After a 3-1 first-round loss to Needham in the Division 1 South tourney a year ago, the question from Bishop Feehan girls’ soccer coach Phil Silva was simply, “What do we need to do to get this whole thing done?”
The start was refocusing as a group.
On Saturday afternoon, the Shamrocks continued their unbeaten season, rallying from an early deficit (and being outshot 9-2) and riding a pair of goals from dynamic junior forward Francesca Yanchuk for a 2-1 victory over top-seeded King Philip in the D1 South final at Hingham High. It was the program’s first sectional championship.
It took until the 62nd minute, but Yanchuk eventually took over the game, scoring the equalizer on a penalty kick and then the go-ahead goal.
Feehan (18-0-1) will play the Brookline in a state semifinal at Norwell High on Wednesday. The Shamrocks limited one of the state’s best attacks to one goal, off a corner kick from senior Avery Snead.
Yanchuk was frustrated early on. But a few minutes after tying the game, she took advantage of the KP goalie out of position for the winning tally. “I just saw her coming out and I knew there was nobody else there and I just had to hit it over her,” Yanchuk said. “We just wanted it a lot. We pushed through.”
Division 1 North
Brookline 2, Andover 0 —A sectional trophy is the center of attention for many programs. But after the Warriors repeated as D1 North champions, they barely touched the Bay State-shaped hardware at Manning Field in Lynn.
The message from coach Rob Sprague was clear.
“We were here last year,” Sprague said after the victory “It’s still a big deal, but you’re just trying to refocus the team because we have another challenge.”
The Warriors (15-1-5) controlled all 80 minutes en route in advancing to a state semifinal matchup against Bishop Feehan . After a scoreless first half, Brookline broke through. Senior midfielder Eleanor Fisher scored one goal and assisted junior forward Sam Friedman on the other. The defense suffocated Andover (14-4-4) all game.
“It takes time, with our style, to break teams down,” Sprague said. “Eventually they get tired, and a hole opens up.”
That hole opened up 10 minutes into the second frame. Fisher settled a ball just outside the box, and then uncorked a near-perfect shot into the top left corner of the net to help Brookline take the lead for good.
“We’d been passing around their final third for so long,” Fisher said. “We had to test [the keeper] because we hadn’t yet.” Fisher assisted Friedman on the insurance goal with eight minutes left to seal the deal.
Division 3 South
Dover-Sherborn 4, East Bridgewater 0 — Cerys Balmer and juniors Annie Parizeau, Hope Shue, and Kate Mastrobuono connected for goals as the Raiders (17-2-2) rolled to the D3 South title at Norwell High.
With 14:31 left in the first half, Shue raced down the right wing to the goal line before centering a pass to Balmer in the middle of the 18-yard box. Balmer then fired a shot into the bottom left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Parizeau, a midfielder, added an insurance goal just 56 seconds into the second half, curling a corner kick into the back of the net before Mastrobuono and Shue closed out the scoring. D-S will play Stoneham in a state semifinal Tuesday in Lynn.
“We have so many different weapons,” said D-S coach Evren Gunduz. “It’s a luxury to have but they also are very unselfish and I think that’s what you see.”
Senior captain Sabrina Doyle recorded the shutout with five saves.
Division 3 North
Stoneham 2, Wayland 0 — The Caldarelli twins have carried the Spartans to prominence the past four seasons. But in the D3 North final at Manning Field in Lynn, the senior captains received plenty of help in netting the program’s first sectional title.
Freshman Courtney Ponzo – one of five freshmen starting for top-seeded Stoneham (19-3) — got the scoring started 10 minutes in with a masterful strike from 10 yards outside the box.
“She’s played a big role on our defense and offense this year,” said Samatha Caldarell, who then doubled the lead early in the second half, scooping up a loose ball on the left win and finishing with ease for her second goal in as many games.
“I’m most proud of the fact that it was a team effort,” said Stoneham coach Sharon Chapman.
“We have some very really good players but it takes a whole team to support them.”
Wayland finished 12-5-3.
Division 4 South
Millis 2, Hull 1 — In Holbrook, junior Courtney Bickford didn’t hesistate to bury a rebound of a shot by classmate Abby Miller in the 75th minute, sending the ball to the right corner of the net to give Millis a 2-1 lead, its third straight D4 South sectional championship, and a state semifinal berth Wednesday opposite the winner of the D4 North sectional final between top-seeded Amesbury and Manchester.
“I was really shocked,” Bickford said. “In the moment, I was like, ‘Ahh,’ then I got [the goal]. It was really fun.”
Moments before Bickford’s goal, the third-seeded Pirates (16-4-1) had an apparent go-ahead off a corner kick disallowed by a foul on the play, which kept the game even, 1-1. Emotions ran high after the call, but the No. 5 Mohawks (16-4-4) remained calm and put together the sequence that led to Bickford’s goal.
“The way these girls have played all year-when we are up a goal, or down — they kept their composure,” said Millis coach Steve Bailen.
Charlie Wolfson reported from Hingham, Matt MacCormack from Lynn, John Hand from Holbrook, and Ethan Nash from Norwell.