Fourteen athletes took the field for the overtime period on Wednesday night, but all eyes at the Division 1 South field hockey semifinal were trained on Somerset-Berkley’s Lucas Crook and Alex Millar, the only two boys in uniform.
It was Crook, a high-scoring junior forward, that tipped in an errant rebound four minutes into the 7-on-7 extra session that lifted the host Raiders to an emotional, and fiery 3-2 victory over Canton.
His reaction on seeing the ball roll into the net was one of relief.
Crook relaxed his posture, reassured to have finally slipped a shot past Canton goalie Riley Brown, who stood up top-seeded Somerset-Berkley (21-0) for most of the night on the frigid turf.
There was no relief, however, on the Canton side.
“They shouldn’t have boys on their team, it’s ridiculous” said Canton coach Christine O’Connor after her team’s season ended at 16-4-1.
From start to finish, the Canton sideline had problems with the physicality of the game, with one assistant coach being assessed a green card.
“The officials didn’t keep control of it, I think if they had, the result would’ve been different in regulation,” O’Connor said. “I think the boys were too physical, I think they were altogether too physical.”
At game’s end, the two sides lined up to shake hands, but many refused — an outcome that dismayed Somerset-Berkley 22-year coach Jen Crook, also Lucas’s mother, who complained of poor sportsmanship from Canton.
“I’m starting to get really annoyed with this,” she said, adding that her two male athletes have been playing since seventh grade and want to continue. Her daughter, Cameron, a freshman, is also one of Raiders’ top scorers.
“They could easily go play soccer, or football, they enjoy the sport of field hockey,” she said.
Every Somerset-Berkley player wore shorts on Wednesday night, a departure from the traditional uniform featuring a skirt. The Raiders were told by the MIAA that there had to be uniform consistency.
“I don’t know what else to do,” Crook said. “It’s the adults that are ruining this.”
A frustrated O’Connor argued that her team was the more skilled, and was hurt by the presence of the two boys.
“We were the better team, how do you play against that?”
Division 1 North
Andover 3, Central Catholic 2 — Trailing 2-1 at the half, the top-seeded Golden Warriors (19-0-1) received second-half goals from freshman Hanna Medwar to beat their Merrimack Conference rival in a semifinal at Reading High.
Division 1 South
King Philip 2, Duxbury 1 — Senior Abby Campbell made four crucial saves and Claire Lawler converted King Philip’s only corner as the second-seeded Warriors (17-2-1) staved off a relentless Duxbury.
Division 3 North
Watertown 1, Wayland 0 — Sergio Salas denied Wayland’s final PK bid by Marco Melero and Jose Luiz Mendoza delivered the decisive shootout goal for the fifth-seeded Raiders (14-6-1).