The Sandwich field hockey team had every reason to be riled up for their game against Duxbury Tuesday night.
The last two times second-ranked Duxbury and ninth-ranked Sandwich met, the Blue Knights were forced to endure long bus rides back to the Cape. Last season in the Division 1 South semifinals, it was an agonizing 2-1 loss to the Dragons. On Sept. 6, a game in which Sandwich hoped to erase the playoff loss from memory, the Dragons again emerged victorious, 4-1.
This time, on their home field, the Blue Knights made sure Duxbury wouldn’t enjoy its ride home.
Senior Meagan Eccleston scored two goals, including the winner, and senior Erin Gendreau added a goal to go along with her suffocating defense as the Blue Knights were able to hand the Dragons their first loss of the season, 3-2.
“This team has been saying all year this is a special team, and I think they know it now,” said Sandwich coach Kelsy Beaton. “These kids are very motivated and know we were so close last year.”
Duxbury (12-1) was first to get on the board, as Ally Hammel sent a rocket from the top of the circle past senior goalie Stephanie Smith.
The Blue Knights (10-1) earned a decisive 10-6 penalty corner advantage in the first half, a result of their early press in the offensive zone, but it was a successful penalty stroke by Gendreau with a minute remaining that sent the game into halftime tied at one.
Less than five minutes into the second, Sandwich’s Maggie Layo sent a feed across the crease to Eccleston on the right wing. Eccleston was able to tuck the ball into the corner of the net as the Blue Knights took the 2-1 lead.
Duxbury’s Katie Smith was able to beat the Sandwich defense to knot the game at 2-2, but Eccleston buried the winner from the right wing with nine minutes remaining to lift the Blue Knights to victory. Smith finished the game with nine saves in net.
“Everyone was pumped,” said Beaton. “Our last two losses are to [the Dragons].
“I’m sure everyone is saying now, if we meet them in the tournament again, it’s going to be that much more intense”
West Bridgewater 4, Bishop Stang 2 — The Wildcats (9-1-2) received goals from Priscilla Martinez, Emma Kincaid, Ally Mills, and Ashley Congdon.
Lynnfield 4, North Reading 4 — Senior left wing Becky Ladd had a hat trick for the Pioneers (6-2-2) in their tie with the Hornets.
Acton-Boxborough 4, Weston 0 — Sophomore Leah Cardarelli had a goal and an assist for the Colonials as they improved to 11-1 on the season.
Ashland 2, Bellingham 0 — Seniors Alex Lacatena and Mini Tuballa each scored a goal for the Clockers.
North Reading 1, Lynfield 0 — Senior midfielder John Braga netted the winner for the Hornets 10 minutes into the second half.
Middleborough 3, North Quincy 2 — Senior forward Kenny Schofield had a goal and an assist for the Sachems (2-7-2).
St. Mary’s 2, Cardinal Spellman 1 — Senior captain Alexander Alleyne scored both goals as the Spartans improved to 8-2-3 and qualified for the state tournament.
Whitman-Hanson 2, Silver Lake 0 — Freshmen Kelsey Gilbert and Alexis Fruzzetti provided the offense for the No. 10 Panthers (10-0-1).
Marshfield 3, Falmouth 2 — Senior Jill Clapp registered the hat trick for the 10-1 Rams.
Duxbury 3, Hanover 0 — Freshman Molly Tobin scored the winning goal for the No. 11 Dragons (9-1-1), helping the team qualify for the tournament.
North Quincy 2, Middleborough 0 — Freshman forward Marissa McGue scored her 10th goal and added an assist for the Red Raiders (10-2-2).
Lowell Catholic 2, Malden 0 — Sophomore Taylor Patterson and senior Haley Callahan each scored their 10th goals for the Fighting Crusaders (10-2) in their win over the Golden Tornadoes.
Peabody football coach Scott Wlasuk turned in his resignation, effective immediately, according to athletic director Phil Sheridan.
“Coach Wlasuk is a good guy and resigned for personal reasons,” Sheridan said Tuesday night. “We wish him well.”
Wlasuk was 17-31 in four-plus seasons with the Tanners, who have stumbled to an 0-5 start and recently lost, 49-0, to Beverly.
Matt O’Brien, an assistant under Wlasuk, will run the team for the remainder of the season.