Title run ends in heartbreak for Medlax

Photos by Mike Flanagan. Junior attack-man Jimmy Cosolito (right) rides a Winchester defensive pole on a clear during Friday’s Division II state final in Quincy.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Medfield High School lacrosse has dealt with significant adversity this season, losing starting LSM Sam Joline to a knee injury, as well as senior captain and attack-man Mike Hauptman (knee) after a 19-5 win against Walpole in the opening round of the playoffs.

Despite the hardships, Medfield hung together and put together more than just a solid season.

After winning the Central/East sectional with a hard-fought 9-7 victory against reigning champ Concord-Carlisle, the Warriors crushed South champ Sandwich, 21-5, in the state semifinals to set up a date with North sectional champ Winchester for the MIAA Division II title on Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy.

Leading 10-9 with a little over five minutes to play following a go-ahead goal by Robert Spaeth (two goals), Medfield surrendered a late pair via Harry Carpini and Ryan McCarthy with 1:33 to play as Winchester seized an 11-10 lead. Junior attack-man and Medfield’s leading scorer throughout the tournament Jack McCordic got a grade-A look with a step-down rip with a little over a minute remaining, but was denied by the stick of Winchester goalie Matt Suffredini. With eight seconds to play, Medfield was given one final chance to net the tying goal, but a shot by Jake Sherman went wide and the Sachems won their first state championship since 2000.

Winchester jumped out to an early 2-0 edge before a 6-0 run by Medfield with goals coming from Brian Abely (three), McCordic (two), and Sherman allowed the Warriors a 6-2 lead with 5:32 remaining in the half. Carpini responded for Winchester with a goal on the man-up with 1:59 to play and the Warriors carried a 6-3 lead into halftime.

The Sachems began the second half on a 3-0 run to tie the game at six before Abely’s fourth of the day gave Medfield back the lead at 7-6. Sherman’s second of the game, this time on the man-up with 2:49 to play in the quarter, extended Medfield’s lead to 8-6. The two-goal lead was short-lived, however, as less than a minute later, McCarthy made it 8-7 with a shot on the run. Carpini completed the hat trick with 1.6 seconds remaining in the quarter, following a turnover on a clear attempt, to knot the game at eight at the end of three.

Spaeth gave Medfield back the lead off of a feed from Tommy Gill on a fast break 1:37 into the fourth quarter. Grant Murray tied things at nine for Winchester before Spaeth’s second of the quarter, this time off of a feed from junior Jimmy Cosolito, gave Medfield a 10-9 lead with 8:26 remaining. Winchester then scored back-to-back goals to seize the 11-10 lead, holding off the final late push by the Warriors and also seizing the state championship.

For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter @fLAno0.

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