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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Two perennial state title contenders squared off on the rain-soaked turf of Wellesley High on Monday afternoon as the reigning Division I state champion Wellesley Raiders (10-4, 7-1) hosted Division II powerhouse Cohasset (11-4, 9-3).
Despite a four-goal effort from California-bound attacker Brooke Baker, Wellesley was unable to overcome a late three-goal deficit, as the comeback fell just short with a 12-11 defeat.Wellesley jumped out to a 2-1 lead following back-to-back goals by Baker and Maya Desmond (three goals). Cohasset evened the game at two on a free-position restart, but Baker reclaimed the lead for the Raiders with her second of the day on a drive to the crease and finish down low with 15:12 to play in the half.
Cohasset scored two straight following the Baker strike to take a 4-3 lead, but senior captain Maddy Balter (three goals) knotted things at four with a dodge and nifty little shot up high into the top left corner of the net with 10:50 remaining. Desmond reclaimed the lead for Wellesley 1:37 later with a finish at the crease to make it 5-4 Raiders. However, Cohasset netted the equalizer with just under seven minutes remaining and the game entered halftime deadlocked at five apiece.
The Skippers began the second half on a 4-1 run to seize a 9-6 lead and force Wellesley to a timeout. The teams exchanged blows following the break with Desmond and Balter each netting one, but Cohasset still maintained a three-goal lead at 12-9 with 4:40 to play.
Balter completed the hat trick with 1:49 remaining to pull Wellesley to within two before Baker’s fourth of the day off the ensuing face-off win made it a one-goal game with 1:13 remaining. Baker nearly evened the game at 12 with under 30 seconds to play but was denied by the stick of Cohasset goalie Lindsay Ferreira. Cohasset gained back possession and chewed out the remainder of the clock to prevail by the one-goal final.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.