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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The class of both the TVL and Bay State Conference met for a late-season non-conference showdown on Saturday morning as the Medfield Warriors visited the Wellesley Raiders.
Behind five goals and a pair of assists from senior captain and Stanford commit Caitlin Chicoski, along with four goals from junior Northwestern commit Maddy Balter, the No. 10 Raiders (14-3, 7-2) pulled away late for a hard-fought 14-8 victory. Medfield senior captain and Harvard basketball commit Maggie McCarthy led the Warriors (11-6, 9-3) with six goals and a pair of assists.
Junior midfielder Erin Seibel drew first blood for Medfield with 21:47 to play in the first half with a goal off of a free position restart. Chicoski responded moments later for Wellesley, however, potting home her first of the game to knot the score at one. Just a minute and a half later with 17:32 remaining, Chicoski took a feed from senior attacker Mae Sheehan from behind the cage and deposited home a shot down low to give Wellesley its first lead of the contest at 2-1. Chicoski completed the hat-trick a little over four minutes later with 13:11 to play, doubling Wellesley’s lead to 3-1.
Sophomore attacker Bridget Noonan made it a 4-1 game with a right-handed bouncer with 11:54 to play. McCarthy struck back for Medfield with a goal off of a restart with 8:36 remaining, but Chicoski responded 1:30 later, followed by a laser from Balter with 2:19 remaining to push the lead to 6-2. Chicoski’s fifth of the game with just 20.3 seconds to play on the EMO made it a 7-2 game in favor of Wellesley at the half.
Medfield desperately needed to seize back some momentum in the early portion of the second half after the 3-0 run by the Raiders to enter the break. To do so, the Warriors turned to none other than Maggie McCarthy, and the multi-sport star deposited home a goal on a sharp cut to the crease, followed by a nifty off-hand finish up high, to make it a 7-3 game just 1:39 in. Balter responded for Wellesley a little over a minute later with a goal off of transition with 22:18 to play, but McCarthy fought right back just 12 seconds later to cut the deficit back to four goals with a tally off of a free position.
Noonan’s second of the game with 20:21 to play pushed Wellesley’s lead back to five at 9-4, but Seibel potted home a goal at the crease off of a feed from McCarthy to make it 9-5 with 14:01 remaining. Balter completed the hat-trick with 8:12 remaining to put Wellesley in double figures and, once again, make it a five-goal game at 10-5. McCarthy put home a goal off of a feed from Brooke Deady just 31 seconds later to cut the deficit back to 10-6 with 7:41 left, but another goal by Balter off of a free position pushed the lead back to five with 6:49 to play. Sophomore Jessica Baker potted home a goal on a free position to make it 12-6 with 5:47 on the clock before McCarthy cut back into the deficit for Medfield with her fifth of the day with 4:55 left. Cal-Berkley commit Brooke Baker fired home a goal with exactly four minutes to play to make it 13-7. Noonan then completed her hat-trick with 2:59 left, pushing the lead to 14-7. McCarthy got one back for Medfield with 1:31 to play, but the damage was too much for the Warriors to overcome, and Wellesley prevailed with the six-goal victory.
At the time of print, Wellesley will host Arlington on May 23 before a showdown with Weymouth on May 30 to close out the regular season. Medfield, meanwhile, will rest up as the Warriors wait to find out their seeding in the Division II state tournament.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.