Nothing was breaking the intense focus of the Winchester field hockey team on Saturday afternoon. Not the cold overcast weather, and not even the extended warmup that was sprung on the team when one of the officials was delayed getting to Knowlton Stadium.
Winchester had one thought in mind: beat Lexington, the only other undefeated team in the Middlesex League Liberty Division. Winchester’s concentration was rewarded with a resounding 7-2 victory.
“We knew this was going to be the biggest game,” Winchester senior forward Niki Micciche said. “I think the intensity was there the whole time on the sideline and on the field. … We went into [this game] saying, ‘This is our tournament.’”
Winchester’s intensity was noticeable from the first whistle. Just two minutes into the game senior Mia Legere sent a pass to junior Brooke Moloney-Kolenberg, who was perfectly positioned in the front of the net to score. Winchester added two more goals before the end of the quarter for a 3-0 lead.
“We started high and continued to play that way,” Winchester coach Michelle White said. “Sometimes we get flat, or there are periods of time where we get flat and I feel like certainly in the first quarter it was 15 minutes of crazy high intensity. I think that helped us get on top and put ourselves in positions to score.”
Winchester never lost focus, using its speed and excellent positioning to add three more goals in the second quarter and another goal in the third quarter.
Leading the offensive attack was Micciche, Winchester’s all-time leading scorer, who finished the day with three goals and two assists. Moloney-Kolenberg collected two goals and two assists, and Legere added a goal and two assists.
“We really found the gaps up top with Mia and Brooke,” Micciche said. “We are really good with communicating and getting inside and outside and back to each other. We really found each other out there and it worked out.”
Lexington came into Saturday having not allowed a goal all season, but the last time the Minutewomen saw live game action was Nov. 1. Lexington’s last two scheduled games against Reading were canceled because of COVID-19.
“I think [the time off] got us out of rhythm,” Lexington coach Laura Galopim said. “We definitely should have conditioned more than we have been. Mentally coming into a game when you haven’t played a game, you don’t have that compete level. We’ve been competing a ton at practice, trying to keep it as competitive as possible, so they stay fresh. I think it is hard when you have that lull and you come in and play a team like this. I’m not going to take away any credit. They are a phenomenal team.”
The Minutewomen will get one final crack at Winchester on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Lexington.
Central Catholic 1, North Andover 1 — Senior Caitlin Finneran scored on an assist from junior Brooke Jankowski for Central (5-5-1, 4-3-1 Merrimack Valley Conference).
Methuen 1, Haverhill 0 — Vanessa Fritschy scored on an assist from Miralys Morales, and Methuen (6-2-1) closed its season with the Merrimack Valley Conference victory. Isabel Putnam had five saves for the Rangers.
Silver Lake 1, Hingham 0 — Goaltender Allison Dahlen recorded a nine-save shutout for the Lakers, who advanced to face Plymouth North on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Patriot Cup.
Nauset 5, Barnstable 1 — Sophomore Nate Watring recorded a hat trick, senior co-captain Ethan Boyle chipped in a goal and three assists, and senior co-captain Ben LaBranche also scored as the top-seeded Warriors put the finishing touches on another dominant season with a lopsided victory over Barnstable in the Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division tournament championship.
Nauset (12-0) outscored its opponents 69-2 this season. Senior Allen Ives scored for second-seeded Barnstable (5-4-1), joining classmate Ainsley Birch as the only two players to find the back of the net against the Warriors this year.
As pleased as Nauset coach John McCully was with the outcome, he said he wishes his players had the opportunity to accomplish even more.
“We knew we had a special group of young men going into this season,” McCully said. "As good as it was to win this, I still feel bad for my seniors because they worked so hard for so many years to have this opportunity and they only had one thing on their mind: challenging for a state title.
“It’s a crying shame, but we made the most of the situation and from start to finish, we left no doubt who the kings of Cape Cod are.”
Billerica 2, Haverhill 1 — Joe Haggerty scored the first goal and set up Cameron Salter for the second to lead the Indians (4-1-2) to the Merrimack Valley Conference win.
Cardinal Spellman 6, Austin Prep 1 — Zach Nassar and Alex Kuzmich each scored twice as the Cardinals (6-0-4) rolled in the quarterfinals of the Catholic Central League Cup.
Carver 6, Hull 2 — Senior Dominic Craig scored three goals and two assists for the Crusaders (7-3-1), recording his 100th career point in the process. Senior Mike Sawicki added two goals and an assist. Carver will represent the Tobin Division in the South Shore League championship on Thursday.
