Cooney, Sherman lift Warriors to first place

By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Two of the TVL’s top girls soccer teams faced off on Wednesday evening, as the Medfield Warriors (6-2-1) took down the Hopkinton Hillers (5-4-1) 1-0, thanks to some late heroics by senior captains Alanna Cooney and Taylor Sherman. The win pushes the Warriors into a first-place tie with Medway in the TVL standings (each with 13 points). Unlike their first meeting with Hopkinton (3-1 win on September 8), the Warriors would need ever last second in order to come out victorious against the Hillers this time around.

Medfield senior captain Maggie McCarthy (21) reads the field before making a cross midway through the first half. Photos by Michael Flanagan

Medfield senior captain Maggie McCarthy (21) reads the field before making a cross midway through the first half. Photos by Michael Flanagan

The game began with Medfield controlling the bulk of the possessions, but the Warriors were unable to generate very many scoring opportunities thanks to some great defensive play by the Hillers. Midway through the first half, Hopkinton began to find their stride on offense. If it were not for a pair of big saves by senior keeper, Emma Hilvert, who leaped and corralled the ball on multiple Hopkinton breakaways, Medfield could have very well entered the half down a goal, or even two.

During stoppage time at the end of the first half, Medfield’s Maggie Hurley rang one off the bar on a free kick from 30 yards away. The rebound was cleared out by Hopkinton as the halftime whistle sounded, and the game entered the break still in a scoreless tie.

Senior defender Maggie Hurley (23) boots the ball up the field on a free kick.  Photos by Michael Flanagan

Senior defender Maggie Hurley (23) boots the ball up the field on a free kick. Photos by Michael Flanagan

The second half began very similarly to the first half, with both teams locking down the middle of the field and making it extremely hard to generate offense. As time began to dwindle down and legs began to get tired, Alanna Cooney and Taylor Sherman elevated their games to another level. With just seconds remaining during stoppage time and the game still tied, Sherman made a beautiful cross into the center of the box, where the ball was headed in by a leaping Cooney. Less than 20 seconds following the celebration by the Warriors, the referee’s final whistle blew, and Medfield pulled out an absolutely incredible 1-0 win in the most dramatic of fashions.

At the time of print, the Medfield girls will get back after it on October 11 when they host Holliston, before traveling to face Medway on October 13 for a match that could decide the fate of the conference championship.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.

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