WALPOLE — A relentless regular-season schedule paid big dividends for the Foxboro High girls’ lacrosse team.
The end result?
The No. 4 seed Warriors claimed the program’s first-ever MIAA Division 2 East Sectional title following an 11-9 crown-clinching victory over No. 3 seed Medway High on Friday at Walpole High.
Foxboro scored the final three goals of the match, overcoming a one-goal deficit with 7:12 remaining. Senior Sophia DiCenso (seven points) netted her sixth goal of the contest on a free-position chance with 2:58 remaining to put Foxboro ahead 10-9. Teammate Julia Kelley then provided the Warriors some much-needed insurance on her lone goal with 1:05 left. Both goals came on a man-advantage as the Warriors put the game away and stormed the field in jubilation.
“It feels amazing, absolutely amazing,” Foxboro coach Brittany Sherry said. “We did this (reached the finals) back when my seniors were sophomores and my juniors were freshman. All of that exposure to the playoffs, and all the battle-testing that we’ve done with getting our butts kicked in Longmeadow, getting our butts kicked against Norwell. We’ve battled and we got tested and we prevailed because of it.
“So, they continue to work hard no matter who we were playing and it feels freaking awesome.”
East Sectional champion Foxboro (17-7) will play South Sectional champion Cohasset (18-6) in the Division 2 State semifinals at Babson College on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
DiCenso, who was selected to represent the United States U-19 team at the 2019 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships less than 24 hours prior, put Foxboro on her back.
She assisted on the game’s first goal to teammate Lilly Vey and from there on netted six of Foxboro’s final 10 goals. DiCenso scored five times on free-position chances as the Warriors had six in the first half and eight in the second. The University of Richmond commit put Foxboro ahead 6-4 with her fourth goal with 15:45 left. Her fifth tied it, 9-9, with 5:51 to play before her sixth proved to be the game-winner.
“It’s crazy,” DiCenso said of the Warriors claiming the title. “I feel like everyone has just been wanting it since we lost to Walpole (in finals) our sophomore year. Every day of practice we talk about it. We’re like ‘This is our year. We’re going to win a trophy. We’re going to do it.’ And we did it. Everyone is literally just on top of the world right now.”
Senior teammate Meghan Curran came up clutch in the second half as well. Curran scored her first goal on a free-position to put Foxboro ahead 5-4 and netted her second to give Foxboro a 7-6 lead with 12:04 remaining.
The game was consistently back and forth. Eight times it was tied while neither team held more than a two-goal lead. Medway held a minimal 15-14 edge in shots while both teams corralled 10 draws.
Every time Foxboro looked like it could pull away, Medway climbed back. The Mustangs then took their first lead in nearly 21 minutes of action at 9-8, but Foxboro did not panic. The Warriors responded exactly like they had done in each of their two prior postseason games. Foxboro’s three postseason games were decided by a combine five goals.
After Medway sounded a shot off the post, senior Molly Murphy won a race for a roundball right in front of the Warrior bench, which was the eventual possession where DiCenso gave Foxboro a 10-9 lead.
“That did help being in that position with Wayland,” Sherry said in reference to the semifinal win in which the Warriors scored an identical two goals in man-up situations during the final minutes. “And being in that position with a few other games. We knew to kind of beat the clock and kind of put the pressure on the other team.”
The Warriors were hampered early as they went just 2-for-6 on free-position chances and hit the post three times on their six first-half shots. DiCenso netted the final two goals of the half, both on free positions, to give Foxboro a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Sophomore goaltender Sara Addeche made four first-half saves, including her first of the match which led to Vey’s goal on the ensuing possession.