Madie Donovan lifts Cohasset girls’ lacrosse into sectional final
Intermittently over the past few seasons, Cohasset coach Kully Reardon has seen Madie Donovan lack confidence and fear making mistakes.
Tuesday in a Division 2 South semifinal at Norwell High, in one of the biggest games of the junior midfielder’s life, Reardon saw no such apprehension.
Instead, she witnessed a player brimming with potential deliver one of the most timely goals of the high school girls’ lacrosse season.
With 1:01 remaining in a tie game, Donovan cut middle, corralled a feed from Molly Greer, faked high, and beat the goalie.
The third-seeded Skippers (17-6) ran out the clock from there, capturing a scintillating 14-13 win over second-seeded Norwell (17-6).
In a game that featured eight lead changes and nine ties, it felt as though which ever team had the last chance would likely prevail.
“No one deserves this more than Madie Donovan,” Reardon said.
Senior midfielder Jane Hansen had a game-high six goals for Cohasset, Greer racked up six assists, and Donovan also took a pivotal charge midway through the second half.
Cohasset held a 7-6 edge at halftime, and neither team led by more than two in the second half. Norwell senior attacker Katie Amorosino tied the score at 13 on a free-position goal with 1:35 remaining, but Cohasset capitalized moments later.
“They’re such a great team, and they work unbelievably hard, so to win this on their field is a great feeling,” Donovan said.
Now the Skippers have to regroup and face fourth-seeded Hanover, a team they beat 20-3 this year, in the final Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Hingham High.
Hanover 19, Martha’s Vineyard 10 — Riding a six-goal performance from sophomore Sydney Weber, the fourth-seeded Indians (17-4) ousted the top-seeded Vineyarders (19-2) in a sectional semifinal. With 12:45 left in the first half, Weber scored two goals in a 12-second span to give the hosts a 4-3 lead.
‘‘She’s been unbelievable, especially in tournament,’’ Hanover coach Karen Petrucelli said. ‘‘When she gets the draw control, it’s just beautiful and amazing lacrosse. She’s playing unreal.’’
Sophomore Jordan Tandler and seniors Caroline Gordon and Clare Connolly added three goals apiece.
Division 2 North
Newburyport 13, Swampscott 12 —Sam King’s overtime goal gave the third-seeded Clippers (15-4) the victory over the second-seeded Big Blue (16-3) in the Division 2 North semifinals.
Division 2 East
Foxborough 15, Wayland 13 —Sophia DiCenso, Meg Curran, and Jaime Notarangelo each scored three goals for fourth-seeded Foxborough (15-7) in beating top-seeded Wayland (17-5) in the Division 2 East semifinals.
Division 1 South
Westwood 10, Wellesley 9 — The Wolverines (22-1) used a 5-0 spurt in the second half to pull ahead of the defending champs at Norwell High and advance to the sectional final.
“We’ve talked about being able to dig in, in big games, and that’s what they were able to do,” Westwood coach Margot Spatola said. “They dug, they were patient, and we finished when we needed to.”
Sophomore Ashley Mackin paced Westwood with three goals.
For Wellesley (18-5), junior Bridget Noonan cut the margin to one with one of her team-high three goals with 4:25 remaining, but the Wolverines worked the ball around in the final minutes.
Spatola acknowledged it was a tense ending, but the Wolverines found a way to advance to the Division 1 South final.
“The girls have been hoping for this,” Spatola said.
Notre Dame (Hingham) 8, Needham 6 — Madison Ahern netted three goals and Maggie Coughlin added two as the second-seeded Cougars (20-3) defeated the third-seeded Rockets (18-5) in a sectional semifinal at Hanover High.
“We played Needham in the regular season, so I know how tough, fast, gritty, and aggressive they are,” Notre Dame coach Meredith Frank McGinnis said. “It was about us settling down, earning our possessions and taking advantage of them on the offensive end.”
Defense was key for the Cougars — they went 29 minutes and 26 seconds without allowing a goal. Over the same stretch, they scored four of their own, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 lead.
Madison Ahern netted three goals and Maggie Coughlin added two.
