FOXBORO — In each of its first two MIAA Division 2 East Sectional Tournament games this postseason, the No. 4 seed Foxboro High girls’ lacrosse team has watched crunch-time leads dwindle away.
The Warriors (15-7) held a five-goal advantage over Weston in the quarterfinals before going 12 minutes without a goal. The visitors tied the game before junior midfielder Jamie Notarangelo netted the winning goal with 18 seconds left in regulation.
Against Wayland, in the semifinal round of the tourney, the Warriors twice held four-goal leads, including 12-8 with 11 minutes left before the top-seeded Wayland came back to tie the match with three minutes remaining.
Notarangelo again provided to the key for Foxboro, scoring the winning goal, while Sophia DiCenso added another for the final two-goal margin.
When adversity has hit this postseason, the Warriors respond. It’s an aspect that has impressed Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry.
“I would say it’s definitely composure,” Sherry said Thursday prior to Foxboro’s final practice before taking on No. 3 seed Medway (15-5) in the Division 2 East Sectional final at Walpole High on Friday at 7 p.m.
Sherry credits that composure to the Warriors having been in countless battles — not just this spring, but in past MIAA tournaments as well as Foxboro enters its second East Sectional title match in the past three seasons.
“The last time that we were in this position, as far as being in the finals, my now-seniors were sophomores,” Sherry said. “My now-juniors were freshman. We’ve had the exposure, which is great.
“And we battle-test ourselves with the tough competitors so it definitely helps that, for the most part, they’ve had exposure to this competitiveness.”
Foxboro and Medway will meet for the second time this season after the Warriors took a 17-10 decision in their first match.
Sherry said the Warriors are not putting any stock into that regular-season clash. It’s a lesson they learned last year following a 2018 turney loss to Medfield. Foxboro had won that in-season non-league match as well.
“I think being in that situation last year has really helped us,” Sherry said. “We’re all on the same page. We know what happened last year and I do think we went into that quarterfinal game thinking, ‘We already handled them. We already beat them pretty significantly in the regular season, what could possibly happen now in the quarterfinals?’ So that has actually helped.”
Going into the sectional final, the Warriors have put an extra emphasis on something they did not excel at during their semifinal win over Wayland.
“We need, need, need to win the draw,” Sherry said. “They’re fast. Their No. 10 (senior midfielder Ava Vasile), if she wins that draw, she’s off and running. She’s really good on the fast break and really good at shooting. So, it starts at the draw and just keeping the ball out of their sticks as much as we can.”
Win the draw and take possession of the ball is what the Warriors will need to do well if they want to hoist the East Sectional trophy.
“We really have to capitalize on our opportunities offensively,” Sherry said. “It’s the finals, all of those opportunities have to count. Again, it’s limiting our mistakes. I understand mistakes are going to happen. It’s just what we do after them and what we do with their mistakes. Really just keeping the ball out of their sticks as much as we can.”