For Danny MacDonald, dream became reality.
One year after the Medway boys’ soccer team was ousted by Norton in a second-round shootout, MacDonald netted the winning goal in the fourth round of penalty kicks on Saturday to lift Medway over its Tri-Valley League rival to the Division 3 South title, 1-0, at Norwell High.
The Mustangs won the shootout, 3-0, for their second sectional crown under six-year coach Neill Brandon.
Medway (19-2-1) will play North champion Bedford in a state semifinal Tuesday at Manning Field in Lynn.
“I just tried to think about practice and do what I did there,” said MacDonald. “[When it went it in] I was very excited. I couldn’t believe it.”
Senior Kyle Regan stopped all three Norton shots in the shootout for the Mustangs (19-2-1). He also had eight saves in regulation and both overtime periods.
“A great feeling for Medway,” said Brandon. “You know, our support from the town was fantastic. Feels great.”
Division 3 North
Bedford 3, Lynnfield 1 — Bedford High coach Dave Boschetto had forgotten what it felt like for his team to allow a goal.
The top-seeded Bucs had not yielded one since September entering the North final in Lynn. Bedford (17-2-2) conceded its fifth goal of the season, but with a balanced attack, advanced to the state semis.
“We hoped that we were talented enough to get in behind them,” Boschetto said.
“We did that just enough today.”
Senior Ryan Knight put the Bucs on the board in the first two minutes, finishing off a pass from Dexter Kennedy.
Two minutes later, junior Jasper Paez doubled the lead, from senior Nolan Hafer. Just before the end of the first half, Lynnfield (12-9-1) broke through when junior Matheus Sacramento headed in a cross from freshman Henry Caulfield. But the Bucs controlled the middle of the field in the second half, thanks in large part to Dual County League MVP Matias Ou and Kennedy finished off the win with a free kick seven minutes into the second half.
“That cushion made us a little more comfortable,” Boschetto said of the final goal.
Division 1 South
Needham 5, Brockton 2 — After a scoreless first half and a back-and-forth second, the Rockets (16-3-3) rode a hat trick from senior captain Matthew Dougherty to the South title. The last 40 minutes featured two ties, two lead changes and seven goals on 14 shots.
With its first sectional crown since 2014, Needham will play the Lincoln-Sudbury/Medford winner in a state semifinal Wednesday at Norwell High.
“The desire, the heart, the effort they showed, I haven’t seen that to this level this season,” said Needham coach Jimmy Odierna. “It’s almost like we needed to give up a goal to step up our game a little.”
Brockton’s Jaylon Derosa opened the scoring right after halftime. Dougherty tied it for Needham in the 52nd minute.
Just 50 seconds later, Brockton junior Vanilton Xavier scored on a penalty kick for 2-1. Five minutes later, Needham senior Matt Fidurko sprinted into the box from the backfield and tied it up again at 2-2. In the 65th minute, Dougherty got another goal running down the left side. In the 74th, Dougherty finished his hat trick on a breakaway, and in the 77th, Needham senior Steven Donovan added a fifth goal.
“It means so much,” Dougherty said. “I’ve watched these legendary Needham teams as a kid growing up, and it feels amazing to be a part of it. All game, I knew [the goals] were coming.
“I just believe in myself, and I believe in our team.”
Division 4 South
Cohasset 4, Atlantis Charter 1 — The Skippers (16-1-5) soared to their fourth consecutive D4 South title behind a hat trick from senior Kyle Osborne at Holbrook High. Cohasset will play the Burke/Manchester Essex winner in a state semifinal Wednesday in Lynn.
“Before this streak, we won one in 2013 and before that, they had four back in the ‘80s,” said Cohasset coach Jim Willis. “We won the one in ’13 and then we were just like, ‘Let’s get back to that game!’ I just have an unbelievable group of kids who do such a great job of passing on the culture to the young kids.”
Osborne, the team’s only senior, has been a part of all four sectional wins. He scored on a penalty kick and put home a through ball pass from junior Christian Loft during the first half before netting his third of the game – an unassisted blast – four minutes into the second frame.
Junior Whit Swartwood also scored for the Skippers. Junior Mayson Branco scored the lone goal for the Tritons (13-4-5).
Now Osborne and the Skippers take aim at the elusive state title. “We’ve got to keep our heads straight, battle the cold and just know what we’re going for – a state championship,” said Osborne. “Heads forward and I think we’ve got it.”
Brad Joyal reported from Holbrook, Matt MacCormack from Lynn, and Charlie Wolfson from Hingham.