BRAINTREE — Senior Abigail Gramer scored two goals on a game-high six shots as the third-seeded Dover-Sherborn field hockey team knocked off defending Division 2 state champion Dennis-Yarmouth in a D2 South semifinal on Tuesday, 3-0.
Gramer, one of the many holdovers of last year’s team that fell to the juggernaut Dolphins in the quarterfinal round, took a lot from that defeat last year and turned it into the Raiders’ first sectional final appearance since 2014.
“We knew we were a different team this year,” said Gramer. “We really had the energy knowing this was the game we wanted to win. This is a huge win for us.”
Dover-Sherborn will face Sandwich in Saturday’s final.
Gramer’s first goal came with the Raiders (18-1-2) ahead, 1-0, in the first half. Senior Izabella Friedel carried the ball around a defender and into the circle before a pass into the middle connected with Gramer to double the lead.
The Raiders never grew complacent and continued applying offensive pressure throughout the second half, which wound up producing eight total penalty corners to just one for D-Y. Gramer’s second tally came off a Dolphins’ turnover as the senior intercepted a clearance pass and beat D-Y senior goalie Delayna Gallagher low.
Gallagher made 11 saves in the final game of her Dennis-Yarmouth career. Offensively, the Dolphins never attempted a shot and rarely made forays into the shooting circle.
“They had some really fast players, but what we try to do is make sure we’re in our positions,” said Dover-Sherborn coach Dara Johnson. “We try to cover the seams, every angle we try to take care of, and we were able to turn the ball around a lot.”
The Raiders struck first on a penalty stroke 14 minutes into the contest by senior co-captain Payton Ahola.
Sandwich 1, Cohasset 0 — There were times that it felt as if the D2 South semifinal between the top-seeded Blue Knights and No. 5 Cohasset would remain perpetually scoreless.
But an individual effort by Sandwich sophomore Paige Hawkins with 12 minutes to play made the difference.
Hawkins took the ball from about 25 yards out, surged past three defenders, and fed a shot past Skippers senior Noah Sullivan for the lead.
“It’s not just her stickhandling, it’s her timing,” said Sandwich coach Kelsy Beaton. “She reads defenders’ speed, and we’ve watched her do that all year. That’s her thing.”
The Blue Knights (19-1-1) earned four penalty corners in the first half but could not capitalize on any of those chances. With 18 minutes to play in the half, Sandwich came closest when a pass across the face of goal just missed wide.
“We should have scored twice right in that first half,” Beaton said. “That relaxes a team when you go out and score early. Had we scored, maybe it’s a different game.”
It was Cohasset (15-5-1) that came out strong out of halftime, however, earning three corners and getting the game’s best look with a shot inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Sandwich sophomore Sarah Currey made a big save, her only one of the night, to end the threat.
“Our defense had a great game,” Beaton said. “Molly Dwyer, Maddie Lemire, and Maura McIver, it was great. We’ve had games where Sarah hasn’t seen the ball, but it’s different in a game.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at email@example.com.