Possess the ball and pressure opposing defenses constantly. It’s been a formula for success all year long for the Sandwich field hockey team.
The Blue Knights didn’t defer from their season-long strategy in their Division 2 South Sectional quarterfinal, wearing down eighth-seeded Holliston in a 2-0 home win at DeConto Stadium on Sunday, November 3.
Looking very much like the top seed they were awarded, the Knights did not allow a shot on goal or a single penalty corner while generating 22 penalty corners and 29 shots on goal to advance to D2 South semi finals for the second-straight year.
Despite the offensive onslaught by the Knights, the two teams entered the break at halftime amid a scoreless draw, 0-0. The Holliston defense weathered the first half storm, thwarting Sandwich’s first 11 penalty corners in the game. The visitors were led by goalie Bella Bergloff, who turned aside 27 shots on the afternoon.
But early in the second half, Haley McLaughlin finally found some space to work with. She sent a pass on a penalty corner, inserted by Macey White, across the circle to Emily Souke, who beat Bergloff for the game’s first goal with roughly 24 minutes left in the game.
About 10 minutes later, on another penalty corner, White set up the team’s insurance goal by getting the ball into to senior captain Kylee Quinn. She then found McLaughlin, who rifled the ball deep in the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with 15:32 left.
Sandwich 2, Dedham 0
A goal in each half was enough for the top-seeded Knights to earn an opening-round win against 16th-seeded Dedham at DeConto Stadium on Friday, November 1 in the Division 2 South Sectional tournament.
White capped off a pass from Souke with roughly two minutes to go in the first half for the 1-0 lead despite getting off 15 shots on goal in the first half. Souke then found herself on the scoring end with about 19 minutes left in the game when she scored on a pass from McLaughlin in the second half to give the game its final score.
Sophomore goalie Sarah Currey earned her 13th shutout of the year against a Marauders team that defeated 17th-seeded Middleboro, 3-1, in the preliminary round. Two years prior to this meeting, Dedham scored a 1-0 road upset against the Blue Knights in the Division 2 South Sectional first round at DeConto Stadium.
Sandwich (18-1-1) will meet fifth-seeded Cohasset (16-4-1), last year’s South final runners-up, in the Division 2 South Sectional semi-finals on Tuesday, November 5 at 7 PM at Braintree High School. It’s the fifth time in six years that the Knights have reached at least the sectional semi-finals.