Much of the talk involvingthe Somerset Berkley field hockey team has concerned its two male members — seniors Alex Millar and Lucas Crook. But not to be overlooked is junior Cami Crook, Lucas’s younger sister and the daughter of coach Jen Crook.
Cami Crook was the difference as the Raiders’ leading goal-scorer had two second-half goals to guide top-seeded Somerset-Berkley to a 4-0 win on Wednesday over fourth-seeded Westwood in the Division 1 South semifinal at Braintree High.
With the victory, the Raiders extended their winning streak to 39 games and earned a rematch against Walpole in Saturday’s sectional final in Taunton.
“Nobody pays attention to the girls, they just focus on the boys,” said Jen Crook. “They’re very competitive in anything they do. They try to leave it on the field.”
Millar and Lucas Crook, who got their share of looks in the early minutes, were mostly neutralized by Westwood’s defense. But it was Cami, who led the Raiders’ transition game, that caused most of the problems for the Wolverines, winning ball battles in midfield and quickly moving the possession forward into the shooting circle.
“We were told that Westwood had a great midfield, which they did, and that was going to be the challenge for us,” said Jen Crook. “We just focused on trying to receive the ball and quick release just to get through their midfield.”
The Raiders (21-0-0) struck first when Millar converted a penalty stroke after Cami Crook’s initial shot was blocked on the way into the net. He made no mistake lifting an authoritative shot into the roof of the cage for the lead 11 minutes in and finished with a game-high eight shots, including three on goal.
Lucas Crook doubled the lead 15 minutes later firing a deflected pass from Millar off one of the Raiders’ 13 corners in the game.
“Against Needham and even a little tonight we were struggling a little [on corners],” said Jen Crook. “I think our corners are pretty good and if we get a lot of them, some of them will bounce in.”
Westwood (17-2-2), making a rare sectional semifinal appearance, more than held its own but a pair of late yellow cards all but sealed their fate.
Walpole 4, Notre Dame (Hingham) 1 — The third-seeded Porkers (19-0-2) struck three times in just over three minutes in their semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Notre Dame-Hingham in Braintree.
The victory sealed an inevitable rematch of last year’s sectional final between the Porkers and top-seeded Somerset Berkley in a battle of two unbeaten teams. The Raiders took down Walpole, 3-0, in that game last year. The biggest challenge for the Porkers in their much-[anticipated sectional final will be finding a way to neutralize Raider’ seniors Alex Millar and Lucas Crook.
“Their speed and their power, that’s a big issue,” said Walpole coach Jen Quinn.
“Somerset Berkley is very strong and I think we need to bring our A-game.”
The chief concern on Wednesday for Quinn was looking past a strong Notre Dame team in the semifinal stage. But the opening 15-minute flurry quelled any fears of complacency.
“I thought we came out almost flawless,” said Quinn. “We were a little scattered after that but I think they were just excited.”
Senior Sydney Scales provided assists on all three of Walpole’s first-half goals. Less-than nine minutes, Jess Tosone opened the scoring off a corner, one of seven for the Porkers on the night to five for the Cougars.
Two minutes later, it was junior Madison Field doing the honors, finishing off a fast break by Scales who fed a perfect pass across the goal-mouth. Scales provided another helper a minute after on a goal by Caroline Whelan set up by another corner.
“Sydney is probably one of the smartest athletes I’ve ever seen,” said Quinn. “She just has good vision and that’s why she has so many assists, up there in the thirties I think.”
The Cougars (13-3-3) settled in after awhile and struck with 10 minutes left in the first half when junior Christine Landry swept home a pass in front from senior Kelsey Stewart giving NDA a glimmer of hope.
But that hope was all but extinguished when Walpole restored its three-goal lead on a penalty stroke by sophomore Natalie Griffin with 17 minutes to play. Up to that point, the Cougars had gained an edge in possession and were starting to threaten for a second goal.
“We’ve been telling the girls ‘one game at a time,’” said Quinn. “They focused for the moment.”
Division 2 North
Gloucester 1, Pentucket 0 — Almost everything went right for No. 6 seed Gloucester in their 1-0 victory over No. 10 Pentucket in the Div. North semifinals at Burlington Stadium.
Shortly after entering the match early in the second half, Gloucester sophomore Cammi
Cooper, who was playing through a broken right ankle, positioned herself perfectly on the right
side of the Fishermen’s net for a rebound off a Cate Delaney shot Cooper flipped into the
net, giving Gloucester their lone goal 7:08 into the second half.
“It’s just right place at right time,” said Gloucester coach Lauren Riley-Gove. “We knew the
goalie went low. We knew we were going to have to lift it up and get it up over her if she went
down. We have been practicing it and there you go.”
Gloucester (14-3-2) controlled most of the first half and continued their dominance late into
the second half, but, after a tripping penalty on the Fishermen, Pentucket began to play with a sense of urgency.
The Sachems (11-8-2) used two corners to gain quality chances, but Gloucester held
strong, allowing the Fishermen to advance to the D2 finals on Saturday where they will face Lynnfield, a 1-0 upset winner over top-seeded Watertown.
Lynnfield 1, Watertown 0 — The No. 5 Pioneers (15-4) ousted the top-seeded Raiders (18-2) in the other semifinal on a first-half goal from senior captain Lily Rothwell and superb play from Ava O’Brien in net.
The victory was four years in the making for Rothwell. “I have been waiting for this since freshman year,” said Rothwell, who was part of the Pioneers’ team that lost 2-1 to Watertown in last year’s semifinals.
“It’s just such a good feeling. I’ve never felt this way before. I cried. It was crazy.”
Watertown, which had advanced to 11 straight North finals, poured on the offensive, O’Brien denied every bid. Consistently, she was sprawled out in front of the net making saves.
“Ava has just progressively gotten better each and every week,” said Lynnfield coach Mamie Reardon. “ We can’t say enough about her. She has kept us in these big games that we have. She is just a dynamite.”
Rothwell scored the match’s lone goal with 4:10 remaining in the first half. She used her speed to get by two defenders, creating a breakaway that finished with her sliding a shot past the Raider goalie.
Tabor 7, Pomfret 1 — The Seawolves improved to 15-2 with two goals from Ashley Clark.
Globe correspondent John Hand reported from Burlington.