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Lacrosse Tournaments: Hopkinton earns second chance at D-III title; Derryfield downs Kearsarge

  • Hopkinton’s Sofia Locke (12) tries to slip past Bow’s Addison Trefethen (18) on Saturday during a Division III girls’ lacrosse semifinal at Laconia High School. Hopkinton will play Derryfield for the title. Jason Orfao / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton Ellie Morrall (13) gains possession in a crowd of Hawks and Falcons on Saturday during a Division III girls' lacrosse semifinal at Laconia High School. The Hawks won, 14-5. Jason Orfao—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton's Emily Metzger passes the ball on Saturday during a Division III girls' lacrosse semifinal at Laconia High School. Hopkinton won, 14-5. Jason Orfao—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton's Amelia Bassett (18) reacts after teammate Ellie Morrall (13) scores a goal against Bow during a Divsion III girls' lacrosse semifinal at Laconia High School. The Hawks won, 14-5. Jason Orfao—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton’s Amelia Bassett (18) shoots on Bow goalie Meaghan Danahy (20) while Bow’s Gracie Bresson (11) looks on during a Division III girls’ lacrosse semifinal on Saturday at Laconia High School. Danahy made the save, but the Hawks earned a 14-5 win to reach the championship. Jason Orfao / Monitor staff

  • Bow's Barrie Guertin (6) knifes through the defense on Saturday during a Division III girls' lacrosse semifinal at Laconia High School. Hopkinton prevailed, 14-5. Jason Orfao—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/1/2019 11:50:54 PM

LACONIA – Falling just short of the program’s first championship a season ago, the players on the Hopkinton girls’ lacrosse team had one mission all year long: get back to the finals and finish the job.

After shaking off the nerves from an uneven start by scoring the first seven goals of the second half to knock off No. 4 Bow, 14-5, in Saturday’s Division III semifinals at Laconia High School, the top-seeded Hawks will get their shot.

“We worked so hard, even in the offseason, and I just think being here and putting away this win shows us that we are the team we thought we were since the beginning,” said senior midfielder Ellie Morrall, who stepped up in a big way with six goals in the victory.

The Hawks (17-0) will take on No. 3 Derryfield (13-3) in Tuesday’s championship game at Southern New Hampshire University at 5 p.m. Derryfield edged No. 2 Kearsarge, 10-6, in the second semifinal.

“It’s really the girls. I just stand on the sideline,” Hopkinton coach Tim Bassett said. “This is a culmination of them playing together for a number of years. It’s good to see that kind of come to fruition if you will.”

Morrall, who by her own admission is more of a defensive-minded player, fueled the Hawks in the offensive end after the team lost their premiere scoring threat – and their momentum – during the first half against the Falcons (12-4).

Hopkinton opened the game on a 6-0 run, but quickly lost senior attack Lyndon Flanagan after she drew two yellow cards in the early stages.

The loss of Flanagan, mixed with some postseason nerves opened the door for the Falcons, who outscored Hopkinton, 4-1, over the final six minutes of the half on goals from Charlotte Ulrich (two), Sofia Darrell and Barrie Guertin to pull within three at 7-4.

“It was truly nerves. All of their transition came from us throwing the ball away or making a bad pass,” Bassett said. “We were tight, tight, tight and dropping passes, throwing things away. And that keeps the other team right on us through that first half until the second half and we kind of calmed down a little bit.”

With Flanagan done for the day and Bow face-guarding Hopkinton’s other big weapon, Amelia Bassett, the Hawks turned elsewhere for production – which wasn’t a problem for the top attack in D-III.

“(Flanagan) is like the best scorer on our team and she’s definitely the biggest threat we have, but I knew everyone else could step up to the point where we could fill in for her,” said Amelia, who finished with two goals and one assist. “I think that’s a unique ability we have where everyone can score.”

The result was an avalanche of goals to open the second half that essentially decided the game.

Morrall got it started with her fifth goal of the game just 2:18 into the second half and the rest of the Hawks followed her lead.

Junior midfielder Sofia Locke, freshman defender Annie Higginbotham and junior attack Sophia Staples-Roy all found the back of the net before the halfway point of the second to make it a 12-4 game. Emily Metzger and Amelia Bassett both added to the lead.

