As Izzy Adams proudly proclaimed, “all it takes is one goal.”
And the junior whiz was the one to deliver that goal, connecting with 2 minutes left in the first quarter of Saturday’s Division 1 final at WPI’s Alumni Field, lifting top-seeded Walpole to a 1-0 victory over nemesis Andover, the two-time defending champion which had denied the Porkers in 2021 and 2022 by the same score.
It was Walpole’s first title since 2016, but 13th overall, second-most in state history behind Watertown (21).
“That first goal was a huge mental piece,” Walpole coach Jen Quinn said. “Instead of trying to dig it back out, we decided to plug it in and move forward. It was nice to score first.”
Adams, who connected from the corner after collecting the ball at the stroke mark, said it was imperative that the Porkers score first against Andover (19-2).
“We’ve lost 1-0 the last few years,” she said. “So we knew then that we just had to keep possession of the ball and not let Andover get a chance to make a comeback because they are very good at that.”
While the goal late in the first quarter set the offensive tempo, it meant that the Porkers (21-1) would have to defend the score for a longer time. Senior Katie Colleran was up for the challenge, intercepting balls and blocked shooting lanes.
“I just feel comfortable enough to take those calls when I need to,” said Colleran. “And I trust my team because our defensive unit has worked together so well the whole year.”
Adams and Colleran were determined that the Porkers were not going to lose again.
“It is 100 percent redemption,” said Colleran. “I’ve been here for three years and we wanted the win so badly. And we finally got it for the girls that couldn’t get it before. Just so happy to do that.”
Division 2 State
Reading 2, Norwood 1 (OT) — Preparing for overtime, Ava Goodwin and her Reading teammates were feeling the pressure. Norwood gained possession off the draw. But once the top-seeded Rockets (22-1) stole the ball and moved down the field, they never let go.
And 4 minutes, 23 seconds into the extra session, Goodwin potted the winner as Reading captured its first state title, nudging past the second-seeded Mustangs (20-3) at WPI’s Alumni Field.
“We like to score first and we didn’t, so I feel like our energy was kind of fading down,” said Goodwin, a senior forward. “But . . . we’re very conditioned, we’re very communicative, and we’re able to pass, so I started to feel a little more confident in the fact that we’re able to get it down [the field].”
On the winner, senior Autumn Matthews sent a tip to Goodwin from the right side of the net, and Goodwin knocked it in from the left post before Norwood goalie Ava O’Neil (8 saves) could slide for the save.
The game was scoreless until Norwood junior Ava Hines snuck the ball past Reading goalie Myles Lakin (7 saves) off a corner with 2:24 left in the third quarter.
Reading sophomore forward Danielle Bowers netted the equalizer midway through the fourth.
Heading into 7-v-7, Reading coach Taylor Reynolds told her team to play the same game as always.
“I call it the fifth quarter. Some of our best games are played [in] four quarters, and what’s one more?” Reynolds said. “We know what to do — dig deeper.”
For the 10 seniors on the team, the win was the perfect end to their careers.
“A lot of the seniors have been on my team since freshman year. It was a work in the making — a build-up for four years,” Reynolds said. “They earned it to the last possible second.”
Division 4 State
Uxbridge 4, Monomoy 0 — The top-seeded Spartans (22-1) surged to their third straight state championship with their fifth consecutive shutout, blanking No. 3 Monomoy at WPI’s Alumni Field.
“We have been fortunate to have this crew and every year they deliver,” said Uxbridge coach Kelly Rosborough.
Julianna Casucci put Uxbridge on the board first, with a chip-in four minutes in.
In the second, Monomoy (17-3-3) played much better in the midfield than it had in the first. A pair of Grade A chances came the Sharks way in the midpoint of the quarter. On the first, an Uxbridge player got a stick on a Susannah Brown shot, and on the second, Spartans goalie Julia Brynn Okenquist made a quick save.
After an unsuccessful corner, Casucci found the back of the net with just six seconds left before halftime for a 2-0 cushion.
Monomoy came out for the third quarter with speed and challenged Uxbridge in the opening minutes. The Spartans responded quickly.
“We adjusted very well,” said Uxbridge defender Bailey Dzivasen. “My other defenders and I, we knew what they were doing and we communicated very well.”
With three minutes left in the third quarter, Casucci fed Ava Rosborough for a 3-0 margin.
An Uxbridge corner at the start of the fourth quarter appeared destined for the net, but Monomoy’s Emery Cappallo made the block. Sharks goalie Maddie Swett made five saves in the frame, but the Spartans just kept challenging. With six minutes left, Rosborough scored her second of the game to seal the win.
Kat Cornetta and Julia Yohe also reported from WPI.