WELLESLEY — Behind a sterling defensive effort, and another dominant offensive display from Jane Hansen, the Cohasset girls’ lacrosse team breezed past Foxborough, 17-8, on Tuesday at Babson College to advance to the Division 2 state championship game.
The Skippers will play Manchester Essex for the championship Friday at Babson at 7 p.m.
Hansen, a Northwestern-bound midfielder, scored seven goals, giving her 19 over the last three games. Sophomore attack Kate Cunning added two goals and five assists, while senior Annie Toomey, senior Emma Stephens, and sophomore goalie Lindsey Ferreira anchored the defense for the Skippers.
“That’s the best defense we’ve played all season,” Cohasset coach Kully Reardon said. “That sort of catapulted us into playing a little bit more level-headed and playing our game.”
Cohasset (19-6) and Foxborough (16-8) were knotted at 5 in the first half, but the Skippers used a 5-0 flurry in the final four-plus minutes to take a 10-5 edge into halftime.
They cruised from there, extending the lead to 14-7 with 11:21 remaining on Hansen’s final strike. She showcased her ability throughout the game, delivering a bullet into the top left corner on one shot and using an ultra-quick release on another.
“I don’t even think we’ve seen the best Jane Hansen there is,” Reardon said. “That’s how incredible she is.”
The Warriors, the No. 4 seed from the East, capped a season in which they won their first sectional title. The Skippers, the No. 3 seed from the South, are one win away from their second state title in three seasons.
“Since we lost last year, we’ve wanted to win a championship so badly,” Hansen said. “This year, we’ve worked really hard. It’s just the whole team vibe of wanting to win.”
Manchester Essex 11, Bromfield 10 — The Hornets (17-5) held their opponents scoreless for the final 20:42, while erasing a three-goal deficit, to earn a spot in their first Division 2 state title game.
Senior Brigid Edgerton scored five goals, including the winner with 9:53 remaining on a free-position shot. Fellow senior Bella Pomeroy made two keys saves late, and the Hornets (17-5) won their third consecutive one-goal game.
Manchester Essex, the No. 4 seed from the North, may be on an improbable run, but don’t tell that to first-year coach Nan Gorton.
“We’re supposed to be here,” Gorton said, grinning. “Make no mistake. This is exactly where we’re supposed to be.”
The Hornets took a 6-4 lead before Bromfield (19-3) responded to pull ahead, 7-6, at the half.
Bromfield, the No. 1 seed from Central/West, picked up its fourth yellow card with 10:38 remaining, putting Manchester Essex a player up the rest of the way.
The Hornets were methodical on offense and steady on defense, and they survived once again.
“We always rise up to the occasion,” Pomeroy said. “We thrive in close games.”
Trevor Hass can be reached at email@example.com.