Division 1 North
Marblehead 12, Reading 11 — The fourth-seeded Magicians (16-5) withstood a last-minute blitz to beat the top-seeded Rockets (19-3) at Chelmsford High. in a rematch of last year’s Division 2 North semifinals.
Interim coach Elena Arthur credited junior Bella Peters, who only started one game during the regular season, as the key to Marblehead’s upset victory. Peters was tasked with face-guarding Alex Palermo, and held Reading’s senior captain to just two goals.
“[Peters] just stepped to the occasion,” said Arthur. “She’s an incredible athlete and she shut down their best player.”
After falling behind early, 6-1, the Rockets stormed back to tie the game at 11 with three minutes to play. On the next possession, Brown-bound midfielder Lydia Bongiorno fired a deep strike to put the Magicians ahead for good.
“There’s a little bit of redemption for that,” Arthur said of avenging last year’s 9-7 loss to Reading in last year’s Division 2 North semifinals. “I think the girls wanted to come back out here and make their mark. We have an incredibly talented group of seniors and they’re not done.”
Chelmsford 14, North Andover 8 — Kate Krueger scored three goals and added three assists to propel the second-seeded Lions (19-4) past the third-seeded Scarlet Knights (17-6) in the sectional semifinals.
With the Merrimack Valley Conference rivals tied at 7, Krueger shifted momentum by netting the go-ahead goal with 15 seconds left in the half. After the break, the sophomore helped the Lions tally five straight scores to punch their ticket to the title game against fourth-seeded Marblehead.
“When we need a goal, we want the ball in her stick,” Chelmsford coach Ashley Rokas said of Krueger, who has 65 goals and 47 assists this season. “She’s either feeding somebody or putting the ball in the back of the net when we need it.”
Krueger was confident that her Lions can defend their North sectional crown Friday.
“We’re gonna get them,” Krueger said. “No question.”
Division 1 East
Concord-Carlisle 11, Franklin 10 —The third-seeded Patriots (18-4) seized an 11-9 lead with three minutes left and survived a late rush by the No. 2 Panthers (20-3) for the Division 1 East semifinal win at Walpole High. C-C will play host Walpole in the East final Friday.
Division 1 North
Lincoln-Sudbury 12, Acton-Boxboro 10 — During one-goal losses to Acton-Boxboro in the 2018 state tournament and 2019 regular season, Lincoln-Sudbury could not crack the Colonials’ defensive zone when it mattered most. But in Tuesday’s Division 1 North semifinal at A-B’s Leary Field, senior Johnny Herlihy provided the answers L-S needed with six goals to beat its Dual County League rivals.
Lincoln-Sudbury (15-4) will play at top-seeded St. John’s Prep (18-3) in the Division 1 North final Friday at 5 p.m.
“We’ve been working on the zone all week,” said Herlihy. “Early in the year, it was an enemy for us. We just realized we have to ball the faster than they do, and we’ll get our looks.”
Herlihy scored early in the second quarter to give L-S a 5-3 lead, but A-B (16-2) went on a 3-0 run to close the second quarter, and led 8-6 early in the third.
Instead of panicking, L-S settled into a very deliberate offense and Herlihy scored twice from distance to tie the game.
“It just puts that much more of a chip on our shoulder,” Herlihy said. “Every ground ball, every shot, you just want it more, because it’s a rivalry.”
In the fourth quarter, Herlihy netted two more lasers off feeds from Nick Mitchell (three goals, two assists) and Kyle Smith (goal, three assists) to put the Warriors up, 11-9.
A-B goalie Chris Meinhold (11 saves) stood tall down the stretch and Colonials senior Vic Otero (five goals) scored to make it 11-10 in the final minutes, but L-S was able to hang on.
“[The Colonials’] whole plan was to slow down the offense and they did, they slowed us down,” said L-S coach Brian Vona. “It’s a big rivalry and there was some intensity there. [Meinhold] is good.
“We had some openings against him today and the boys took it.”
Riley Overend reported from Chelmsford, Ian Vescera from Hanover, and Nate Weitzer from Sudbury.