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Hopkinton advances to fourth consecutive final after win over Derryfield

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  • Hopkinton forward Annie Higginbotham (21) gets off a shot as Derryfield midfielder Christine Nadeau (11) persues during Wednesday night’s NHIAA Division III girls soccer semifinal at Manchester Memorial High School. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff photographs

  • Hopkinton midfielder Paige Martin (center) battles Derryfield players Christine Naduau (11) and Ingrid Bjornas (9) in the first half at Manchester Memorial on Wednesday night, November 3, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Loren Charron (left) hugs teammate Ashlee Brehio after her second goal during the first half against Derryfield on Wednesday evening, Novemeber 3, 2021 at Manchester Memorial. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Ashlee Brehio dribbles through the Derryfield defense on Wednesday night, November 4, 2021 at Manchester Memorial. Brehio scored three goals in the 5-2 semifinal. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward Ashlee Brehio moves against the Derryfield defense on Wednesday night, November 4, 2021 at Manchester Memorial. Brehio scored three goals in the 5-2 semifinal. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Right: Hopkinton forward Ashlee Brehio (center) begins to celebrate the second of her three first-half goals in the Hawks’ 5-2 Division III girls soccer semifinal win. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Above: Hopkinton forward Loren Charron (center) avoids Derryfield goalie Ashley Hardner after a first-half shot. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton players congratulate forward Loren Charron (right) during the first half of Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Derryfield in an NHIAA Division III girls soccer semifinal at Manchester Memorial High School. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/4/2021 6:12:03 PM

MANCHESTER – It took a few minutes before Hopkinton found its footing on the field at Memorial High School.

Nine minutes, to be exact.

All season long, the Hawks haven’t taken much time at all to score goals in any of their matches. When nine minutes feels like an extended period of time, that’s certainly a positive.

But nine minutes in, senior defender Maddie Carmichael broke the zeroes on the scoreboard with her goal and opened up the offense in No. 1 Hopkinton’s latest girls soccer win – a 5-2 final over No. 5 Derryfield in the Division III semi-finals.

Carmichael’s goal came off an opportunistic play. Senior Ashlee Brehio kicked a ball on net but her shot was blocked away. Carmichael was able to fight through the Cougars’ defenders and head the ball in, narrowly beating goalie Ashley Hardner to the ball.

With the goal, the Hawks’ potent offense began to take shape. Brehio scored her first of three goals in the 15th minute after she sent in a line-drive shot to the center of the goal. She followed that up with another attempt from out wide in the 27th, where once again rather than catching the ball, Hardner tipped the ball back into play. Brehio took advantage of the opportunity and followed through on the rebound for the Hawks’ third goal of the night.

Fellow senior forward Loren Charron scored four minutes after Brehio’s second goal, and Brehio completed her first-half hat trick with six minutes left in the first half.

If it took the Hawks’ 31 minutes to score five goals, one can only imagine how out of hand it could be if they had been operating on schedule. Coach Mike Zahn was quick to attribute the slow start, however, and it wasn’t a pesky or stout Derryfield defense.

It was simply the field itself.

“We’ve only played one game on turf this year, and it was in the middle of the season,” he said. “It was much different than grass. Once we knocked in a goal, I think we settled down a bit.”

Zahn spoke on how much more space there is on a turf field compared to a grass field and that at times, those large amounts of space can be a bit overwhelming to fill. The Hawks, however, after a brief introductory period, appeared to figure it out, and now with a championship game on Sunday, they have opportunities to practice on the artificial surface.

With a commanding 5-0 lead entering the second half, Hopkinton continued to play its starters for another 10 minutes before it pulled all but two of them – goalie Emily Fleegle and defender Kally Murdough.

Derryfield took advantage of the opportunity and it scored two goals in the final 15 minutes of the game, closing out the season by avoiding a shutout.

The Hawks (18-0) will play in Sunday’s championship game against No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas back at Manchester Memorial. Hopkinton previously defeated the Saints, 4-0, back on Sept. 25.

Sunday’s championship match is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.


Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.



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