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State tourney flashback: NDA girls put away Walpole in D1 semifinals with a perfect finish

Notre Dame Academy was able to celebrate the Division 1 state title last June after a 17-8 semifinal win over Walpole and an 8-7 victory over Longmeadow.
Notre Dame Academy was able to celebrate the Division 1 state title last June after a 17-8 semifinal win over Walpole and an 8-7 victory over Longmeadow.John Cetrino for The Boston Globe

(In the month of June, the Globe will turn back the clock to a corresponding day from a previous year, highlighting a moment from the spring high school postseason.)

June 17, 2019: Meredith McGinnis watched her Notre Dame Academy-Hingham team play a number of excellent games en route to the 2019 MIAA Division 1 girls’ lacrosse title. But the Cougars’ state semifinal win over Walpole, McGinnis says, is when they perfectly executed their game plan.

NDA’s 17-8 win at Babson College sent NDA to its second state final in program history, thanks to a balanced offensive effort from senior Madison Ahern (five goals), and juniors Maggie Coughlin and Cara Charette (four goals apiece).

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“I thought that we had sort of a unique patience,” said McGinnis, a Westwood alum who played lacrosse at Northwestern. “Especially in those games, you want to score as many goals as you can and I felt like every possession we took in that game was very methodical.”

NDA led 8-5 at halftime, but a no-look goal from Ahern early in the second half put the Cougars up 10-5, sparking a 7-3 run to close out the game. Four days later, in the state final, Notre Dame defeated West champion Longmeadow, 8-7, to capture its second championship and finish the season 23-3. But the win over Walpole provided the spark.

“We went in with a solid game plan. In the past [Walpole] had played a more aggressive defense. We wanted to just prepare as best we could,” Frank said. “It was as much of a team win that we had gotten that whole season. We got a lot of different contributions from all over the field.”