(Newburyport) “We knew that the rankings didn’t reflect our abilities,” said Cohasset senior Molly Stephens afterwards.
The #8 Skippers (16-3) took the lead four minutes into their game with #1 Newburyport and never gave it up.
The final was Cohasset 12, Newburyport 9 in the Division 3 state quarterfinals.
The Clippers (19-2) had won fifteen straight and were undefeated (13-0) at home.
It didn’t matter to the visitors from the South Shore League.
“We are playing our best lacrosse at the right time,” said Cohasset coach Kully Reardon post-game. “This was our best game of the season this afternoon.”
Laney Larsen had six goals for the Skippers.
“Laney is a sophomore with the confidence of a senior,” said Coach Reardon.
Laney had the first two goals of the game, but Newburyport battled back on a goal by Rita Cahalane to make it 2-1 and later on a goal by Lilly Pons to make it 3-2. But the Clippers couldn’t even the score.
The outcome-deciding portion of this game was the final 3:42 of the first half. The visitors did all the scoring and led, 6-2, at the half.
The toughest goal for Newburyport was the one that Laney Larsen got with one tick left in the first half.
Coach Cat Batchelder’s short summary of the game was, “We didn’t play well.”
When asked for specifics, Coach Batchelder referenced the defense, the attack, the draws, as areas where the team had underperformed.
The Clippers started well in the second half. Within the first three minutes both Anna Affolter (3 goals) and Lilly Pons (3 goals) scored to pull Newburyport within two goals, 6-4.
Later with 13:15 to go, the Clippers were again down two (7-5). Two minutes later, however, Laney Larsen (6 goals) had two more scores and Cohasset was up, 9-5.
Credit Newburyport. Down by four (11-7) with eight minutes left, they scored two straight times (Anna Affolter and Lilly Pons) to move within two goals with 3:28 left.
Cohasset called timeout and returned to hold onto possession until freshman Reese Hansen drove home the clincher with 1:35 left.
“We like it when the other team has to come out and play us because we have so much firepower,” said Coach Reardon.
Brown commit Molly Stephens had the size, strength, and skills to give Cohasset a definite edge on the draws.
Molly was recently named the South Shore League MVP. She had two goals today. Her biggest contribution to the win was in the draws.
Both teams were very good at running their offenses. The Clippers, however, struggled to finish.
One reason for the Newburyport goal-scoring troubles was Cohasset goalie Aizza Chase. “Aizza is the best goalie I’ve had,” said 12th year Coach Reardon. “She adds composure and confidence back there.”
Regarding Molly Stephens: “Molly had a brace on her leg earlier in the season. Every game she has improved. She got some possessions today that she wouldn’t have gotten earlier in the season.”
I was impressed with the long runs of Holy Cross commit Anna Affolter in the second half.
The weather was perfect.
Good crowd with quite a few of the Cohasset faithful in the stands.
Cohasset goals: Laney Larsen (6), Kira Fulton (2), Molly Stephens (2), Reese Hansen (1).
Newburyport goals: Lilly Pons (3), Anna Affolter (3), Rita Cahalane (1), Izzy Rosa (1), Reese Bromby (1).
Cohasset 6 6 = 12
Newburyport 2 7 = 9