Medfield repeats as D2 EMass champions

ALLSTON, Mass. -- The Medfield Warriors defended their Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 championship on Tuesday night as they defeated the Concord-Carlisle Patriots (20-2) 11-5 at Harvard Stadium.

The Warriors returned to Harvard Stadium this year under different circumstances from years past. They drew a No. 9 seed in the Eastern Massachusetts D2 bracket with a 13-7 regular season record. After losing four of five games at the end of May, including an 11-10 double-overtime heartbreaker to Hopkinton, the Warriors have now won five straight. During their five game run they now boast wins over the two top ranked teams in Division 2 in No. 1 seed Wellesley and No. 2 seed Concord-Carlisle.

“If you were to tell me after the Hopkinton game, our first TVL [Tri-Valley League] loss, that we would be here right now I don’t know would I would have said,” said Medfield senior goalie Sam Aronson. “I would have definitely said no, but I am proud of how everyone stepped up, everyone on our team.”

Aronson and the Medfield defense dominated the ground balls and loose ball opportunities throughout the game forcing turnovers that lead to transition opportunities for the offense.

The Medfield offense was sparked out of the gate by the play of junior attack Connor Roddy (2G, 4A). Following the game’s first goal by Concord-Carlisle’s Matt Carroll (2G) with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter, Roddy would figure in four of Medfield’s next five consecutive goals giving the Warriors a 5-1 lead midway through the second quarter.

“It started off 1-0 but we bounced back with five quick goals,” said Roddy. “We thought we had it in the bag but they came back.”

Concord-Carlisle would answer with a run of their own in the second, netting three goals before the break and cutting the Medfield lead to 5-4 at the half. Carroll scored his second to lead the Patriots run followed by tallies from juniors Mike O’Brien and Jackson Finigan (1G,1A).

“Concord-Carlisle is a great team and is well coached,” Medfield head coach Bob Aronson said. “They had only one loss this season to a great Wellesley team.”

Medfield came out in the second half, locked down on defense and rode strong offensive halves from freshman Matthew Crowell (2G,1A) and junior Chris Diana (2G,1A) to score six goals and extend the lead.

Concord-Carlisle’s lone second half goal came from senior Seth Bird, who was playing in his first game since breaking his collarbone, an injury which had kept him out for the majority of the second half of the season.

“We have just started to come alive the past couple of weeks,” Bob Aronson said. “We have had some tough losses along the way but we learned from them and the kids have built confidence and improved over the season.”

Medfield will face Algonquin (20-4) on Friday in Worcester for the Division 2 state championship. Central Massachusetts champion Alongonquin defeated Western Massachusetts champion Longmeadow 9-8 in overtime on Tuesday.

Notes: Concord-Carlisle was also honored at halftime with the 2011 MIAA Division 2 sportsmanship award. Senior defenseman Michael Anastos (Denison University) was also honored as a 2011 US Lacrosse All-American.