ashland, Waverly Sumner responded. A nice play through the midfield by Herman led to a nice feed to Sumner along the left wing, who booted home a shot off the far-right post and in to reclaim the lead for DS at 3-2 with 27:30 remaining. Just 3:20 later, Sumner struck again to complete the hat trick, again coming off a feed from Herman on a corner kick to make it 4-2.

With 11:28 to play, Sumner booted home her fourth of the night following a cross from Sara Worcester to add some insurance. During stoppage time, senior captain, Abby DeSalvo, hammered the nail into the coffin by heading home a cross from Marielle Goganian, and the Raiders came away with the 6-2 victory.

"We play for each other and I think that’s what has gotten us this far and will continue to help us compete," said Sumner on her team's mindset moving forward. "I think there’s nothing this team can’t do right now."

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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