Keefe’s work pays off in overtime
Sophomore sub is on the money for Andover
NORTH ANDOVER — Although Meagan Keefe didn’t play a lot of minutes in last night’s Division 1 EMass field hockey final, she did come up with the biggest play.
The sophomore substitute scored the winning goal for Andover with 6:13 remaining in the second overtime to lift the Golden Warriors to a 2-1 victory over Walpole.
Andover will play Algonquin for the Division 1 title Saturday at Worcester State.
With Keefe positioned in front of the net, Laura Dimitruk let loose with a blast from about 15 yards. Keefe deflected the shot for the clinching goal.
“I was just told to go in and I was just excited to go in,’’ said Keefe. “I tried to block the goalie and screen her and I ended up tipping it in.’’
“[Keefe] just played one or two minutes to give someone a breather,’’ said Andover coach Maureen Noone. “I just had to put her in because she’s quick and feisty.’’
Through the second half and both overtimes, both teams had a slew of opportunities. In the first overtime alone, each team had five solid chances to end it. The best bid came from Walpole’s Caroline Malone. Malone carried the ball in on a break away but Andover goalie Dina Hagigeorges aggressively came out and slid to knock the ball away.
“Dina is just so focused,’’ said Noone. “She is a senior and has that mentality that this is the last time.’’
The Golden Warriors also had a great chance in the first overtime. Jillian Manning threw a shot on net that was tipped in the air and careened off the post.
“It was just who had it left in them at the end,’’ said Noone. “It was back and forth.’’
Hagigeorges and her Walpole counterpart, Katie Kelley, each made a handful of tremendous stops to keep the score knotted at 1-1.
Andover got on the board first. Jaclyn Torres nabbed a pass from Anne Farnham and blasted it into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Walpole, which was stuck in traffic before arriving, seemed a little sluggish until coach Marianne Murphy used a well-timed time out.
Minutes after the time out, Walpole tied the score. Meghan Murphy passed to Hannah Feeley on a penalty corner. Feeley rocketed a shot on net that redirected off an Andover player and into the net.
MIAA Division 2 Watertown 1, Canton 0 — After a lackluster first half, the Red Raiders stormed out of the gates in the second half en route to victory.
“We were fortunate near the latter half of the first to keep the score tied,’’ said Watertown coach Eileen Donahue. “We should have been more intense in the first and in the second half I thought we smartened up.’’
The Red Raiders (22-0) will play Auburn Saturday at Worcester State for the Division 2 State title.
The Red Raiders finally got on the board 1:15 into the second half. After corralling an entry pass, Erika Kelly streaked down the right side. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Lauren Giordano in front of the net. Kelly slid a pass in front that Giordano poked home for the 1-0 lead.
“We are like magnets,’’ Kelly said of her chemistry with Giordano.
The Red Raiders nearly increased their lead with 15 minutes remaining. On a penalty shot, Kelly nailed a shot right at Canton goalie Sarah Healey, who made a blocker save and dove backward to pounce on the ball before it squirted into the net.
“That was a sick save,’’ said Canton coach Fior Griggin. “That kept the momentum and gave us the edge to keep fighting to the end.’’
Canton (20-1-1) used that momentum to mount a furious comeback. Over the final 15 minutes, the Bulldogs had six quality scoring chances. The best came on after a penalty corner attempt. Emily Dillon threaded a pass to Kellie Stigas in front of the Watertown net. However, Stigas wasn’t able to get enough stick on the ball to redirect it into the net.