On Nov. 1, their season was seemingly over.
But on Tuesday night, the Franklin High field hockey team put the finishing touch on an 11-0-2 season with a 1-0 victory over King Philip in the Hockomock Cup final at the Beaver Community Field.
Senior captain Amanda Lewandowski scored the lone goal, scoring off a feed from classmate Sara Carney in the final minute of the third quarter.
“We had such a strong future and we didn’t want it to end,” Lewandowski said. “We were working like crazy during practice and we just wanted to finish as we started.”
An indoor Halloween party in town, attended by up to 50 students, prompted the high school to stop the transition to hybrid learning and shut down athletics and all activities for two weeks because of COVID-19 concerns. But Superintendent Sara Ahern and administrators developed a plan to allow all fall athletes to get tested for the virus. When all the tests came back negative on Nov. 7, the Panthers were able to resume their season.
“The fact that we got our season back was huge,” said Franklin coach Michelle Hess. “It would have been super disappointing knowing that this is probably one of the best teams that I’ve had in years. It would have crushed me and the rest of the team if we weren’t able to continue, so we were very grateful that we were able to play tonight.”
Franklin rolled past North Attleborough and Attleboro in the first two rounds of the tournament by a combined 14-3 margin. But King Philip (8-3-3) represented the biggest challenge yet for the Panthers, who were held scoreless until the final minute of the third quarter.
“I think I would have gotten in a little trouble with my parents if I missed that, it was nice to put it in,” Lewandowski joked. “All of the hard work over the last four years paid off.”
Senior Neilee Hess, the coach’s daughter, made four saves for Franklin, none bigger than her stop on a breakaway from KP’s Grace Crocker with under nine minutes to go in regulation. Her King Philip counterpart, Makenzie Manning, made seven saves for the Warriors.
Bishop Feehan 2, Bishop Stang 0 — Senior Annie D’Ambrosia scored both goals to lead the host Shamrocks (5-1-1) to Saturday’s Catholic Central League Cup final.
Medfield 2, Norwood 0 — Molly Hardiman and Chloe Shield each netted a goal as the Warriors (1-5-3) defeated the Mustangs in the season-ending Tri-Valley League match.
Plymouth North 7, Silver Lake 0 — Maeve Campbell netted five goals to guide the Eagles (11-1-1) to the Patriot League Cup final. Plymouth North will face Pembroke in the championship game Friday at 5 p.m.
Oliver Ames 3, King Philip 0 — Even after junior Katie Gibson scored to give OA a lead in the last two minutes of the first quarter, the Tigers continued to battle nerves against a King Philip squad that controlled play and created chances throughout the first half.
Those nerves began to disappear once junior Alexa Lane scored in the 12th minute of the third quarter, and they vanished almost entirely after sophomore Carly Gibson netted an insurance goal a few minutes later. The Tigers were able to relax down the stretch as they captured the Hockomock Cup at Muscato Stadium in North Easton.
“I think that second goal got us going,” Oliver Ames coach Britt Sellmayer said. “When it was 1-0, I was actually kind of nervous. I thought they were carrying the play for a lot of the second quarter.”
Oliver Ames (7-1-5) will close out its season in the Challenger Cup against Canton, which missed the Hockomock Cup postseason tournament because it had been exposed to COVID-19 during a matchup against Foxborough.
Sellmayer said the Challenger Cup will take place Thursday or Friday.
Katie Gibson was credited with the first goal after her cross landed in the middle of a scrum and bounced into the King Philip (7-5-2) net. It was an unlucky break for the Warriors' sophomore keeper, Lauren Casper, who finished with six saves and was making her third varsity start because KP’s top two goalies were sick.
Lane scored off a cross from junior Lauren Sellmayer, while Carly Gibson cleaned up a rebound following a blast by sophomore Sophia Byron in the final two minutes of the third quarter.
Senior Emma O’Donnell (four saves) and junior Emily Meyers (two saves) split goalkeeping duties for Oliver Ames.
Hingham 2, Whitman-Hanson 2 (SO) — Sophomore Sophie Reale was shooting to convert her second penalty kick of the evening when stepped up to the ball in the fourth round of a shootout to determine the winner of the Patriot Cup semifinal.
With a smooth low shot, she beat a diving Reese Codero and sent Hingham into Saturday’s final against Pembroke, courtesy of a 4-2 edge in kicks, after the teams played to a 2-2 score through 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute OT periods.
“It was a little more pressure than the one I had taken earlier in the game, and it was difficult deciding if I should go the same way,” said Reale, who was tabbed the Patriot League MVP on Monday.
Reale provided a lifeline for the Harborwomen numerous times, tying the game at 1-1 in the 48th minute on her first PK of the night, and tallying what appeared to be the game in the 71st minute.
A stoppage time goal by Anna Sullivan (two goals) sent the game to overtime.
“It was really frustrating,” said Reale, “but we bounced back from it and didn’t let it get us down.
“It’s really exciting but I’m still focused on staying humble and playing as a team.”
Her ability to perform in high pressure situations doesn’t come as a surprise to her coach.
“Big time players step up in big games and Sophie was unbelievable and she put the team on her back today,” said Hingham first-year coach Sarah Dacey.
Hingham will face Pembroke in the final Saturday (1 p.m.) at Marshfield High after the other semifinalist, Scituate, was forced to go to full remote learning on Tuesday.
Danvers 3, Peabody 1 — Arianna Bezanson, Julia Vaillancourt, and Riley DiGilio each netted a goal to cap off a perfect season for the Falcons (11-0). It is the Falcons' first undefeated regular season since 1998.
Saint Joseph Prep 6, Mt. Alvernia 1 — Katelyn Botte scored a hat trick to power the Phoenix (5-6-2) over the Mustangs.
Brockton 3, New Bedford 2 — Senior striker Helton Brandao scored all three goals to power the Boxers to the Southeast Conference tournament title.
Brandao struck inside the opening 10 minutes as he slotted a left-footed shot past the keeper after receiving a long cross, but the Whalers tied the game, 1-1, when Angel Orozco scored off a rebound to start the second quarter. Just before halftime, Brandao took a loose ball in the box and tapped it in for a 2-1 lead. The lead was short-lived as the host Whalers responded quickly with a Cherubin Do Conto goal. The Boxers eventually prevailed as a Derson Barros cross found an unmarked Brandao, who buried his third goal into an empty net in the second half.
“For us, it’s special because we had not won a conference title in about five years,” Brockton head coach Herminio Furtado said. “Even when we won the (Division 1) state championship (in 2017), we did not win our conference, but this year, that (conference title) was all there was to play for. So we focused on that, we wanted to win it, and we’re lucky to have won it.”
Gloucester 4, Danvers 1 — Andrew Coelho scored twice and registered an assist to lead the Fishermen (6-2).
Masconomet 1, Marblehead 0 — Spencer Butterworth scored the winner in the final minute to complete an unbeaten season for the Chieftains (8-0-1).
The 82nd annual Clark Tournament, believed to be the oldest boys' basketball invitational tournament in New England and the fourth oldest in the country, has been cancelled for its scheduled dates of Feb. 21-26, 2021. The decision by the tournament committee Tuesday comes amidst the recent rise of COVID-19 in the Worcester community and throughout the state. Clark University recently suspended winter sports for the 2020-21 season.
Colin Bannen reported from Hingham and Brad Joyal from Easton. Andrew Lin also contributed.