“They had Amelia face-guarded the whole game, just a girl right in her face, and then after Morrall scored several, you saw suddenly she had a friend on her,” coach Bassett said. “So that’s what you want to see when they think you only have one star. It’s nice that we can pass it all around.”

It was a bitter end to the season for Bow, which had won nine straight games since losing to Hopkinton on May 8 before falling to the Hawks again on the big stage.

“It was a great season. It was a little bit of a bad day to have a bad day,” Bow coach Chris Raabe said. “I don’t think we gave our ‘A’ game, but they outworked us and deserved the win.”

No. 3 Derryfield 10, No. 2 Kearsarge 6

Much like the battle between Hopkinton and Bow, Saturday’s second semifinal was a tale of two halves.

Kearsarge fell behind by as much as three in the first half, only to regroup with a rally led by senior Emilie Webster to tie the game early in the second. But Derryfield, funneling its offense through sophomore Lucy Licata and junior Olivia Strong, scored five straight times in the second and held Kearsarge scoreless for nearly 18 minutes to secure a finals berth.

“I think we kept fighting all the way until the end but our shooting was right in the goalie’s stick and you can’t do much with that,” said Kearsarge coach Hilary Grimes after finishing the year 13-4.

While Licata and Strong each scored five goals apiece, it was Derryfield’s sophomore goalie Shawna Lesmesrises who played the biggest role.

Behind the play of Webster (three goals) and Megan Norris (two goals), Kearsarge battled back to tie the contest at 5-all with 20:42 to play in the second before being held off the scoreboard for a long stretch thanks to Lesmesrises (nine saves).

“It was really just the shooting,” Grimes said. “We knew we needed to move the goalie and we didn’t so I think that was our biggest focus for our attack against their defense.”

While Kearsarge was struggling to score, Derryfield was pouring it on, taking a 6-5 lead on Licata’s goal at the 18:59 mark and firing in four more scores – one from Licata and three from Strong – to pull ahead, 10-5.

Caroline Camp got one back for Kearsarge, but by that time it was too late to climb all the way back as Derryfield heads back to the championship for the fourth time in the last six years.

“We’ve worked hard to get where we are right now,” Derryfield coach Melissa Catenza said. “We’ve come together and really worked as a team, trusted each other, believed in each other and that’s how we got here.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

D-I Boys’ Lacrosse

No. 3 Exeter 16, No. 6 Concord 7

Highlights: The Crimson Tide returned to the playoffs Saturday, but Concord was eliminated in the Division I quarterfinals.

D-II Boys’ Lacrosse Quarterfinals

No. 3 Portsmouth 8,
No. 6 Merrimack Valley 7

Key players: MV – Jessy Hirwa (22 saves), Max Lacy (6 G), Davian Haith, Coby Mercier

Highlights: The Pride had a 4-3 lead at halftime, but Portsmouth controlled the third quarter, taking a 6-5 lead and extending it to 8-5 early in the fourth. MV put together a short run to the cut the Clippers’ lead to 8-7 over the final seven minutes, but couldn’t capitalize on some man-up opportunities.

Coach’s quote: “(Portsmouth) has good stick skills and they hung on to (the ball). They’re a good team.” – Merrimack Valley’s Bob Berwick

Records: Portsmouth 16-4; MV 11-5

D-III Boys’ Lacrosse Quarterfinals

No. 2 Hopkinton 10, No. 7 Kearsarge 2

Key players: Hopkinton – Colby Quiet (4 G, 2 A, 5 GB), Allan Faulkner (2 G, 2 A), Corey Breault (2 G, A), Paul Molnar ( (7 GB, 5 faceoff wins, A), Nick Higginbotham (G) Kiernan Byrne (3 GB), Steven Newton-Delgado (3 GB), Benny Madden (12 saves)

Highlights: The Hawks found their rhythm in the second quarter, scoring four goals to make it 5-0 at halftime. The Cougars responded in the third with two quick goals, but Hopkinton made it 9-2 headed into the fourth. The Hawks will play against No. 3 Monadnock in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Coach’s quote: “We played a stellar game today and were all over Kearsarge. Our ride was impeccable and we were able to correct some errors by forcing turnovers. Our defense was particularly strong, and we gave up very few inside shots. This win gives us momentum headed into our semifinal game Wednesday.” – Hopkinton’s Deacon Blue

Records: Hopkinton 14-1; Kearsarge 7-8

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