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Shields’ strike lifts Warriors over Raiders

Senior captain Mary Long (5) corrals a ball on her backhand and moves up field. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Until Wednesday night, Medfield High School varsity field hockey had never beaten arch-rival Dover-Sherborn. The reigning Division II state champion Raiders entered still unbeaten at 4-0-0 (3-0-0), while Medfield came in at 1-4-2 (1-2-2) and in desperate need of a statement win.

On paper, this is a game that DS entered as a heavy favorite, considering the differences in record and the rivalry's one-sided history. The Warriors, however, were hearing none of that.

A conservative first half by both offenses kept the game scoreless at halftime. Following the break, Medfield began to build momentum and sustain pressure in the Dover-Sherborn end. Midway through the quarter, the Warriors were awarded a penalty-corner following a foul at the DS net-mouth. On the try, junior midfielder Ashley Malmquist took a feed from junior midfielder Keira Dennehy and launched a rocket of a shot on net. The ball was turned aside by DS goalie Loren Root, but the rebound trickled out to Dennehy on the right side of the cage. Dennehy gathered the ball and fed a feed down to junior forward Emily Hollander at the left post. Hollander twisted and fed a backwards pass to junior midfielder Chloe Shield in front of the net. Shield gathered the pass and flipped up a perfect shot over a series of bodies and into the back of the net, giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead with 8:06 to play in the third quarter.

Following the goal by Shield, the Raiders began to pick up momentum in search of the equalizer. Medfield's backfield stood tall and turned away the Raiders time and time again.

Still 1-0 with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter, DS was awarded a penalty-corner try. With the clock running out, the penalty corner would either result in a 1-1 tie or a 1-0 win for the Warriors. On the try, senior captain Nicole Mayer got a wide-open look from about 7 yards in front of the left post. Mayer unleashed a shot destined for the far-right corner of the net, but was turned aside by the left leg of Bitsy Crowley and the ball was cleared.

The final whistle blew and Medfield came away with the milestone 1-0 victory as Crowley was mobbed by her teammates.

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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