WORCESTER – For a Medfield girls’ soccer team comprised mostly of seniors, Saturday’s 3-1 win over Belchertown in the Division 2 state championship was the perfect sendoff.
Even more so for senior Krista Pinciaro, who battled back from three ACL tears since entering high school, to record a goal and an assist.
“Krista worked hard all summer long,” said Medfield coach Michael La Francesca. “You’d find her out there on the track for an hour, hour and a half, working out to get back. I told her, ‘You know we’re going to work with you and we’re going to get you back on that field.’ And just to see her tonight be a main contributor to the victory, it’s just breathtaking, it truly is.
“For her to miss out on three seasons and then come out and be a strong player for us, I’m telling you, she’s just a wonderful, wonderful kid. She’s going to go far in life.”
Cameryn McCurdy, who scored twice, put the Warriors (20-0-3) on top in the 15th minute, taking a pass from Pinciaro and — after a touch — depositing it into the back of the net. The goal was just the second allowed by Belchertown (20-1-2) all postseason.
Pinciaro, who is left-footed, was at it again in the 26th minute. She used her dominant foot to bend a corner kick through the hands of the Belchertown keeper to give the Warriors a 2-0 edge.
“Because I’m a lefty the hope is to hook it in, and it actually worked,” said Pinciaro, who admitted she’d accomplished the feat just once before.
The goal seemed to stun the Orioles, who entered having outscored their playoff opponents, 21-1.
After the half, Belchertown regained its offensive composure, finally breaking through in the 46th minute, when Jillian Lund’s free kick found the head of Jillian Cavanaugh, and then the back of the net.
However, that would be the only ball to find its way past All-New England goalkeeper Mimi Borkan (eight saves), who plans to play at the University of New Hampshire next season.
“This championship means everything to me,” said Borkan. “Only a couple teams in the state get to go out on a win. And to get to be one of those teams is incredible.”
Medfield, which won the Division 2 state title two years ago, netted the clinching goal with less than two minutes to play thanks to a Herculean effort by McCurdy.
The junior took a pass at the 40-yard line and weaved through several defenders before placing a shot in the right corner.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to have my senior year with,” said Pinciaro. “I couldn’t have [come back] without everyone, especially the coaching staff — they were unbelievable and they helped me through it all.”
“Sometimes it’s about believing,” said La Francesca. “You can have all the talent in the world, but it takes that believing in yourself and your teammates to make it happen, and they did it.“