Dedham 4, Dover-Sherborn 1 — Zach Clasby scored twice for the Marauders, and Gerald Neto and Gabriel De Oliviera netted their first varsity goals in the Tri-Valley League matchup.
Lowell 3, Dracut 1 — Steven Monsalve, Joshua Dos Santos and Jonnathan Lopes scored, and Chigozie Adigwe made five saves for the Red Raiders in a Merrimack Valley Conference win over the Middies.
St. Mary’s 2, Arlington Catholic 0 — The Spartans advanced in the Catholic Central League Cup thanks to goals from Ryan Fraher and Eduardo Toranzo, and backstopped by a shutout from Jacob Guarino.
Sturgis East 4, St. John Paul II 0 — Luiz Teixeira, Thomas Terry, Lucas Dehelean and Travis Markowski combined to supply four second-half goals for the Storm, who advanced to the Cape & Islands Lighthouse Division championship Monday against Monomoy.
Barnstable 0, Nauset 0 — Senior goalkeeper Morgan Dardia finished with 19 saves, including back-to-back diving stops during the final two rounds of penalty kicks to propel third-seeded Barnstable past top-seeded Nauset in the Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division tournament championship.
After the teams played 80 minutes of scoreless soccer and two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods without a goal, Dardia secured the win with consecutive saves against Nauset sophomore Emma Easley and junior Kate Kennard.
Senior Kate Brewster and juniors Alivia Varetimos, Dakota Hesse and Mary Sives scored in order for Barnstable (6-2-2) during penalty kicks. Freshmen Caroline Kennard and Olivia Avellar opened PKs with goals for Nauset (8-2-2) before Dardia took over.
“I’m so proud of how everybody played,” Dardia said. “In years past, we’d sometimes struggle mentally against Nauset but there was nothing stopping us this year. This is the perfect way for it to end.”
Arlington Catholic 3, Saint Joseph Prep 0 — Freshman Lydia Daly broke open a scoreless match in the second half for the Cougars (3-7-2), who also got goals from junior Shelley Donahue and senior Nikoletta Tavitian in their Catholic Central League Cup win over the Phoenix.
Bishop Stang 3, Archbishop Williams 2 — Taylor Oliveira scored twice for the Spartans, who prevailed in the opening round of the Catholic Central League Cup.
Danvers 3, Beverly 0 — Junior Arianna Bezanson scored all three goals for the Falcons, who improved to 10-0 in a Northeastern Conference win over the Panthers.
Oliver Ames 3, Attleboro 1 — Jenna Gillman, Lucinda Cotter (first career goal) and Emma Pereira scored for the Tigers (6-1-5), who advanced to the Hockomock Cup final on Tuesday against King Philip.
St. Mary’s 3, Matignon 0 — Seniors Susannah Cornell and Maria Pereira, as well as eighth-grader Brooke Moloney, scored for the Spartans (7-7-2) in their win over the Warriors in the opening round of the Catholic Central League Cup.
Ursuline 6, Malden Catholic 0 — Senior Kara Bobroff scored the first two goals of her varsity career and freshman Lily Gibbs tacked on two more for the Bears (8-1) in a nonleague win over the Lancers.
Whitman-Hanson 1, Plymouth North 0 — Alexis Billings scored in the final minute of overtime for the Panthers (9-2-2), who advanced to the Patriot Cup semifinals against Hingham on Tuesday.
Winchester 2, Lexington 0 — Senior Hannah Curtin scored twice in the second half, helping Winchester improve to 9-0 in a Middlesex League win.
Haverhill 3, Billerica 1 — Kailey Roche delivered 23 assists in the Merrimack Valley Conference loss for the Indians.
Lowell 3, Dracut 2 — Ali Rivera had nine kills, three blocks and 20 digs for the Red Raiders, who came back from two games down to knock off the Middies in a Merrimack Valley Conference matchup.
Dover-Sherborn 15, Dedham 49 — Corinne Forman covered the 2.6-mile course in 18:38, and the Raiders took the top five spots to roll to the Tri-Valley League victory. Sara Hershberg (19:08), Caitlin Britt (19:13), Virginia Borths (19:34), and Nicole Cormier (19:44) followed across the finish line for D-S.
Globe correspondent Brad Joyal contributed to this report.